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Companies Applications being Compromised

By benjm ·
My Company is a retail seller doing business via mail, store and web with over 1000 employees. We have an IT department of close to 50 people. These include developers, Project Managers, Team leads, Business analyst, QA testers and DBAs.
Do to the fast expansion of the company the IT has a hard time accommodating all the companies needs and project in a what management thinks as a reasonable time span. I am sure this is normal in all fast growing companies. Mostly this comes from the fact that the management does not appreciate the IT required processes that need to be done for request and projects to be executed.
Here is the issue that bothers me. Recently the accounting department started taking major steps to have their request processed faster. They have hired there own programmer(s) that will have access to our database and eventually to our code. They will be able to produce for them there needs without following any ?IT red tape process? as they would call it. This was done of course with management?s approval and with the agreement of top notch consultants.
My concern is as follows. One, due to the lack of experience (they are experienced in accounting not in IT) they may (will) mess up a lot. Second how can IT from now on take full responsibility for the company?s applications when others out of their control have also access to them? I can not under stand how the company would take the risk to let another department to have access and control over applications. I surely don?t understand how top notch consultants would agree to this.
I would of suggested that rather then the a department hiring their own programmers. We should set up a hotline to IT, were one or two programmers are fully designated to that department. Of course it still won?t be fast enough for them because these designated programmers will have to follow the normal IT process. But at least it won?t mean having the responsibility of our application managed by other departments.
Comments, suggestion, criticism and ideas or informing us of similar situation are welcome.

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Been there

by JamesRL In reply to Companies Applications be ...

Its not only fast growth, sometimes its entrenched management.

Regarding responsiveness, the answer is to make the customers part of the process. Let them work with you on priotizing the projects in the IT portfolio - then they will understand and be resposnible for making the decisions that advance one project and delay another.

There should also be some look at streamlining the approval process - even if thats a PR exercise, obviously the perception is there.

But a major hurdle you will have to overcome, with education, patience and hopefully some senior management backbone, is the need to have formal processes. You and I understand the requirement for a consistent process which produces quality results. Your feverish internal customers do not.

There may be room for flexibility. I've always held that the quality process for a quick one month project is not the same for an 18 month ERP implementation. Its tough to explain that to the customers, who think its arbitary. Again, involving the customers, as a group of stakeholders, in the project initiation/prioritization will help get you through.

James

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That happens everywhere

by Zen37 In reply to Companies Applications be ...

We seem to be suffering from a generalized distaste for the IT anything these days. Managers of all kinds want to get their project done, and they don't care what impact it will have on others, just as long as they look good.

Everything happens faster and faster these days, and to cope, you have to produce faster and faster. Things are also extremely complex and it's ITs job to make it all work. It's a never ending battle and you are not alone fighting it.

I myself is getting very tired of the battle itself. I feel more and more like Dom Quiote and the windmills (Managers) of our times...

BTW, working for a consulting firm myself, they don't care about the impact it will have on others. As long as they get the contract, that's all that matters. Hey, in the worst case scenario, the consultant can have another contract fixing the hole thing after the fact. As long as he gets payed, he's happy.

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You have only one viable course

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Companies Applications be ...

These guys would benefit from your help or at least your co-operation. You can't stop it happening, so make sure you get something for your co-operation.
The main thing you need is not to manage them, make them fill in all the forms or follow your quality processes. What you need is communication and some interface guidelines. My approach when saddled with what are effectively departmental data islands was to make sure that they built a nice jetty big enough to moor the company ferry on and that the time table made sense. Usually this is only some high level design constraints.
Any interface between your and their systems will be as good or as bad as the communication between you and them.

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