Preparing For What’s Next In A Thoughtful, Structured Way
January 18, 2021 David Wright and Albert Swett
(Sponsored Content) January is the time for New Year resolutions – pausing and reflecting, taking stock, reassessing, and for deciding the most important things to focus on in the year ahead. This is no less true for IT leaders as 2021 dawns.
Not only is there a need for the usual annual planning efforts but the coming year will require managing all the uncertain outcomes and consequences of the COVID epidemic. Some unexpected IT priority changes will probably persist – enabling remote working, accelerating digital business, and increasing cloud usage. Other things may slowly return to “normal” – dusting-off postponed projects, reducing the enforced technical debt, or reassessing stringent cost controls as business optimism returns.
With this in mind, Chordia Consulting is inviting clients around the world to take a quick survey to tell us what issues are they actually facing? What are they trying to accomplish? Do they need to perhaps rethink their priorities for 2021? The resulting survey analysis will give them insight into what others are facing, plus participants will receive their own report with personalized feedback, assessing their IT management effectiveness and mapping the results visually on a ‘management model’ so they can see where they need to improve and, perhaps, recalibrate their efforts going forward.
Why use a model? There are many interconnected moving parts within the IT environment that leaders must intuitively understand, assess, and incorporate into their thinking and planning. This is a tall order, to say the least, one which challenges IT managers around the world, in all industries, and in all sizes of organization. Perhaps some of them are able to maintain a mental view of this IT “big picture” and feel as if they have everything under control; we’ve probably all met these gifted individuals. For others, though, having help creating such a “big picture” of the whole IT management environment and being able to see clearly what needs attention would be immensely beneficial. Not only would it be valuable to them, it would also help them explain their IT world and its complexities to their business counterparts.
The IT/Component Business Model (IT/CBM), used exclusively by Chordia Consulting, provides just such a picture. It’s a well-proven way to describe the IT leader’s broad range of responsibilities, and it works equally well whether you run a small IT shop or a large, corporate IT organization. The scale and complexity of your environment may change but the fundamentals of IT management – the successful interaction of processes, people, and technology – are enduring and common to all. The IT/CBM framework helps you better understand IT management issues and how work actually gets done. It won’t tell you how to architect your technology environment, or how to define the best approach to cybersecurity, or who should report to whom on the IT team; it will, instead, give you a concise picture of “IT on a page” that clearly shows all the different activities that need to be done well to ensure IT is functioning effectively.
IT/CBM shows the broad areas of IT activity in eight columns and three rows. Each of the eight columns represents a different group of IT functions. For example, Column 1 describes the relationship between IT and its business users, while Column 4 addresses IT risks such as security, resilience, and compliance, and Column 8 focuses on managing technology and using it to deliver dependable IT services. Horizontally, the three rows represent the different levels of activity in each area – strategic guidance, tactical management, and day-to-day delivery. Within this overall “8×3” framework are 54 discrete areas of IT activity, called ‘components’ – things that all to need to be done effectively to be sure IT is successful. Of course, the scale and nature of these activities will vary depending on the size of the organization or the industry in which it operates but they all need to be addressed.
More importantly, all of these individual, well-defined components are linked “behind the scenes.” As savvy IT managers know, problems in one part of IT almost always are linked to root causes elsewhere. That’s what makes their job so, hmm . . . interesting!
The IT/CBM framework, and the supporting analysis tool developed by Chordia, recognize this and enable the creation of pictures or heatmaps that accurately reflect all of the contributory factors that could be in play. You may believe you have a problem ‘here’ but our analysis will tell you that you probably also have problems ‘there’, ‘there’, and ‘there.’ Pretty useful, we think. You can learn more about the IT/CBM model on www.chordiaconsulting.com.
So. . . how can this approach be helpful to you right now? Well, with the theory that actually doing something is more useful than just reading about it, Chordia is offering the use of the IT/CBM framework and analysis tool at no charge as a part of the 2021 IT Management Effectiveness Survey. The survey is available on-line, using the secure Alchemer (formerly Survey Gizmo) tool, quick to perform (say, 15 minutes or so), and will give you two things: first, a personalized, visual IT/CBM picture of your IT environment right away, showing any apparent problem areas and what to do about them, and second, at the end of the survey period (late-March), a comparative report showing the collective results of all survey respondents, giving you insight into how you compare with others – no doubt, food for thought.
If you like the results of the survey, you may want to learn more, drill deeper, and get more comprehensive guidance by conducting a full Chordia RAITH healthcheck. RAITH (Rapid Algorithmic IT Healthcheck) is our paid service that uses exactly the same IT/CBM model and analysis approach as the no-charge survey. This is available at a discounted rate for survey participants through June 30 of this year. Check out our website, www.chordiaconsulting.com, for details.
Finally, if you’re reading this as a provider of IT services or professional guidance to clients, we have something of particular interest for you too. You can ‘sponsor’ the use of the IT Management Effectiveness Survey with your clients – again, at no charge – by inviting them to take the survey as a group. Their collective client responses will be bundled into a subset of the full analysis report especially for your business, offering more focused insight into the evolving needs of your client population. Full details are available at www.chordiaconsulting.com.
Whether you’re an IT or business leader looking to learn more about how to set your IT priorities in 2021, or an IT services professional seeking to understand how better to serve your client base, take a look at Chordia Consulting’s no-charge IT Management Effectiveness Survey – it may be a perfect first step to rebuilding in 2021.
David Wright and Albert Swett are principals at Chordia Consulting LLC.