We all know the stereotypes: IT is a financial drain, IT only shows up when technology doesn’t work, etc. Yet in reality, the benefits of IT are often taken for granted while the issues and costs are blown out of proportion.
When NBI trains company in-house developers, we don’t just coach them on SCRUM/Agile project methodology. We also include organizational behavior training; as in, we help teach them how to properly manage expectations, interact with their coworkers, and most importantly, how to demonstrate the value and worth of IT to the company’s overall success.
These days, developers need more than software coding skills, they also need “people skills” in order to convince co-workers of IT’s effectiveness.
Fair or not, the attitude and people skills of your developers go a long way towards either challenging or validating IT stereotypes. Here are five tips to improving IT’s information perception in the workplace:
- Think benefit/cost rather than cost/benefit - Reframe the way information technology is discussed, from the break room to the board room. Lead with the positives rather than negatives, and highlight project benefits rather than deferring to how much a project will cost.
- Find “coachable” employees, and then let them coach others - People who are committed to making a difference for the company are usually those who are best at facilitating change. Seek out these “coachable” employees and involve them in some of IT’s day-to-day business.
- Champion your stars – Make sure the entire company, not just the IT department, knows it when your IT personnel perform admirably.
- Build on success - Capitalize on successful projects by immediately seeking out new tasks; asking, “What do you want us to knock out of the park next?”
- Be patient – Business culture doesn’t change overnight. It usually takes NBI 3 or 4 successful consulting projects before we see substantive cultural change within an organization. So while these tips can help get you started, the best thing to do is to talk with your IT consultant about incorporating organizational management into your development training.