Tides That Raise All Boats: Governance Improvements to Produce the Right Work
Governance plays a critical role in vetting, approving, and prioritizing IT requests. Common pitfalls in the life cycle of a service request typically result from inaccurate assumptions that all requests ought to be completed, and/or that all requests are of equal importance. Often, such assumptions lead IT teams to allocate resources and expertise to requests that are high effort/low impact. Likewise, this cultural phenomenon leads to a false sense of user-empowerment when it comes to the requesting process, and unnecessary and/or inappropriate requests proliferate. As a result, the perception that demand for IT projects far exceeds IT teams’ capacity to deliver perpetuates, and IT customers develop a lack trust and become disillusioned. To combat this unpleasant phenomena, governance leaders sought improvements in the four overarching phases of a life cycle request: intake, design, approval, and completion. During request intake, the ideal future user-centered state was for certain requesters to be designated as local guides, equipped with nimble processes for requirements-gathering and submission. Requests were reframed as problem statements, not solutions, and were aligned with strategic priorities. In the design phase, a solutions architect model was implemented, linked to standard documents and processes. Specification checklists were established and employed, and agile approaches to work completion carried out. During the approval phase, a weighted prioritization schema was developed, applying scores to each request against their level of effort and level of impact. After a score is applied, these requests are stratified into quadrants of priority, and carried out based on the IT service level agreements that differ from quadrant to quadrant. Finally, during the completion phase, transparency of the build/implementation process is crucial. Clear IT resource assignment, status and priority of request, and real-time queue management updates are now clearly and accurately communicated to the requester. When leaders acknowledge choke points in service delivery request process, and authentically develop improvements in every phase within the life cycle, trustworthiness in IT service delivery is restored, and customers are happy.
This session is intended for people with interests in implementation science and/or change management principles.