HBR Article Read Recommendation: Radically Simple IT

Occasionally I'll read something that I think is good enough to say something along the lines of, "just read it, it worth it." At the Harvard Business Review website is such an article titled, "Radically Simple IT."  The premise here is something called the "Path Based Approach" to IT.  I've been calling it Agile IT recently and I've been doing it a lot longer than than I had a name for the process.  It's an effective approach that often scares the hell out of the people who don't understand the processes around it so be forewarned.

A quote that got my attention, "When continuous improvement is an integral part of daily work, the need for catchy slogans to inspire the workforce and heroic problem solving greatly diminishes."

One example of that, in the context of launching web sites, that I often tell colleagues is that if we do this site launch right, then this launch will be the most boring web site launch you've ever experienced.  Oh how I love a boring site launch with no emergencies, late hours, heroic coding marathons, or 72 hour system rebuilds followed by dozens and dozens of trouble tickets over the next 4 weeks while living (so they say) on RockStar and Energy Bars.  Yes, I love a boring launch.

Anyway, if you are into Technology Operations, Development, or managing one or both this article is worth a few minutes of your time to read in my opinion.

And lastly, to quote liberally, because it touches a special place in my heart,

The notion that business strategy and IT strategy should be aligned and, therefore, that business users should be involved in the design of enterprise systems has been widely accepted. However, doing this has proven fiendishly difficult, for several reasons. For one thing, IT leaders struggle to truly understand the business context. What’s more, business leaders do not invest the time required to appreciate the power and the challenges of technology and tend to treat the IT staff as second-class service providers. Even when the two groups meet to discuss a project, those occasions tend to be isolated, onetime events, rather than part of an ongoing discussion. Like it or not, however, information systems are an integral part of business strategy in almost all industries today. If business leaders view the IT staff as an ancillary player rather than a partner, then knowledge transfer between the two groups will suffer, resulting in missed opportunities and suboptimal performance.

So, enjoy the article and let me know what you think.


The Article Link