I really enjoyed Bob Lewis's article from InfoWorld titled, "Run IT as a business -- why that's a train wreck waiting to happen."  Some of my favorites quotes include:

  1. Fawaz also sees the damage that comes from limiting IT's role to delivering software to internal
    customers. "I've spent so much time arbitrating between 'business,' which won't put anything in
    writing as a requirement, and my IT team, which have been slammed so often for not delivering
    'exactly what is needed' that they insist on receiving complete requirements before they make a
    move."
  2. "Relationships matter. A lot. I've seen it a lot in my daily work. When people have built a good relationship there is trust and it's easy to get things done. And it's very difficult to get things done when there is not a relationship built, with the lack of trust that causes."
  3. Nobody in IT should ever say, "You're my customer and my job is to make sure you're satisfied," or ask, "What do you want me to do?"  Instead, they should say, "My job is to help you and the company succeed," followed by "Show me how you do things now," and "Let's figure out a better way of getting this done."
  4. Instead of asking what the software should do, they start by asking how their business
    counterparts run their operations now, what are their biggest problems, and how they want to
    run things differently and better in the future.  IT's job is to recommend better ways to operate, using technical capabilities business managers might not even know are possible.
  5. These enlightened companies don't have IT projects -- they have business change projects that aren't done until the planned business change has been accomplished, and users are trained, not in how to operate software, but in how to do their redesigned jobs using the new software.
--Chris