When you are down in the trenches in the day-to-day of your everyday business operations, it’s so easy to miss the big picture. That’s why so many leaders fall into the trap of setting IT goals that they can never actually achieve, especially when it comes to managed agreements.
Pair that with the fact that it’s not always easy to hand over control to an outside IT consultant and you have the two reasons why IT projects often fail. The professional comes in, thinks they understand the client’s goals, and they completely miss the mark. Projects are launched, and over time, fail because the company’s real challenges and goals were never fully communicated.
Whatever your kryptonite — communication, unrealistic goal setting, or the inability to relinquish control — the key to completing a successful IT partnership is to first take a step back and evaluate your goals (and limits) so you know what you are even asking for a solution for.
Ask yourself these four questions:
#1 - How much are you willing to hand off to a “professional”?
#2 - How much are you and your teams willing to change?
If you are ready to accept the help from a professional service provider, how will you accept the recommendations for change and implement them with your teams? Change could be hard for some within your organization, so being prepared to handle the objections from those affected is important. Once you have a plan in place, share the plan. If you are open about the changes ahead, the hope is that the naysayers will have less of a reason to have negative opinions.
#3 - What are the biggest challenges that your organization faces?
We’ve talked about this before, if your stakeholders ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Similar to how you will need to extend a certain level of trust to your professional services partner, the trust that your stakeholders already have in you must not be broken. Stakeholders can easily sabotage any project, but they can be extremely valuable in the discovery process. Stakeholders hold critical understanding of how your organization operates. Never assume you know how everyone in your organization works each day; ask them.