CXO

It's time to end the tech blame game

Naked CIO: Business and tech need to stop blaming each other when projects go wrong.

Embracing agile is about more than just the tech team, says the Naked CIO.

The reality of our IT world is that often we are seen as roadblocks and adversaries within our corporate environment. We're often seen as the traffic cops who deflate the excitement of our business colleagues by espousing processes and protocols, and turn dreamy visions into complex mechanical messes.

What we need is an inclusive conversation and collaborative strategy focused on delivery and driving business value and doing away with traditional baton-passing antics of old ways.

Like others we embrace agile and think about ways in which we can extend iterative and responsive development and projects.

However, agile is becoming less and less an IT process and more and more a corporate culture.

Organizational maturity is a key ingredient to both successful IT projects and agile thinking. There is a tendency to create divisions in order to reduce exposure and accountability.

The blame game is all too often a key factor in how both IT departments and business units operate: ambiguity on behalf of the business allows for plausible denial while rigid process in IT ensures that there are enough hurdles that if something goes wrong the business can be blamed for not being clear enough.

All of this creates inefficiencies and dysfunction in businesses, which is why I am trying to change.

To be innovative we need to understand each other and work together in a collaborative fashion to drive success. This means inclusive enterprise-wide conversation on leveraging technology and fostering innovation. It means generating excitement from ideas and creating a delivery mechanism to act on them. Models only work if people are invested in the outcome.

The practical shift to enable this change is much harder. Even though organizations hate some of the existing IT-versus-business issues and the impact they have on successful project outcomes, both IT and the business rely on it as crutch to limit their accountability.

No matter how obvious the need for change is, the security that comes from being able to blame someone else is more powerful than the desire to improve.

It comes down to organizations trying so hard not to fail they are unable to figure out what success is.

There needs to be shift in organizations away from a discussion about methodology and towards a discussion of ideology. In my view most organizations fail to breed and foster positive technology evolution due to deep-routed social issues that create adversaries rather than teams. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.

The Naked CIO is an anonymous technology executive.

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