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What drives success for IT professionals? What differentiates first-rate IT teams from the rest of the pack? As IT has moved from the basement to boardroom and the importance of information technology has soared, this question has taken center stage in the IT world. The answer, as reported by dozens of research studies and CIO interviews, is painfully obvious. It’s the strength of the stakeholder relationship that has the greatest impact on overall IT success.
Here’s the problem: Stakeholder relationship management and engagement is the weakest and least developed competency of technically-oriented IT professionals and teams. And that’s exactly why it is at the core of our approach and methodology. We approach IT professional success deeply mindful of this truth. We have built an entire methodology from 25+ years of experience that is directly focused on improving stakeholder relationships and engagement thereby improving the success of IT professionals and teams.
Over a period of 8 years we created a tool to measure the stakeholder relationship. MeasureIT™ takes your stakeholder relationship out of the fluffy qualitative realm, and into the realm of hard, data-driven standards and benchmarks. When you perform MeasureIT™, you receive a comprehensive stakeholder-based perspective and hard data score on the entire IT operation’s performance. By completing MeasureIT™ year-over-year, these scores show the impact of your actions on your stakeholder relationships. Much like a “credit score,” the IT stakeholder score can go up or down based on how well the IT group performs and manages the stakeholder relationship.
The remaining elements of our key concepts present our unique method for improving MeasureIT™ scores by addressing both the science AND the art of IT management with a particular eye to the stakeholder relationship.
Stakeholder engagement is not built on social connections, it’s rooted in the critical content that shapes the interaction with stakeholders. Our program focuses on nine areas of content that form the essential building blocks of IT performance excellence.
These building blocks can be thought of as the critical deliverables that every successful IT group must have in place to operate effectively and to succeed with stakeholders. Each and every one of these building blocks fills a critical requirement for professional IT management while at the same time providing essential content to drive the relationship with stakeholders. At times IT teams believe they have all these building blocks in place. While the building blocks are essential for success with stakeholders, they also serve many critical purposes within the IT group itself.
This is sometimes the case. But as a general rule, we find that the standard approach to items like the IT strategy and measurements often fall far short of what stakeholders need to generate deep confidence in IT. Each of the building block deliverables has a special management purpose.
The “hard” content deliverables set out in the previous slide are just the beginning. The fact is that many IT professionals (and IT organizations) have little awareness of the Attitudes, Behaviors, and Communications (ABCs) that create stakeholder relationship excellence.
Some of these ABCs are global in nature. In other words they apply as a sort of general rule when thinking about or working directly with stakeholders. The language you use, such as referring to your business peers as “stakeholders” and not “customers” is an example. Other ABCs apply primarily in a certain context. For example: When building support for a project’s approval, you will learn how to Be Skeptical (an Attitude), perform Nemawashi (a behavior), and utilize the Madison Avenue Sales Method (a style of communication). Our ABCs methodically break down and identify the critical leverage points in the IT/stakeholder relationship and responds to those points with very specific tools and instruments.
To help IT pros and teams absorb these ABCs we have packaged them into a set of Stakeholder Relationship Toolkits – templates and guidelines specifically designed to help IT through each of the critical contexts in which they typically work.
It isn’t enough to only improve your stakeholder relationships at the top levels of your organization. To transform your IT organization’s relationship with the business, your stakeholders need to experience a shift in performance at every point of contact between IT and the business.
Specifically, there are three distinct levels at which your stakeholders must experience a shift in how they work with IT.
Bottom Line: It’s impossible to transform your stakeholder relationships without the help and support of your team. Transformation must occur from the ground up.
IT pros and managers need a practical way to understand, and put to work, the ideas and methods that drive improved stakeholder relationships. The 11 Secrets of Highly Influential IT Leaders offers a road map to follow that pulls it all together and allows IT professionals and managers to get started on this journey without requiring a custom consulting engagement.
Our book lays out a three-part journey:
When you’re ready to produce the largest possible change in the lives of your IT team members and your stakeholders, you must pursue a full transformation of your entire IT organization. Our seven-step IT transformation program produces measurable improvements that position IT front-and-center as true leaders of their companies.
Here’s how we do it:
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