Is it true that IT and users hate each other?

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Is it true that IT and users hate each other?

What’s with all the animosity between IT and business users?

Christopher Koch provided a summary
of the string of hate-posts from
Slashdot
, where it got so bad that some users were suggesting a revolt
against IT. There seems to be no end to the impassioned replies, impossible
demands, and scathing insults.

Koch followed up later with some suggestions for improvements.
These included forming structured relationships (it’s not the people, it’s the
roles they’re in) and adding a layer of separation (a designated ambassador on
the business side).

When it comes to business intelligence/data warehousing
projects, I agree that business “power users” can be powerful allies. In my
article “Couples
Therapy for IT and Business Users
” I suggested these approaches for
BI/DW projects:

  • Dedicate a member of the IT group to
    business systems analysis.
    This person works with and tries to
    understand business users and how their jobs are impacted by the technology
    they use.
  • Get back to basics. Project
    management fundamentals such as documenting requirements, conducting status
    meetings and reviewing deliverables — with equal involvement from business
    users and IT — opens the door of communication and reduces unwanted surprises
    on both sides.
  • Join up. Many successful
    projects have some form of a business users group working with the IT project
    team. This group could be informal or it could be a more structured steering
    committee, but it is always recognized and active in the project.

I agree that there can be issues between IT and users, but it
doesn’t have to get ugly.

How is the relationship between IT and business users in your company?

1 Comment

  1. Can we ever bridge the gap?

    A recent quite non factual discussion at slashdot.org exaggerates what has been a problem since the invention of IT.
    ZombieLine asks: The IT department at my company (approximately some 500 people) is showing signs of incompetence, and has been …

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