Is it true, as the cliche says, that squeaky wheels get the grease?
It can sure seem that way to IT departments, writes blogger Neil Macehiter on IT-Director.com. He cites a blog by Steve Jones (we bloggers tend to be an incestuous lot) to point out that some IT departments end up aligning themselves with certain business people and mistaking it for true business alignment.
John Hughes, founder of the GrowthWave consulting firm, made a similar point in an interview with IT Business Edge earlier this year. Hughes told us:
What you have ... is people within the business that really know how to play the game of IT. They will latch on to a developer, and use that developer as much as they can. That's where misalignment is occurring. Now you have a developer that is setting the agenda, and the priorities of tactical alignment aren't occurring. ... These are relationships where people in the business have figured out how to get things done from IT, but they are making it difficult for IT to achieve the business objectives. [Their personal objectives] may not be the highest-return items IT should be working on, the items where the business is going to get the greatest returns for their investments in IT.
The best ways for IT to avoid such scenarios, suggests Macehiter, is by establishing a peer, rather than a customer/supplier, relationship with the business. It's also important to work on goals established by a business/IT team rather than by individuals within the business.
An increasingly popular way of fostering closer relationships between the business and IT, that we blogged about yesterday, is by "embedding" IT staff within business units.