The Management Alliance
Many ITSM adoption efforts stop right here. They find an executive sponsor and they create a project team. Then they stop, leaving a big hole between these two points where the largest wall of resistance is typically built – functional management.
In many organizations, there is a large space between the symbolic (and sometime theoretical) need for change demonstrated at the executive level and the practical reality on the ground. Everyone can get behind the need for change in the generic sense, but it’s when specific changes are brought forward that will have an impact on operational and functional processes that the clashes begin. The project team is then left scratching their heads wondering why they can’t get anything done despite having all of the executive support they need and a cross functional team leading the effort. The problem is one of translation.
In order for an organizational change effort to succeed, there is a third team that is required – the Management Alliance. This team may serve as the day-to-day leadership/governance body of the program or simply in an advisory capacity to the Core Team, but in either case, their role is the same: to ensure that the changes being made by the Core Team are sustainable in operation and can be supported by operational management. Made up of mid-level IT management from across the impacted functional domains, this team straddles the fence between strategic imperatives and tactical execution and serves as the linchpin ensuring that the changes take root.
They will serve as the “check and balance” and provide a critical leverage point to drive behavioral change within their respective teams. Without them, the changes and improvements will run the risk of being viewed as theoretical exercises which need not be followed. With this Management Alliance in place, however, the Core Team will have the tactical support it needs to embed the needed behavioral changes into the culture of the organization.
Charles Araujo is the founder and CEO of The IT Transformation Institute, which is dedicated to helping IT leaders transform their teams into customer-focused, value-driven learning organizations.