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A Failure to Communicate: IT and Non-IT Managers

A Failure to Communicate: IT and Non-IT Managers
June 14, 2012 at 12:30 - 1:30 PM ET
Frank Faeth, Executive Coach(Faeth Consulting )
With apologies to Strother Martin and Paul Newman, who spoke the title in their 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke, I believe it does an excellent job of highlighting the communication failures between information technology managers and business managers.

More than ever, these two groups should be working more closely. Why?

1) With only 50% of all technology projects coming in on budget and with full functionality and features, the financial benefit of fixing the problem is significant.

2) Outsourcing and on-shoring have further complicated the relationship by invoking other cultures and more layers of management.

3) Change management is often given short shrift, yet it is the only way to ensure new technology is adopted by the business – this is a business problem that often falls to the technology organization.

4) Consumerization of IT has put technologists in an uncomfortable position because corporate IT is just not as simple to deploy and secure as consumer IT. It’s a fact. But the simplicity and ease of what consumers can do at home versus what they encounter at work requires a different and more understanding response from information technology organizations. The notion of ‘can do’ should become part of the corporate IT vernacular.

5) Virtual teams compound the problem – now both cohorts need to be more deliberate. Chance meetings in hallways and at lunch are no longer alternatives. Teams need to plan to speak and review plans and deliverables.

6) IT governance can help solidify the technology/business relationship through monitoring of deliverables and provide incremental funding only if business needs are met.

Information technology and business managers should communicate like good friends – easy, ongoing and open discussions, with no hesitancy to raise problems or offer praise. Let’s not forget that the phrase ‘failure to communicate’ was uttered in a chain gang setting.

Who Should Participate
Human resource managers; IT managers; Non-IT managers who work closely with IT; CIOs; COOs; Procurement managers.
What You Will Learn
1)Why IT and non-IT managers have difficulty communicating, despite speaking (usually) the same language. 2) Ways to improve communications between IT and non-IT managers. 3) Why the two groups, which should work together closely, are often at such odds with each other.
Recommended Resources
1) Wall Street Journal article on "IT is from Venus, Non-IT is from Mars 2) Blogs at
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Presented by
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Frank Faeth
Faeth Consulting

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