A recent survey commissioned by the Society for Information Management gave the following concerns for CEO, CIO and enterprise top managers :

1) IT/business alignment

2) Building business skills in IT

3) IT strategic planning

4) Attracting new IT professionals

5) Making better use of information

6) Manage change

7) Reduce the cost of doing business

8) Improve IT quality

9) Retaining IT professionals

10) Security and privacy

Among the high ranked points, 2-4-9 regards human resources management. Indeed, if you have not the right men able to implementing your strategy you ‘ll probably loose most of your bets. Successful companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple,…  have build their success on human asset.

Even if it seems to be common wisdom, a lot has to be done to improve things. I already wrote a post on people criticality : Dreamed life of CIO.

IT Divisions have a lot of different commitments which require many different competences : application production, development, business analyse, project management … If he wants to win the race, CIO needs to identify all activities areas and, for each one, what competences are critical and what may be the nurturing process.

You may soon discover that some activities require different culture of work. For instance, Helpdesk need people who is able to perform quickly defined procedures in empathy with customer or final user. Not everybody is able to perform this with matching all quality requirements. Developments require to transform specification in computing code which does not need empathy. Business analyst should set up and perform their process in  empathy with business managers, for being able to post a rigth message. Since your organisation has a confortable size, quickly the question of location arises :

  • Moving helpdesk and related activities in locations close to people living locations
  • Locating Business analysts near business management
  • You have still to decide regarding developpers : high value developpers should stay near users and sponsors, other developpers may work in near shores.
  • Production could be set in another location.

The point of view of considering that a company gathered in a single location is the best configuration may be questionned by being a check to people hiring or retaining. Experience show that some work culture may be incomaptible and lead to conflicts : system developement and consuting, trading and operations, creative people and accounting. In this case splitting organisation location may be a double opportunity : help to manage work culture management and sustaining professionals attraction.

In the reverse, when an organisation has a set of work cultures being compatible and it ougth to split, it may endanger cohesion and have bad impact on performance.

Then critical organisational link is middle management. CIOs have to nurture a strong middle management culture which is the glue of organisation. Motivated middle managers is a key success factor for changing. By the way, not only you have got a good organisational architecture which facilitate collaborations, but also you improve your organisation agility. And for the stakholder, it is taking care of company human capital

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