Good People Behaving Badly Part 2

By Helen Streck posted 09-23-2011 12:30


Part 2 - Reality Time!

Co-Authored by Norman Weiner, SVP, Technology - Kaizen InfoSource LLC

Now, let’s try this scenario.

Business Unit wants new software.  They do an end run around IT and get budget approval.  Business Unit purchases the software and has it installed by company staff with elevated network rights but who are not part of IT.  The software is put into use and network performance degrades immediately, but intermittently.  Calls to the Helpdesk ring off the hook.  The IT triage team assembles to assess and resolve the situation.  They have no idea new software had been installed.  Every network system has to be considered as a source for the problem.  Network performance improves without IT finding the source of the problem.  Slowness returns to the point that network operations are brought to a standstill.  The problem goes away and returns repeatedly over the course of the day, in no evident pattern.  Senior management comes down from their loft and demands to know what’s going on.  Network administrators and other IT staff resources have to leave their operational roles to help troubleshoot.  The source of the problem can be in any of the offices across the enterprise. 

While on a support call in another department an IT staff member is asked questions about how to use the imaging software the Business Unit had recently installed.  The IT staff member follows the trail and then tries her best to “keep it together” as she realizes what had been going on.  Unauthorized imaging software was being used to do a “production” of documents for a case in litigation.  The Business Units was burning documents and images onto 27 single sided DVDs’.  Each time a production was initiated network performance suffered.  IT had not been consulted about the software.  They had no idea it was in use, had no opportunity to test it, and had no idea what the network load factors would be, specifically that the load would overwhelm network capacity. 

EYES WIDE OPEN… welcome to my world. 

I have experienced the second scenario once in my IT career.  It happened as described above.  Once was too many.  It occurred from the absence of organizational impact and discipline at the management level.  Technology acquisition must be coordinated in a structured manner in close collaboration with IT.  There is no middle ground, no grey area for interpretation. NONE! 

Most of the IT projects I have been involved with have taken place close to the dream scenario.  It’s unrealistic to expect an implementation to take place without hiccups and unexpected issues to address.  Success is determined by how they are addressed.  

It is a dream when business units respect each other’s areas of responsibility.  Enough books have been written on project management, and there is a place for Sigmatized and Black Belted solutions.  However, without common sense, respect, discipline, and communication, every project will suffer or fail.

Good People Behaving Badly