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Unleashing the Power of IT: Bringing People, Business, and Technology Together



Unleashing the Power of IT: Bringing People, Business, and Technology Together

Dan Roberts

ISBN: 978-1-118-04450-6 April 2011 288 Pages


Timely guidance for transforming IT into a strategic business partner

Today's leaders are expected to reduce costs, increase productivity, drive innovation and help the business identify and pursue new business opportunities. Successful IT leaders will be the ones that become strategic business partners and decision influencers in their organizations. Unleashing the Power of IT describes in actionable detail, the new mindset, core skill set, and interpersonal tool set that are necessary for IT leaders to thrive in today's increasingly complex challenging business environment.

  • Provides tangible, hard-hitting, real-world strategies, techniques and approaches that will immediately transform your IT workforce and culture
  • Includes Top Ten lists of tips and techniques, proven frameworks and practical guidance to help you launch and sustain your IT culture change and professional development initiatives
  • Addresses how to build a client-focused IT culture; move your organization from order takers to trusted business partners, market IT's value, lead change with confidence, manage projects and vendor relationships

A special feature of this book includes a chapter profiling several world-class organizations that have implemented the principles in this book. Learn about the culture change challenges they overcame and benefit from their best practices and successes.

Foreword ix

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

CHAPTER 1 Creating Your Twenty-First Century Workforce and Culture 1

Core Skills for Success 3

A Consistent Terminology 4

Who Will Benefit Most 5

Leveraging This Book 6

CHAPTER 2 Transforming Your IT Team 9

How to Make This Transition: Learn to Think Differently 13

Five Critical Success Factors that Enable IT Organizational Excellence 19

Conclusion: High-Performance Reality 28

CHAPTER 3 Building a Client-Focused IT Culture 31

What Good Service Looks Like 33

Service Skills and Mindsets 38

Strategies for Developing a Service Mentality 46

Conclusion 51

CHAPTER 4 Evolving into the Role of Consultant 55

What Exactly Is a Consultant’s Role, Anyway? 58

Why Do I Need to Become More Consultative? 60

Learning to Change Hats: The Four Roles of IT 62

So, How Do I Become a Consultant? 64

How Difficult Can This Be? 72

Conclusion 74

CHAPTER 5 Negotiating: Getting What You Want without Damaging the Relationship 77

Position versus Interest Negotiations 79

Three Key Factors; Three-Step Process 82

Applying the Key Factors to the Second Step: Information Exchange 89

The Final Step: Now Comes the Bargaining 91

Conclusion: Effective Negotiators Are Made, Not Born 92

Notes 94

CHAPTER 6 Managing Projects: The Science and the Art 97

The Building Blocks of Project Management 100

Structuring Projects for Success 104

Developing Plans that Work 105

Managing to Successful Completion 108

The Four Tenets of the Project Manager’s Mindset 112

Conclusion: Thinking like a Project Manager 118

CHAPTER 7 Changing Your Requirements-Gathering Mindset 121

The What, Not the How 124

The Importance of the Interview 127

Communicating through Pictures 131

Writing a Solid Requirements Document 134

Conclusion 136

CHAPTER 8 Sharpening Your Political Savvy 139

Picturing Yourself as a Political Player 141

IT and Politics: Historically Strange Bedfellows 142

A Five-Step Process for Developing Political Awareness 145

Developing Political Skills 150

Conclusion 156

CHAPTER 9 Marketing IT’s Value 159

Marketing to the IT Department 162

Build Partnerships 165

Differentiate Yourself 166

Establish Credibility 168

Create Product and Service Awareness 169

Develop a Formal Plan 172

Determining Success 172

Conclusion 174

CHAPTER 10 Managing the Vendor Relationship 177

Both Sides of the Coin 178

Preparing for a New Role 180

Getting a Fresh Start 182

Seven Phases of Managing Vendor Partnerships 185

Conclusion 200

CHAPTER 11 Driving Change with Intent 203

Defining Terms 205

The Components of Change 205

Achieving Commitment Is Essential for Sustaining Change 206

Change Takes a Community 211

Clarity Precedes Activity 214

Messaging the Change 217

Conclusion 220

CHAPTER 12 Putting the Book into Action: Stories from the Trenches 223

A Newly Consultative IT Function Helps Drive St. Luke’s Health System Transformation 224

At Marriott, a Transformed IT-Business Relationship Is the Underpinning for Hospitality Giant’s Success 231

At Bowdoin College, Trust in IT Created a Culture of Change within a Haven of Liberal Arts 236

Conclusion 242

A Call to Action: Create Your Road Map for IT Transformation 243

Bibliography 245

About the Contributors 253

About O&A 257

Index 259