Ensuring the value of IT services, is a huge business challenge! Too often, IT teams struggle to define and develop their business value. The goal is to reverse the perception of your team as an obligatory cost center, and become established as a trusted service provider, delivering business value.
Today’s IT Teams are Diverse - IT organizations are often comprised of a mix of contract and full time team members, spanning multiple levels of experience, and having broad generational and cultural variance. The challenge of teaming is to bring the disparate elements of your organization into a single, high performing, operating unit
Today’s IT Teams are bimodal - In the current rush to adopt all things agile, IT organizations grapple with the challenge of managing two separate but coherent styles of work: one focused on predictability; the other on exploration. (see Gartner). Making these delivery styles work together is critical to success.
Today’s talent market is heavily biased toward candidates - With unemployment rates near zero in the tech sector, IT leaders are left with fewer options to elevate team performance. In this super competitive market, talent acquisition has become more costly, and time consuming, while generating less reliable results. This serves as a strong incentive for IT leaders to take full advantage of the people already in the picture.
What can we do:
Develop teams - The fast moving trend of employee experience, or EX (see Forbes), is in part, an acknowledgement that the workforce is changing, and companies are adapting to this change. EX also supports the importance of optimizing teams for maximum business value. In order to ensure value, IT leaders need to acknowledge and develop the competencies, knowledge, and skills that already exist within IT teams.
Build trust - Trust is foundational to high functioning teams (see TableGroup). A key way to instill trust as an attribute of your organization is to cultivate authentic relationships between team members and their managers. Managers who develop authenticity with their teams are more likely to be rewarded with high levels of team engagement.
Another important way to build trust is by creating and practicing strategies for raising self awareness within teams. It’s considered the most important capability for leaders to develop (see Forbes). Self aware teams manage, and benefit from conflict, by approaching it as an experiential learning opportunity. Diverse, bimodal teams who leverage self awareness, develop trust and empathy, turning conflict into a valuable way to reach better outcomes.
Teach business - One of the top questions to answer in 2018 is “How is your IT team supporting and contributing to your business goals. (see IT Performance Improvement). Too often, IT organizations are seen by business leaders as merely cost centers. Teams that understand, and feel connected to business strategy are more likely to succeed in supporting profitability. Further, IT teams that clearly communicate their value to business leaders, and are recognized as value generators, are more effective in supporting business strategy.
More than ever, IT organizations must operate at peak efficiency. By developing teams to perform more cohesively, and with greater business acumen, we deliver competitive advantage to business.