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IT Clients Dissatisfied Most of the Time

Last week I had the opportunity to present to the HR.com LinkedIn community on the failure of communication between IT and non-IT managers, the subject at the heart of my coaching practice.  The format encourages the use of polls, which I took advantage of throughout the presentation because I wanted to know answers to questions I couldn’t find elsewhere and which would validate (or perhaps not!) my beliefs.

In my last post, I wrote about the poor implementation performance rating of IT projects and that the cause was most often people factors.  Surveys were identified to support my point of view.

Now I had the opportunity to see whether or not HR practitioners found similar circumstances within their organization.  While not a scientific poll because of the sample size of 26, the results did align closely with facts I’ve presented and discussed previously and can’t be found elsewhere.   Here is what I learned:

  • Is your organization content with the quality of the IT deliverable?
  1. Completely satisfied — 0%
  2. Somewhat satisfied — 44%
  3. Not satisfied — 33%
  4. Somewhat dissatisfied — 22%
  5. Completely satisfied — 0%
  • Is communication between IT and non-IT a concern at your company?
  1. A significant problem — 43%
  2. Somewhat of a problem — 36%
  3. A minor issue — 14%
  4. Not an issue — 7%
  • What are the causes of the two groups not communicating? (More than one response was allowable.)
  1. Businesses not integrated — 50%
  2. No joint planning or goals — 88%
  3. Strategies not aligned — 18%
  4. Groups now sure how to speak to each other — 89%
  5. Ineffective governance — 37%
  •  If your organization outsources technology development, what has been the effect of the practice?
  1. Improved IT results — 13%
  2. No impact on IT results — 50%
  3. Less satisfaction with IT results — 37%
  • Does your organization coach technologists?
  1. Frequently — 0%
  2. Infrequently — 50%
  3. Never — 50%

Can you imagine such dismal headlines in any other function within the organization?  Why does management allow this dysfunction to continue?  The money being wasted is significant.

Dissatisfaction with the outcome/initiative more than half the time

Two groups critical to the competitiveness of the business unable to communicate with each other because they’re not sure how to speak to their counterpart

No joint planning nearly 90% of the time

No obvious benefit from a major change in how technology is developed and sourced

And then there is no evidence that people are being invested in to ameliorate the problem because coaching for technologists is infrequent at best

Sadly, nothing has changed in decades, and frustration must be running high, especially when it appears that technology is perhaps easier to implement than ever before, which affects user expectations.  Project management tools and training have become more sophisticated and there are firms specializing in project and change management.

And while problems with technology are simple to remedy, people challenges are not.  Therein lies success, which will be explained in more detail next week.

Maybe if we got this right, IT would be focusing more on revenue generating opportunities and far less on cost reduction.