Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Thought process Transformation

They say..If you show a dollar coin to an IT and Business Person both will look at it differently...
Business person will say "I wonder what is today's exchange rate?" and the IT person will say...""hhhmmm, this coin is shaped more like Alpha character "O" (Letter Oh)  rather than numeric Zero"..(Not true...just made it up....but you get my point)....

IT developers and the business folks live and operate in 2 different worlds....unfortunately sometimes it is true...There should be steps taken by both sides to minimize this gap as much as possible...

A very basic necessity of working in today's world is to understand the business you are in and work towards supporting the business using your technology acumen and skills.

This is true, unless you work in a IT product based environment or somewhere else, where you may be working only to service your internal IT customers e.g. IT Infrastructure in a IT Company etc or you work alone on a marooned island manning a lighthouse switch.
Beyond that you have to work with the business.
This is required because Business is what drives Profits, Revenue and Sustainability to an Organization. Business has drivers like internal and external customers and partners, Competition, Compliance etc that decide and drive business and its exective decisions.

Coming from a Technology background, sometimes it becomes really difficult to think in terms of business, it is very easy to go back to the "Ones" and the "Zeros". During my initial IT Career days, being a consultant you have to wear the hat of an IT Developer cum Business Analyst, it becomes very difficult, to not think in terms of Tables and Columns and integrity data checks, rather in terms of Actors and Use cases, in front of the customer, who maybe as a Claims adjuster, is trying to explain how to send data to a glass vendor from the claim screen and wait for an amount estimate for damage repairs and then has to follow an escalation process so it gets approval if amount for repair was above the assigned claim adjuster's limit.
This really requires a major mindset change, a paradigm shift, if you may... wherein you get away from the developer mindset, where you in your own world do an efficient and scalable High level and low level designs and develop and unit test your own software to a Business person who tries to understand the people who run the business, their process and thinks of ways the technology can help them to make their work easier, better, faster and more efficient and smoother.

The most important way to do this is, "to place yourself in the other person's shoes" and think the way he/she goes about the business day. This will help understand their painpoints and in turn help you to help them.
Certain steps that can be taken to overcome this chasm would be,
1> Get IT and Business aligned...In terms of Corporate Business goals and Objectives.

2> Companies to organize trainings, seminars for IT folk and business alike to make each side of the other side. For instance, hold workshops for business expaining them an IT lifecycle, what is a Functional document, high level designs, Integration, System Testing etc. Similarly for IT Folks, explain them the business processes and not just give them specs and expect the work to be done.

3> Have regular IT/Business meetings, maybe on a monthly/weekly basis where there will be general updates from both sides, Q&A to understand more and better

4> More involvement of IT Developers in Business meetings so they can understand the discussions and business painpoints and start thinking in terms of making those better.

Let me know your comments if you feel there are some points that can be added/modified to help you.

1 comment:

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