Time to spread the word
Your new IT strategy has been accepted by the board. It WILL happen. But how quickly it beds down and shows real benefits depends on everyone in the organisation – regardless of their role – being ready to accept it.
But do it with care
IT Directors love change, it gives them something to put on their CVs. While the wider IT team will buy into your strategy, other departments are going to be more reluctant.
People don’t like change
Production workers, administrators, sales, accounts and support teams prefer things to stay the same. Reasons they might be reluctant to buy in to your IT strategy include concerns around stability, business downtime and ability to use the new systems.
Strong communication skills required
That’s why communication and collaboration is vital. You should explain in clear simple terms why the new or improved IT strategy is important to the organisation’s success now and in the future. Speak to small groups and teams, adjusting your communication to target each group and their particular issues.
Think about your end-users
It’s very easy to assume that high level strategy only involves the buy-in of the ‘C-Suite’, but what appear to be minor changes to ways of working through the introduction of new applications, technologies, infrastructures or services, can cause problems for the end-users. Having to learn new skills and applications can feel daunting and problematic. For the business itself, this can lead to a lack of continuity, potentially leading to downtime.
Set in their ways?
Many workers fear learning new skills and will treat your proposed IT strategy with more reluctance than anyone from the C-Suite. Your strategy will be implemented by people with years of muscle memory and a host of unofficial working methods that may no longer be effective.
It’s a learning process
To address these issues set up training sessions where workers at all levels can learn the new technology or way of working. This can give them a safe and secure environment to make mistakes and learn from them. It will also become a shared learning experience which benefits the whole organisation, rather than just the C-suite who may have very little to do with your IT strategy after it has been signed off.
Not another IT change!
Many workers will have had experience – in less enlightened organisations than yours of course – of trying to master a new system with minimal training whilst being expected to maintain output.
Getting teams on board
There is a lot of US-focussed Business School information online about team building and the organisational culture of IT firms. UK managers are increasingly buying into this, but UK workers at times remain sceptical.
Become a confidence-builder
The C-Suite and fellow members throughout the organisation know that if the organisation doesn’t succeed, their jobs might be in jeopardy. This can lead to a fear of change, particularly when it comes to your IT strategy. A straightforward, collaborative approach and appeal to common-sense and self-interest will win more buy-in than team building and flag waving.
In order to get buy-in you need across the organisation, remember to:
- Ask teams what they need from your IT strategy
- Offer training session that will up-skill workers so they can work with the new strategy, rather than against it
- Create a clear and collaborative communication plan so everyone understands the benefit of your IT change plan.
For advice on how to put the needs of the business at the centre of your IT Strategy, download our eGuide: The Future Direction of IT – Integrating your IT strategy with your business strategy
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