I’ve lately had a number of conversations with colleagues on the frequent disconnect between IT and the business. Does business look at IT and say, “are you talking to me?”
As my friend and colleague Brian Sondergaard (http://blog.softwarearchitecture.com) likes to say, we create this situation and we do it to ourselves. We do this because we believe that it is the technology that is important. Technology isn’t necessarily important to the business. Sure, technology provides tools capable of creating business value but when they don’t, they are not terribly interesting to the business. Using these technologies to provide business value? Now you’ll get the business’s attention.
We have to shift our language and understanding of the business. We must have a clear understanding of our business goals, communicate them to our teams, and have business discussions with our customers. When we start to understand and speak the business we are equipped to understand what is important and how we can use our skills to deliver software that increases revenue.
Creating strong ties to business goals creates clarity for what each of us must do to support the business. Business goals must be the rallying cry for aligning our teams. Every activity we perform should pass a litmus test of providing business value.
If we do this then we’ll see that the business no longer sees us as a cost to be controlled but as a partner that understands how we can use and create technology to meet the goals of the business. I would much rather see the business as a partner and not one that doesn’t understand the creation of business value.