When it comes to managing I.T. in business, service credibility is essential for lasting operational success. Credibility is earned when the end-user community accepts that the I.T. department is capable, interested, invested and equipped to deliver. So how is credibility earned? It takes the right skills, common sense standards, and a willingness to embrace all the key challenges.
As a management discipline, I.T. management is defined by the practices, policies and procedures used to manage the selection, implementation, usage and maintenance of all types of information technology in all types of business environments. In practice, I.T. management is both a business function and an organizational imperative. We have all come to know that technology is critical to many, if not all, business operations. That puts a double burden on the average I.T. shop. First, technology has to work and be utilized. Then, technology has to make a difference - it has to serve a purpose and it has to add value.
And that's where the challenge begins. As a business practice, I.T. management is more than "installing and maintaining technology" (which is already pretty important) - it's also about using technology in a way that both "supports and transforms". And, in the real world, no I.T. department can serve both goals without sufficient credibility. In fact, I.T. managers must consistently demonstrate that they not only have sufficient technical expertise, but that they also know the "business", how it works, and what it needs (now and in the future). And that level of credibility depends on the right combination of executable service strategy skills and service strategy standards.
It takes a diverse portfolio of management skills and abilities to build lasting I.T. credibility (and related management success). While I.T. management skills begin with subject matter expertise ("the technology"), I.T. managers and professionals must also have solid understanding of general management and business operations practices. That's where the "hats" come in.
In fact, there's at least seven (7) "hats" required to make technology work, keep it running, deliver successful projects, manage the "business of managing I.T.", market I.T. services, initiatives and projects, strive for I.T./business alignment, and to advise on all strategic technology matters. This takes multiple skills, starting with the "top 12" listed below:
We all know that work is easier, and success is more likely, when you can manage with a "roadmap" rather than a blank slate. Pre-defined I.T. management standards provide that roadmap, giving you tested practices and procedures to guide planning actions and decisions. Standards set a baseline for how projects are managed and services are delivered, saving time, improving quality and lowering costs.
But simply having "standards" is not enough. They have to be the "right" standards for your needs. The "right" standards will always be sufficiently actionable, realistic, relevant, and above all, flexible, and they must address the "big 4" management demands (strategic planning, problem management, policy development and projects). These are the areas where purpose, proficiency and productivity are most needed and can have the most significant impact.
In broadest terms, an "I.T. vision" is strategic approach to managing information technology (IT) departments and functions within business environments. That’s the broad view, but as usual, the devil is in the details. Read on to learn more about the value of “vision based” I.T. management – what it takes, who will benefit, and how it is achieved. Read More
Are you ready to lead your I.T. department to become more valued, relevant and responsive? If so, then you need the IT Service Strategy Toolkit from ITtoolkit.com! The Toolkit teaches you how to "add value" to IT projects and services -- using our time-saving "service strategy process". It's ready for instant download, filled with 400+ pages of steps, guidelines, practices and templates. Find Out More
Strategic "project fast tracking" is a streamlined project management process, specifically used to overcome the most common types of project obstacles, including insufficient time, resource shortages, budgetary deficiencies and stakeholder conflicts.
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