Wednesday, 24 December 2014


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I was chatting to an IT manager at a conference recently and she was lamenting on ‘how difficult it was to get end users to take responsibility for their own projects and applications’. I see this a lot and there’s a few reasons for this difficulty I feel.

Often it comes down broadly to culture, personalities or management.

Culture may have dictated that in the past, finance or IT ‘owned’ system applications, a feature from the 1980’s & 90’s. Maybe that culture should be revisited now that applications are more friendly and GUI’s are much better. Indeed, we have moved a lot from the 25x80 character MSDOS / text based applications we used to have in the past.

By personalities I mean really good and maybe really poor staff. What do I mean by that? Well a charismatic IT manager (& there are a few believe me), may have taken charge and interest in end user applications and provided excellent service from IT. Alternatively, an uninterested user or manager could have refused to take ownership and by default IT have to be the owners.

Sometimes management dictate that anything with a plug on it, including the kitchen kettle is the responsibility of IT. This excludes interested users taking ownership or even being allowed to move in that direction. Under this regime

Of those scenarios, I bet you recognise your organisation in there. Current thinking is that end users could and should own more of their own application software, as they know their areas far better than ICT ever could. Now practically that's not everyone. Identifying and nurturing champions who know their job and are positive about IT, is more an art than a science. However these staff are gold-dust. Ensure they are involved in new projects and all business change activity.

Also to gain ownership, when its user group time, try sending the users, (not the IT team). They can make friends and get involved with improvements etc. The clue is in the name for that one!

Related Post: How do you rate getting staff mobile, for efficiency?


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Yes - Owner of a lonely heartYes - Owner of a lonely heart.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting 07854-655009

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1 comment:

  1. Well said Tony. As a graduate of Organisational Psychology working in IT, I am always amazed at how few businesses spend any time looking at their organisational culture or confusing it with vision and values. A massively underutilised field of expertise that could really improve how business operates. Regards Damian