Monday, January 16, 2012

Bridging the IT and Business Terminology Chasm.

With CIO’s becoming more business oriented and CFO’s becoming more IT savvy, where does this leave the CEO and how should they change or adapt to fit into the IT planning puzzle.

How can your technical teams adapt and change to help bring your business and CEO into IT pre-implementation planning discussions?

I attended a Prince2 User Group meeting in New Zealand late last year where presenters and attendees discussed typical issues that they encounter when communicating IT project planning needs to business or non-technical executives.

One example given was in:
‘Discerning what “Tolerances” to factor into a project’.

Business people not versed in Prince2 terminology didn’t grasp the significance and implications of “Tolerances” leaving IT hanging without a satisfactory response that they could factor into their planning.

Another instance was where the terms “Actors, Artifacts and Use-Cases” were thrown into the conversation at a business meeting. Needless to say – Blank looks abounded!

One key issue with having so many different technical and methodology specific terms and jargon, is that the chance of business executives understanding what you are talking about is pretty remote.

In the event that business doesn’t understand what IT is talking about, often the question will be side-stepped or they may even agree with what you are suggesting without even knowing what it is that they are agreeing to because business executives are not inclined to question techno-speak!

Acknowledging that qualifications in Enterprise Architecture, Process and Business Analysis, and Project Management methodologies are hard won, it is no wonder that we like to use our specific terms when we can. It is also certainly handy to have commonality of terms across IT teams.

However, business and executives require business terminology for understanding and clarity in order to be more involved, committed, and accountable for the “pre-implementing planning and IT investment decision making phases” of IT projects.

This is where "Profiling-Pro" comes into the picture.

In a nut-shell, Profiling-Pro is a cloud computing service that produces presentation quality reports in business-speak aimed specifically at the pre-implementation planning and decision-making phase. It bridges the chasm between IT people struggling to get their IT Projects approved and on the right track and C-Level executives who need to be reassured that all bases have been covered and that matters such as diligence in requirements gathering have been addressed.

Because these phases are critical to project success it is a very good idea to ensure that business, IT and executives are all speaking the same language and understand what is being proposed or asked for at the outset.

Consequently, CEO’s need to have a very clear picture and a broader view from a business perspective of what elements need to be addressed  during IT project pre-implementation planning phases if they want to begin bridging the chasm rather than just going along for the ride with their cheque book.

Additionally, we need project teams that can not only think like Architects, Analysts and Project Managers but can also relate specialty technical concepts in business terms to mitigate any cross communications or understandings.

A small change can make a big impact!
Kind regards
Sarah Jane Runge