Post #5 in the Series: Prioritization

Business says: “I need this right away.”

IT says: “Sure, but three other executives just told me the same thing.”

“IT people are in a tough situation. While they have to provide service to every unit in the organization, business-unit chiefs tend to recognize only the work IT does directly for them. One CIO said, “We need a way to ensure that resources go to the right people, not just to the ones who yell loudest.”

To accomplish that, executives need to decide which projects are most valuable to the company. The most successful companies have clear ways to estimate the value of every proposed project—how much it will boost sales, say, or increase efficiency. Then they have a clear method to decide which projects are most worth doing. Some firms use a steering committee headed by the CFO or CIO. Others use different methods. Whatever method is used, there must be a way to ask tough questions to ensure the company allocates its IT resources wisely.

But it doesn’t end there. Any good manager knows how to game a system like this by inflating a project’s projected value or overstating its prospects of success. So the best companies require executives to report back with evidence on whether each project met its goals. That reduces fibbing and helps executives learn how to drive more value from IT.”

Tom’s Take:

Engaging a third-party IT vendor, such as Intertech, is a great way to supplement a company’s internal resources, particularly when an IT department needs to quickly scale up resources. Consultants provide the metaphorical extra arms and legs needed to get the job done. Beyond bandwidth, vendors can bring new knowledge and expertise that in-house staff may not possess.