As an IT professional, are you "really" aligned with your business?
In the tech sector, the answer to this questions is easy.. Yes but that is because the creation, distribution, and maintenance of tech is our business. In most of the business world, IT is a toolset used to deliver results. It is indeed, very powerful, but it is a toolset only. How do you create a culture of collaboration and alignment between businessmen and technologists? It starts by creating conversations, and relationships... laying the groundwork so that a few simple questions can be asked again, and again, and again, and again.
What problem are "we" solving?
How will the "customers", the companies' real customers be impacted by this solution?
A relentless focus on these answers will bridge the gap and form partnerships which deliver results.
As technologists, we get excited by the technology.
I'm amazed at the audio and video quality of immersive video systems. I'm intrigued and willing to explore the new features of technology from Firefox 4, to home router DMZs, to sound frequency optimization/equlization on my home theater system.
Businessmen, for the most part, are NOT technologists. They are interested in results and outcomes. Our technology solutions are powerful toolsets, but we must make the connnection so that our customers can "See the future" in their bottom line financials.Do not be swayed from the questions.. in internal team meetings.. presentations...
The STORY must be about solving a problem and positioning for the future.. Efficiency is #1, but Innovation and Increased Revenue must be fast followers as themes in the story. For that, we must embrace the diverse and amorphous Usage & Adoption world. Make assumptions, but document them.. and help define KPIs to measure and deliver "results." I work with customers regularly to help them solve their usage and adoption problems, and write new success stories. It can be done and it is most easily accomplished when everyone is working towards a common "aligned" business goal.
With so much technology out there, it can be easy to become distracted. Solve problems for YOUR business. Collaboration with a business partner to achieve results will provide the "happily ever after" line in your alignment story.