Current State – Under-performing IT Organization
Many senior executives don’t understand why their Information Technology (IT) organizations can’t deliver and are constantly surprising them with schedule slips and cost increases. They are not sure as to how to assess and subsequently improve their IT organization. They are typically familiar with effective and proven ways to assess their operations and sales organizations. Walk into any world class manufacturing facility and you’ll see a variety of metrics, repeatable processes, an emphasis on quality and a focus on continuous improvement. Everything related to inventory, production, backlog, shipments and quality are quantified. There are typically similar metrics for the sales organization, and senior executives are comfortable tracking and responding to those metrics.
Rather than reinvent the wheel in terms of assessing your IT department, consider applying similar processes and management techniques used for other organizations to delivery high quality, world-class metrics for your IT organization.
To achieve the performance you must have to run your business and develop the capabilities you need to leverage your technology investments, consider having a professionally executed IT organization assessment.
A typical IT organization assessment would include the following steps:
Assess people, process and technology
Identify gaps by focusing on the three critical components necessary to delivery value and service for your business. Analyze your business operations thru our benchmarking techniques. We develop recommendations and a plan to dramatically improve your current state through an assessment process.
IT Maturity Assessment
Review each service delivery organization. Develop questions that are mapped to a maturity model that focuses on identifying gaps. Assess the results against the model and generate a score that plots your maturity.
Identify the necessary actions to improve the maturity level of IT services
Address the “low hanging” fruit thru mistake proofing and addressing systemic quality issues. Document key processes using a “checklist” approach that is easy and simple to follow. Implement key measurements across the critical services needed to improve performance.
Assess the current model, baseline the current costs and develop plans to reduce operational costs to free up resources to invest in critical areas.
Review the current model, identify the gaps and develop the processes for managing risks in your organization. Implement a sound risk management approach that manages key operational risks.
Next Step – Begin the Journey to Excellence
Once an IT organization assessment is completed, and the gaps and risks have been identified, it’s time to put a plan in place to close the gaps and reduce the risks. There are a couple of key aspects to this journey highlighted below, and Flow Consulting’s model for continuous improvement in an IT organization is also illustrated below.
Continuous Improvement across Services (Start with the basics)
It begins with a baseline. Know the current capability for your existing services and don’t guess at what you think it is. Once you know your baseline, you can identify where your opportunities are for improving your service.
The next steps are to mistake proof your processes. In Six Sigma terms, you will turn your variables into constants for 100% defect free services.
Deliver cost savings – “Don’t always have your hand out”
The first thing you should do when looking to fund a project is to look for opportunities where you can reduce cost. The key to being able to offer that ability is to ensure you have a budget that tracks to your large fixed and variable costs. Your biggest costs are always in labor, hardware/software maintenance, outsourced services, facilities and your telecommunications costs.
If you need capital then you should look to partner with your suppliers to develop a solution that they support with investment. The best investment is the funding you obtain from others.
By following this model, you reduce your risks and improve your services.
Do you need an Information Technology Assessment?
Why not get in touch and see how Flow Consulting can help you with your IT organization and service improvements.