It has become a cliché to describe the work of IT in terms of People, Process and Technology, but have you thought about how this mix changes with increasing business-IT maturity?
I have found over the years that lower maturity shops think, talk, focus and simply pay more attention to technology than to people or process – be it the business processes they are helping to automate, or the IT processes they follow to do their work and deliver their services. In higher maturity shops, the emphasis changes, with a lot more attention being paid to process, and somewhat more attention to people. In the highest maturity shops, one finds a balance between the three. Let’s examine this phenomenon in greater detail.
The figure below shows the typical balance in a low business-IT maturity organization.
If you look at the staffing models, the patterns of competencies of IT staff, the competencies that are tracked and for which have the most available training, you will typically find it is the technical stuff that is predominant. If you look at strategy documents, CIO reports to the business, and where the IT leadership group spends most of its time (I say “group” here, because in low-maturity IT organizations, the CIO’s direct reports rarely function as a team), again you will find that technology gets the lions share of attention.
If you look at business-IT projects, you will typically find relatively scant attention to process improvement or reengineering. At low business-IT maturity, the tendency is to modify the technology to fit existing process and workflow, rather than figure out how to leverage technology to improve process and workflow. Typically in low business-IT maturity organizations, there is a lack of career planning or succession planning for IT professional, and performance management is often cursory.
I’ll look at mid- and high business-IT maturity organizations and how this mix changes in subsequent posts.