With apologies to Strother Martin and Paul Newman, who spoke the title of this blog in their 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke, I was recently on VoiceAmerica (http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1984) internet radio, where I was interviewed about this topic, specifically relating to the communication failures between information technology managers and business managers and the impact of virtual teams.
During the podcast, I made observations about these two groups who should be working together very closely – more closely than ever:
- With only 50% of all technology projects coming in on budget and with full functionality and features, the financial benefit of fixing the problem is significant.
- Outsourcing and on-shoring have further complicated the relationship by invoking other cultures and more layers of management.
- Change management is often given short shrift, yet it is the only way to ensure new technology is adopted by the business – this is a business problem that often falls to the technology organization.
- Consumerization of IT has put technology in an uncomfortable position because corporate IT is just not as simple to deploy and secure as consumer IT. It’s a fact. But the simplicity and ease of what consumers can do at home versus what they encounter at work requires a different and more understanding response from information technology organizations. The notion of ‘can do’ should become part of the corporate IT vernacular.
- Virtual teams compound the problem – now both cohorts need to be more deliberate. Chance meetings in hallways and at lunch are no longer alternatives. Teams need to plan to speak and review plans and deliverables.
- IT governance can help solidify the technology/business relationship through monitoring of deliverables and provide incremental funding only if business needs are met.
Information technology and business managers should communicate like good friends – easy, ongoing and open discussions, with no hesitancy to raise problems or offer praise. Let’s not forget that the phrase ‘failure to communicate’ was uttered in a chain gang setting!