On not being subservient, part 2

Via Steve Jones, here’s another story that perfectly encapsulates the power of realising that a partnership approach between IT and business can drive real improvements in the return that you get from IT investment.

In short: Steve’s associate (working in IT) found that a project he was responsible for wasn’t getting the business buy-in that was required to make the project a success. So he cancelled it.

This “support” thing cuts both ways. We all know about how IT has to support business needs – but when you create a contract, both sides have obligations to fulfil. For too long, IT teams have let business teams get away with not keeping their own implicit obligations.

Perhaps one solution is to formalise business teams’ obligations more explicitly in “service contracts” when IT projects are created, or when big changes are requested. Has anyone done this in an internal IT context, or even an outsourced IT context? What did you find?

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