Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Working with the Business

I was once one of those annoying Business users who constantly pestered the IT department.

Probably one of the biggest reasons I got into IT was because I didn't like the control that IT (seemingly) had over me. I wanted that kind of control, but I also wanted to share it.

I have tried to carry my end user mentality with me to IT. I try and go out of my way to learn the business; from reading procedures to just sitting down with them and discussing what they do. This was fairly easy to do in the smaller companies I've worked with, but now that I am in a 3,000+ person company, it has gotten a bit more difficult.

I read an article by Steve Jones about getting closer to your business. I couldn’t agree more.

I would love (and have asked) to be able to spend more time with the Business folks. Perhaps shadowing them for a week, or just writing reports so I can get a better feel for what they do with the data/information we provide them. Better yet, make it part of the on-boarding for new employees. Spend 6 weeks with various departments or something like that. Some companies have management programs that do just that.

Anyway, I believe time spent with the Business makes me a better developer and hopefully builds up a good working relationship (trust) between IT and the Business.


APC said...

>> one of the biggest reasons I got
>> into IT was because I didn't like
>> the control that IT (seemingly)
>> had over me

How did you find the power situation once you had made the transition? Did IT turn out to be as omnipotent as they had seemed from the business side? Or did it suddenly seem that the business side held all the cards (budgets, deadlines, other resources)?

Cheers APC

oraclenerd said...

Initially, I felt IT was omnipotent. But that was at a smaller company. In my current company (3000+ people), the Business seems to hold ALL of the cards. That's a problem too of course. It seems the concept of teamwork, especially within a company, is nowhere to be found.

I guess my ideal would be for both to work together and trust each other (utopia probably). I haven't experienced that but we are actively working towards it.