Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Business Impact of IT

A friend of mine, Don Gardner, sent me a link about the importance of communicating the business impact of IT projects. The article says we IT people too often report the facts (e.g. we installed an e-mail server), rather than what that does for the business.

I liked the article, but I found it a challenge to apply to the projects I was working on at the time. Part of the challenge was that my projects hadn't been designed with business impact in mind. I was simply supposed to implement some bits of IT infrastructure.

Because of the complexity of IT we have to break our work into pieces. The pieces of work are very large in terms of technical complexity and cost, but vanishingly tiny in terms of their visible connection to business needs. We IT people get the connection, but it's not obvious to anyone else.

1 comment:

andrew said...

I run into a similar issue with programmers communicating with clients. They tend to say things like "we added a frazzle widget to the doodlebug". To a client it's probably a lot like the cartoon of what a dog hears his owner say "blah blah walk blah blah outside". It's hard for technical people to communicate in terms of the benefits to the client - even when they know them.