Friday, March 30, 2012

Creating the balance _|_ (Part One)

Some of you who read this blog are IT professionals; others are not.  The distinction is not important for any one particular reason.  While every profession has its trials and tribulations, in the IT world it is rare for an outsider, or someone from "The Business", to have a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of what it takes to support technology.  (As an aside, over the years I have grown to hate the term "The Business" because it reinforces an artificial perception that IT and other functions are not intricately linked within the framework of a company).

I have gathered any number of anecdotes from various types of IT employees - technical, functional - where these individuals believe that their work should speak for itself.  When I talk about the need to promote and market the value of IT within the company, many of my colleagues become incensed because they believe to the core of their souls that the work they do should speak for itself.  But sadly, it rarely if ever does because no-one can really see or understand all the hard work.

The hard truth is that people outside of an IT organization tend to have a binary view of IT products and services.  They either work (good thing) or they don't work (bad thing).  As an exceedingly important person once told me, it never helps to try to explain to a person the root of an IT problem and what is being done to fix it.  According to him, no matter what words you use the recipient only hears one of two things.  They hear either "Work-ee" or "No Work-ee".  While this anecdote is obviously facetious, it also has a hard kernel of truth.  Folks outside of IT have their own problems to handle and they need their technology tools to work.  And at any point in time the tools are either working or they're not.

So what's to be done in order to assure that IT people get the credit and support they need and deserve for all the good, albeit invisible work that they do?  The solution is what I refer to as "Creating the balance".




**Happy Birthday PAB**

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