Thursday, December 13, 2007

What ENABLES you - is IT on your side

So the past few of my posts has been on development going faster due to help from the management perspective. Things like management removing impediments and not feeling high on themselves but instead taking the opinion and perception of the people they are helping as an indicator of the success or failure of their efforts. While I was writing that, my friend raganwald has asked us to stop blaming management. Now while I agree with that statement on the surface it goes a little deeper then I think his article implies.

So for a very long time programmers at the low to mid level have blamed architects and management for their problems. In some cases they even blame the business for their issues. What I have said in the past is that in order to address this blame game you first perceive that management is helping them. Step 2 is to make sure that you have your house in order. Step 3 is that the people running the environment you work in have to 'want' to help as well. Hence the remaining bulk of this post.

IT departments (from the top down) are more often then not run in a "command and control" fashion. What this means is that IT departments are often attempting to find ways to restrict what users can do, keep them from shooting themselves in the foot, make things as homogenious as possible in the name of making sure that they can support anyone and everyone in the company. THIS command and control idea is a fallacy and here is why I think so.

I believe very strongly that IT departments should be about enabling users to get things done. I believe that they should be more then willing to provide solutions that fit their needs, and when presented with something that doesn't fit the mold they have laid out precisely still be willing to accept things that make their end users go faster and get more work done. I believe they should be TECHNOLOGY ENABLERS not disablers, controllers, commanders.

Now what I am NOT saying is that IT should just willy nilly allow anything suggested, but rather they should work with people asking for 'different' things then what is currently being offered to understand what the need is and then move to fill that need. I mean that they [IT] should pro actively add features and functionality to provide users with choices. The down fall of NOT being this flexible is that users will want to work around the controls placed upon them. Human nature is to try and break free and do things perceived to be needed. The stronger the grip the more people rebel against it and the more things will slip through the grip.

So - which way does your IT department think? Are they enablers for their users, or are they command and control? I strongly think they should be the enablers - if for no other reason then not having to fire people working around their command and control systems.
Post a Comment