Monthly Archives: March 2011

Put your oars in the water and row together

You don’t get very far in life unless you put all your oars in the water and row together.

You sort of have two choices, , , float along with the current and you will end up somewhere downstream, , , but probably not where you want to go.

The other choice is to put your oars in the water and focus on your destination to go right to it. Put all the oars in and row together and you will get there even faster.

My management team did a short skit (a play) many years ago to show our employees what we mean by “working together”. I even gave them a souvenir to remember the event, , ,  a short oar, actually a boat paddle , , , still have mine in my office.

Teamwork is not an easy thing for many of your people. Over 90% of them are independent and like to do things their way and do it themselves, , , not the best recipe for creating a team player.

It’s up to the IT manager to help your employees learn how to work as a team and discover how valuable it is when you do.

Go get ’em.

Dinner at Moxie’s

The IT Manager Institute is highlighted with a class dinner toward the end of the program. In last week’s class we held the dinner the night of the last day. Everyone was very relaxed as you will see from the photos.

CLICK HERE or on the image above to take a look.

What a great time we had. All of our dinners have been fun and every one of them unique. This one was great fun and the photos prove it. Moxie’s turned out to be a super place and this group of Canadians made it all the more enjoyable.

There was some “jabbing” going on, but I always get the last jab, , , because I’m a professional when it comes to jabbing and having fun with people. See the dinner photo captions and you will see why I can say this.

4:00am wake up call

I was up early to catch a 6:00am flight back to the US from London, Ontario Canada where I taught our 45th IT Manager Institute. Hard to believe there have been so many.

What a great group of IT managers to work with. All ten managers in this class are from the same company and they wanted to standardize their management approaches to a certain extent, , , something I heard from most of them on the first day.

IT Manager Institute #45  –  London, Ontario Canada

There have been many senior managers I’ve worked with decide to do this from many industries including government, healthcare, banking and manufacturing. They keep sending more students to the program so it’s a good sign they are receiving value from their investment.

Canadians are always a fun group of people to work with, , , great sense of humor and very committed to what they are doing. I truly enjoyed this group and feel that I’ve known them much longer than just a week.

Good luck and best of success guys and gals !!

Part 2 – Changing culture is like pulling teeth

When you implement a change management process in your company for the first time, it’s a change of culture, , , and changing culture is very, very difficult.

In my last post, I showed you two change management processes, , , well, at least one of them was a real process. The other is what our clients would like us to do, , , give us the request verbally and the hope we march off to our little IT world and create the result for them.

I call this an “ad hoc” process, and many IT organizations operate in this mode. It’s very prevalent in small and medium size companies and not so unusual in big companies as well.

When you introduce a process change, it can be a real culture change because, “That’s just not how we have been doing things here.” You might also hear things like, “That won’t work for us.” or “We have been doing it our way for years and it seems to have worked pretty well to this point.”

What “seems” to work well may in fact not be working well at all if you were to conduct an honest and objective assessment with your clients. Many times the IT organization believes they are doing a good job when they are not.

Let’s take another look at the programming support change management process we discussed in the last post:

There are four parts where the client must spend time and effort that might be new for them. If they haven’t been participating in these steps already, there will be some level of kicking and screaming as you pull your client into the process.

That’s right, , , there will be resistance!

The four components are steps 1, 2, 4b and 5. Each of these steps require your client’s involvement and guess what, , , your client does not want to be involved. Your client just wants you to “do your job” and what that means to them is that you do all the work without them having to be involved.

In a very small company, the client being minimally involved might work; but in a company of any size with lots going on, this method simply doesn’t work well for you. More importantly, it does not work well for your client! Remember, the main reason we want to introduce a change management process is to help us do a much better job in supporting our client.

Let’s analyze why your clients don’t want to be involved:

  • Clients view the work as an IT responsibility, not theirs.
  • Clients don’t understand technology nor want to.
  • Clients don’t want to do the extra work.
  • They resist change imposed by IT.

Let’s take a closer look at this last one, “They resist change imposed by IT.” Clients have a natural resistance to anything that comes from their IT support organization. Many times, they view you as not being part of the core competency of the company whereas they certainly view their own department as being a critical part of that core competency.

Clients see IT as always forcing change upon them and often do not understand the change, , , they see IT as a group that constantly does things that makes their job more difficult.

Another key reason for all of this is that many of your clients are high detail people, just like you and your people probably are. High detail people resist change.

4 steps that require client involvement

1.  Define the change request,
It is difficult, if not impossible, for you to deliver what the client wants unless you know exactly what the client needs. This means you need specific definition of the request and that means someone must document the specific programming changes needed to address the client’s issue. A good Business Analyst can help the client do this, but a BA should not work on this alone.

2.  The client must review and approve requests
IT should not take requests from everyone in the company. Department managers or designated leaders in their department should review and approve requests to be submitted to IT. This insures the right hand knows what the left hand is doing and will minimize duplication of requests. It also gives the department an opportunity t verify the request is worthwhile.

3. Clients should prioritize the work to be done
Get ready for major kicking and screaming. I’ve never seen many clients want to be involved in this part because it takes time and they think IT should take care of it.

The problem is that the client is in a much better position to determine which requests are most important for their department, , , not IT.

Certainly, IT must sit at the table of a committee assigned responsibility to determine programming priorities and even be able to influence some of the decisions that help the programming staff improve productivity. But the key piece of this is that our programming priorities should be driven by the business and not by the IT organization.

If you allow the IT organization to be solely responsible for determining programming priorities, it will be easier, , , however, you can never win when this is the case. The client will constantly believe you should be able to get more accomplished for them and will be frustrated with IT programming support.

4.  We need a user quality assurance (QA) function
To be the most effective, we need a knowledge expert involved in the QA process from our client, not just an IT testing effort of new software changes. Be prepared for mor kicking and screaming, , , your client wants no part in this but it is also a critical component to help your team be the most productive you can be for your client, , , the real winner is the client.

Positive outcome
The results can be significant. Your team will get more work done for the client and the client will be in much better control of their own destiny. It’s something they want, but they probably won’t be able to see how all of this gets them there. What they will tend to see is that this is just a bunch of extra work with no guarantee things will get any better.

I have never had a client organization sign up for a new change management process without some level of concern or pushing back. Expect resistance. The good news is that over time your client will embrace the process and see it simply as a way of how we get things done.

In some of my travels, I’ve seen this type of process working well in a company and when I asked the clients about it, they always tell me,  “It was hard at first, but now we wouldn’t think of trying to work without it.”

A structured change management process is well worth the effort. Don’t be discouraged by early resistance, , , expect it and persevere through it because the benefits are well worth the effort to get there.

Implement a programming support change management process

Hello from Canada!!

In yesterday’s IT Manager Institute class, we had a very good discussion about the challenges of implementing a change management process. Introducing such a process is a culture change in many cases and trying to change culture can be very, very difficult.

It was such a good discussion, I thought I would write a Blog post about it. In fact, there will be two posts. This first post focuses on creating and implementing a programming change management process. My next post will discuss the difficulties in doing this.

Clients who submit programming change requests for new reports and new functionality want IT to just do your job”.

What this means is that they want to tell you what they want and they expect you to provide it for them. They don’t want to document anything or to get involved in the process, , , they would like to simply tell you verbally what they want and get it the next day.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t work very well, especially as your company grows and there is more demand for programming support.

You need to implement a structured change management process that assists your programming support team in their ability to support their clients.

Understand this, , , when you implement a change management process in a company that has been able to request ad hoc programming changes for years, there will be resistance.  In fact, there will probably be some kicking and screaming, , , it’s not going to happen without some resistance. In my next Blog post, I’ll talk about this aspect.

Your client wants a very simple process.

Simple and no involvement. They simply want to give you a call or tell you in the hallway that they want a report that does such and such, , , and expect you to know what they want, , , and they want it immediately.

It’s hard to be successful when you have to be a mind reader.

Here is a better change management process  that helps your Programming Support team be more effective in supporting their clients.

Let’s break it down into the 5 components identified in the graphic

1. Client fills out a request form.
This can be an online ticket request or a paper document. The key is that the client needs to tell us exactly what they want. Your Business Analysts can be very helpful in assisting your client with this step, , , especially when you first introduce your change management process.

2. A client manager or supervisor reviews and approves the request.
You don’t want to be accepting programming requests from all users in the company. When a manager or supervisor approves a request, it helps reduce duplication and allows the client to filter our requests that won’t be of real value to their organization.

3. The request is sent to the IT Department
In this step, we log the programming request into our programming backlog of all requests and the Programming Support manager or one of his senior people does a quick review to evaluate appropriateness and a quick understanding of the request.

4.  IT estimates and schedules the request
I’ll break this into two parts. First, a senior programmer should estimate how many hours it will take to complete the project. I like to use the same person to do this so we have consistent estimations, , , and I ask the programmer to estimate in terms of an average programmer, , , not our best and not our worst.

Some projects may need a project just to define the work required in order to develop a programming estimate due to the complexity of the request.

The second part of this step is to schedule the request, , , i.e., assign it to a programmer and put into the schedule of work to be done in the coming month. In most cases, you have a lot more work than you can complete in a month, , , so requests must be reviewed and prioritized.

It is much better for the priorities to be developed by representatives of the departments who are submitting the programming requests. If IT is required to be the one who prioritizes these requests, you can never win.

For one thing, IT is not in the best position to determine what is truly the most important of these programming requests, , , your client is. Let me emphasize this point, , , you will not be as effective in supporting your client if you allow your IT organization to determine the priorities of when programming requests are worked on.

I like to put a Programming Steering Committee together made up primarily of representatives of each of the departments who are submitting programming requests. A senior IT person, preferably a manager, should also have a seat at the table and be able to influence their decisions. There will be times when two or three requests should be combined because the coding effort required can be reduced when requests are solved in the same area of the software code.

This part of the process will be very difficult to implement because your clients don’t want to be involved, but it will be well worth the effort once they finally embrace the process and begin to work together to determine the priorities of programming work.

5. Once scheduled, IT programs the changes, tests the software and implements the changes.
Programmers are assigned specific requests based upon their priority and once the programming is completed we test the software both within IT and by the user. Your quality is going to be much better when you test new code within the IT organization and also by a knowledge expert from your client department who submitted the request.

Once we complete the process, the changes are put into production and the client receives the requested changes.

A process like this is a bit more structured and requires more involvement than your client will want, , , but I can assure you the benefits are well worth the effort to implement a change management process like this. Ultimately, the biggest winner will be your client because it will help your team become more productive and predictable.

Be sure to read my next post where I discuss the challenges in implementing a change management process.

Snow in London, Ontario

This morning I delegated responsibilities to a couple of our IT Manager Institute students. Ian Mackay got two assignments. First, he is responsible to keep the room at a temperature that everyone feels comfortable with. It’s a challenging assignment since the thermostat for our room seemed to work on either On or Off mode.

Ian’s second responsibility is to be our paparazzi and to take photos of the class during the week. He took the photo in the last post I added about an hour ago.

I told him I would like to have a couple of snow pictures to remember this class with so tonight he sent me the photo below. Like I said, , , it is very white and cold here.

Just saw on the news it is -7 degrees Celsius, , , that’s in the 20’s Fahrenheit. Brrrrrr, , , a stark contrast from my Tanzania class in December where it was in the 90’s every day.

On the road again

Snow and travel have been a bit of a struggle for me lately. Last December I was stranded in the Amsterdam airport for 2 days on my way back from Tanzania.Yesterday as we pull into the Toronto, Canada airport an hour late, , , it was snowing hard. The good news is that my connecting flight was delayed so I had plenty of time to make it, , , plenty of time.

My flight to London, Ontario was held up for two hours due to the snow conditions. I finally reached my destination, but I must say I was getting a bit nervous hearing flight after flight getting cancelled over the PA system.

Today’s class was great. unusual in the sense that we started on a Thursday so I may have to check my calendar every morning to know what day it is. We will meet Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and next Monday. Will be here for 6 nights.

Right now, I’m sitting in the bar lounge and just finished off a nice meal and kicking back a bt after the first day.  Decided to create an ITLever Blog post so at least it looks like I’m doing something productive to those around me, , , and I guess I actually am.

The first day of a class is always the toughest, , , primarily because I have to get accustomed to standing up all day to present the material. Each day gets easier as I get used to the routine.

This class is great, , , they all know one another being from the same organization so there is some jabbing going on already, , , some of it is even directed my way.

I may need to warn them, , , I’m a skilled professional when it comes to jabbing others. Click on the photo above to see what I mean. The downside of being an “adept jabber” is that when you dish it out, you need to expect to get a lot of it back, , , all in good fun, though. 

I love this aspect of working with people. Being able to have fun with one another while working as IT managers is one of the best parts of the job. I no longer manage an IT organization so it is the part I probably miss the most from not working in a bigger company, , , the camaraderie you have with the people around you.

One of the things I point out in the IT Manager Institute class is a discussion about the personality tendencies of IT people. My reasearch shows that over 70% in IT are introverted, , , that basically means most of us are shy. I certainly fit into this elite group of people even though most don’t believe it when I tell them I’m a very shy person. It’s true.

In years past, there is no way I would venture to the bar lounge and have dinner alone. It was too uncomfortable. As I get older, I actually enjoy being where other people are, , , not to socialize with them mind you, , , but to be in an area where there are things going on as opposed to being secluded in my hotel room.

In class, I become much more social and outgoing just like I did when working as an IT manager and CIO. Changing who you are all day tires you out so when I went back to the room I called my wife and talked for a while and then took a quick 20-minute nap, , , something that happens after the first day of almost every class. It’s necessary to re-energize my batteries.

That’s something to ponder yourself. If after work you find yourself quickly falling asleep when you get home and sit down for the evening, , , it could be because you are changing who you truly are at work. It takes a lot of energy to be outgoing and social all day when that’s not who you truly are as a person.

For years, I was doing this unconsciously. It wasn’t until 1990 when I learned about work behavior profiles and personality types that I started to understand this. What I learned in using some tools for 8 years awakened me to things I never knew before, , , much of it was a better understanding of myself. My wife already knew these things intuitively, but it took me a very long time to understand.

London, Ontario is very pretty, albeit very, very white with snow right now.  WOW, , , it’s almost April and snow is everywhere. Two days ago it was 82 degrees in Columbia, Tennessee where we live.

It’s great that I don’t have to go outside since we are holding the class in the hotel where I’m staying, , , I like the 1-minute commute.

Day-2 is tomorrow and a day where I give all my students a little surprise. I hope they like it.

Advice for a new IT Applications Manager

A few days ago, I received a message from someone who was just promoted to IT Applications Manager, , , i.e., a Programming Support Manager who supports business applications in his company.

His question
“I have about 10 years of IT experience, and currently facing a new challenge by accepting an offer to handle a job of IT Applications Manager. I am seeking your help and advice. What is the best for me to order from your products/books/tools which helps me to manage the Applications Department?”

I gave him an answer about which of my books and tools would be of assistance and told him I would post additional insight on my ITLever Blog, , , so here goes.

Additional insights
Congratulations on your promotion. I assume your ten years of IT experience was probably as a programmer, , , which led to your selection as the next IT Applications Manager, sometimes called Programming Support Manager, Business Applications Manager, etc.

This promotion takes you to a responsibility that is totally different from what your experience has been. Now, instead of depending predominately upon what you can do yourself, you are going to be depending upon other people on your team to get the job done.

It can be a difficult transition unless you have a path to follow and tools to help you.

The first thing I would do is review the ITLever post titled, New IT Manager needs a fast start and download the fast start tool. There is also a 20 Minute IT Manager training session on this topic you can watch. CLICK HERE to view.

Second, I suggest you subscribe to my free Practical IT Manager Tips newsletter and read the free e-book, IT Management-101: fundamentals to achieve more when you subscribe at

Third, browse through the posts of this ITLever Blog, , , lots of IT management insights and tools you can download.

As a new manager, there are several things you need to know how to do:

1.  Determine what to work on
This is all about conducting an effective IT assessment. My book titled, Acquisition: IT Due Diligence lays out a step by step process and all the tools you need to determine the business needs and issues of your client. This is the demand side that should be what drives your IT support focus.

2.  Understand your organization’s capabilities and capacity
The other side of an IT assessment is the supply side, , , what can you do and how much can you do. In order to manage your client’s expectations about support delivery, you must know this part as well. Details are included in the book, Acquisition: IT Due Diligence

3.  Implement a programming change management process
You must have a simple change management process to deliver programming support effectively. Review the 20 Minute IT Manager training session titled Managing a Programming Backlog.
CLICK HERE to review.

4.  Manage the quality of your team’s work
Quality is key. CLICK HERE to review the 20 Minute IT Manager training session titled, Improving Programming Quality.

5.  Track and communicate the results
Communicate your results or no one will know what you are getting accomplished. Make it a point to report on your programming support status and completion activity on a monthly basis.

I hope this information is helpful and I wish you the best of success in your new management role.

Quick results from the IT Manager Institute

One of the things that gets me excited and encourages me to work even harder is when I receive a positive message from one of my IT Manager Institute students or someone who is using one of my IT manager tools.

The best messages are the ones that talk about the value they are getting from something they learned from me.

Kelly Reed attended my IT Manager Institute class a couple of weeks ago, our 44th program since delivering the first one in 2003. He is getting some quick results and that’s exactly what we like to hear.

Here is what Kelly told me yesterday in an email message:
“Just wanted to let you know that I received my IT Business Manager Certificate. Thanks again for everything, I feel like I have true purpose and direction now as I embrace my new role.

On a cost saving note, I am in negotiations with our company’s wireless provider. Looks like we are looking at a savings of $18,000 per year!  My CFO has been so impressed with what I am doing now (Cost Savings, IT Assessment and even how I am talking to her with less detail), she wants me to make sure I take your class again next year as a refresher!

This is what it’s all about, , , helping IT managers of the world achieve more success. Thank you Kelly for sharing with me.

We receive hundreds of positive comments like this one every year and it always “makes my day” when I hear about someone achieving more success in their company. GREAT STUFF !!

In a few situations, I’ve actually had managers tell me on the last day of the IT Manager Institute class that they have talked to people in their company about something they learned in class and have already started to find some cost savings or beginning to use a new management tool.

Do you think a CFO or CEO notices this when you start focusing on the business value opportunities that exist in managing an IT organization, , , or finding ways to save money in your company without being told to look for it?

You bet they do, , , and as in Kelly’s case his CFO noticed a change almost immediately upon his return to their company. What’s even better is that his CFO told him about it and realizes the value of the company’s investment in Kelly’s IT manager training.

Let me say this again, , , POWERFUL STUFF  for both Kelly and his company!!

Here are a few quotes from our most recent IT Manager Institute class:

“The value of this material exceeded my expectations. The course was exceptional and I would recommend it for any current or future IT manager.” 
Greg Horton, Nashville, TN

“Best seminar and learning class I have taken. Wish I had this class many years ago. I plan to implement several things with my team in the next couple of weeks” 
Ken Schernekau, Atlanta, GA

“Mike, I want to thank you for your class and your real world experiences that you brought to the table.  It very much gave greater meaning to the material being taught.” 
Steven Payne, Charlotte, NC

“Mike presented information thoroughly on a level of great understanding. This material will assist me as I grow and hone my skills as a leader.”
Kamela Breeding, Atlanta, GA

“Fantastic! Hit all areas of IT and business, really opened my eyes. The material and tools are priceless! This experience has by far gone way above and beyond what I could have ever expected.” 
Kelly Reed, Couer d’Alene, ID

The IT Manager Institute is available in classroom and in an online self study format, , , same material including the ability to earn your IT Business Manager Certification (ITBMC).

Details at:
Class photos at:

helping IT managers of the world achieve more success

Back away from the technical detail

CLICK image to subscribe and receive free IT Management-101 e-book

I received an interesting question from one of my Practical IT Manager Newsletter subscribers this morning.  I get this type of question a lot so thought I would post it along with my response. It is a great question and I hope my response helps my subscriber and anyone who might read this post.

The situation and question asked
“I have been working with this organization for over 10 years now. I’m the IT manager, and initially started off with only one engineer working (permanent headcount) under me. Over the years the business grew, I now have four engineers (outsourced) reporting to me.

My bosses have informed me that I should take a step back in day to day operations, and have the senior engineer take the lead instead. They want me to focus more on aligning IT with the business, have coffee with the management team members, etc

Am sure you must have heard the above from your other students too. Its just that I am in a dilemma now, i.e., with such a small team how can I possibly restructure it to meet my bosses’ intentions?”

My response
Your management team is correct in wanting you to spend more time better understanding your client and their needs and issues and less time focusing on the technology. The fact you have been there for 10 years says they have a lot of confidence in you and that you are pretty much a permanent fixture with everyone, , , but probably more so as a technician than a true manager.

The other thing I picked up in your message is that they want you to spend more time with the other managers of the company. This is good stuff and yet another vote of confidence in you from your senior managers.

As you grow, your job must become more of a true manager role rather than a technical role. It’s understandable that you have had to be technical up until now and operate at best in a “player/coach” mode. Because of the minimal staff, you have had to handle much of the technical responsibilities yourself.

Your ability to pull away from being the technical expert should take place gradually over time. At even the small number of staff you have in place now, you need to become more of the visionary, planner and one who can delegate technology initiatives, , , not the doer.

You also need to be able to spend more time with your clients to better understand their needs and issues, , , not in keeping your technical skills at an “expert” level.

As your company grows, senior management needs you to become more of a business manager who knows how to identify appropriate technology initiatives and place the appropriate focus on them in order to support the real business, , , your senior managers and department managers and their employees.

Pulling back is not easy. In fact, it may be the hardest transition you will ever go through, , , but it truly is necessary for you to gain a higher level perspective and to become a business manager and partner of your clients.

“Having coffee with the management team” is another way of saying they need you to raise your perspective of things from a purely technical focus to more of a business minded focus and someone who can become a true business partner with the managers in the company.

If your managers are suggesting you need to spend more time to insure technology is aligned with the business, they may already feel like your focus is not 100% focused on the business, , , in other words, you are working on things and spending money in areas they don’t fully understand the reasoning for or the business value it will have.

If they feel that way, even though they may not be able to articulate the issue very well, there is a very good chance you are out of sync with the business side of your company, , , and may not realize it.

Studies and surveys suggest that over 50% of IT organizations around the world are out of sync with their business client, , , and this trend seems to remain constant year after year.

The challenge is that most IT managers who are out of sync do not realize it and senior managers aren’t really sure. Even if they were sure, they probably don’t know how to tell you because they don’t really understand technology.

Be aware that if your management team is suggesting you need to focus more on keeping the IT organization “aligned with the business”, your focus may already be out of sync. If so, it is critical that you determine if this is the case and put into motion the things that will correct it.

A big part of the transition challenge is that you will want to keep your hands in the technology. It’s something we like to do, , , but as a company grows it needs something different from the IT manager.

I would look at your situation not so much as a restructuring of the organization but more of a refocus on how you go about day to day support. The manager employee structure essentially remains the same, , , it is where you spend your time on a daily basis that’s different. A gradual shift in focus is what makes sense from what I understand of your situation.

Here is what I would suggest you do:

1.  Block out an hour or two to have some “think” time.

2.  List all the responsibilities you have and also the type of work you do from day to day. You might need to create an activity log for a week or two to actually see what you do on a daily basis. I can almost guarantee you it’s a lot more technical detail than you probably think it is.

3.  Take the list and determine what can be delegated to others on your team. Be specific and think about what you must do in order to transition each responsibility to someone else. This means you have to “let go” and it may require training your employees for them to take on certain responsibilities. Your focus needs to be able to develop other experts in these areas so the company can depend less and less on you personally. This might cause you concern, but if you are doing a good job in supporting your company, it will actually position you for more responsibility in the company. Remember, transitioning responsibility does not mean you are not involved or should not know what is going on, , , it simply means you have someone else doing the detail work. Part of the work should be to keep you informed.

4.  Sit down with your senior management team and each department manager to determine what they think about the IT support you and your team is providing. Ask them a specific question as to whether they think your IT team is focused on the appropriate issues and needs of the company. Don’t try to justify yourself, , , listen objectively to what they have to say and put it into context with feedback from all the other managers.

A sample Client Satisfaction Survey is available at If you learn the answers to these questions, it will tell you quite a lot about how your clients feel about their IT support. Don’t send this survey out, , , visit your clients personally and interview them. You will get a lot more from an interview than you will from asking a survey to be filled out. Take a look at to better understand this.

5. Analyze the data from the surveys and determine if there is a consistent message from your clients. If so, learn what the trends are and identify what you need to do to address their concerns.

6.  Develop a transition plan that outlines your focus on transitioning specific technology responsibilities to others on your team and possibly to new hires you will add in the future. Place priority on the things that help you address client concerns from your survey.

7.  Share your transition of responsibilities plan with your senior managers so they know you are serious about taking their advice. You will also need to provide insight in how you plan to spend more time with your clients to better understand their business needs and issues. My book, Acquisition: IT Due Diligence, can help you conduct an effective IT assessment and learn whether there is a disconnect between IT and the business. See for more information.

One last piece of information. In my career, I have worked with and observed hundreds of IT organizations and thousands of IT managers. In my opinion, there are three key reasons an IT organization fails, , , I call it the Triple Threat to IT Success. Take a look at a 20 Minute IT Manager session I developed on this topic and pay particular attention to slide 17. If you hear these things from your senior managers, you have a disconnect. Review the 20MITM session online at:

We see IT managers struggle to transition from the technical expert to a business manager all the time, , , it’s a truly difficult transition. Much of it is caused by our desire to focus on technology (we like it) and also our reluctance to let go and depend on others to do the job. You see, , , no one can do the work as well as we can do it or want it to be done so we tend to do things ourselves. Some call it being control oriented, , , I prefer to think of it as, “we like things done ‘our way’.”

Unless you are able to raise your perspective and back away from the technical detail, it is a recipe that will surely limit your career opportunities.