Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Nodding dog alignment - the perils of aligning to people not business

I've seen a several organisations over the years that boast proudly of their business alignment but who still have an unsuccessful IT department. The litany in these IT departments is always the same
We are aligned to the business because we deliver what the business wants

When you delve deeper however what they are actually doing is aligning to business people rather than to the business goals. In effect the IT department just turns into a nodding dog and says yes to all requests made by anyone who can claim to be a business person. This is what leads to hideously configured packages because "the business said so" and to a fragmented IT estate and ever increasing IT spend for ever decreasing business value.

What alignment should mean is actually aligning to the Business Value and then making the tough decisions based on that. If there isn't the business drive to differentiate in an area then don't. Almost no-one will ever admit their area isn't actually strategic so doing what business people say is not the same as IT being aligned to the business. IT is there to govern and manage how IT is implemented and operated that means saying "No" as well as "Yes" and it means understanding the business objectives rather than the personal goals of individuals.

Business alignment isn't about people alignment.

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1 comment:

Mario said...

A very interesting post. This is a lesson very many could learn.