Your body is amazing.
It is comprised of six major systems in which all functions interact with each other. Not one survives without the other. Remove one from your body? You die.
(Just in case you were wondering: Skeletal, Muscular, Nervous, Digestive, Respiratory and Circulatory).
IT management also consists of six major functions that interact with each other. Failure to develop and maintain health in these, and you invite serious dysfunction; weak in one weakens all.
How does your IT leader communicate with peers and executives?
How do you coordinate when IT cannot make a decision alone?
How does IT partner with senior managers in strategic development and complementary focal points?
How does the Board understand IT issues and what must they know to make appropriate decisions?
How do you ensure that you hire, develop and retain the best talent?
How do you manage the gap of knowledge between managers and tech specialists?
How do you navigate leadership of highly smart and variously motivated employees?
How do you know what your talented people can or cannot do?
Cost and Accounting
How do you get the right people in decisions and safeguard what is in the interest of the company and not just a particular department?
What determines value for IT and where to invest for maximum return?
How do you know what projects to invest in and what determines there priority?
When do you know to expand the scope of a project or not?
How will you budget while allowing for uncertainty in project time and cost?
What budget considerations do you make for the need to learn during the course of a project?
What is the chain of communication for when problems arise?
Partner and Services
What is essential in the agreements you structure with outside partners and vendors?
What is the selection process?
How do you know what must stay within the company’s walls and what need not be?
Who will we use for outside eyes?
How much do you invest in maintenance versus new capabilities, and how do you know when new is needed?
What is your Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan?
How much will you invest in redundancy?
How do you identify emerging threats and opportunities?
How does emerging technology integrate into your strategic plans?
In coming weeks, I will address each of these. But a major takeaway for today is, every company needs to bring in outside eyes to evaluate each of these functions: We don’t ignore our body’s systems, and we don’t ignore our company’s IT systems. The last thing you want is an IT emergency that could have been avoided.