Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Worksheet: Assessing Your IT Capability

Worksheet: Assessing Your IT Capability

At one time or another, all leadership roles involve some type of IT responsibility, such as serving as an IT liaison, subject matter expert, project or program manager, system or process owner, project sponsor, or participant in IT governance.

Leaders who have worked in these roles do so with a mixture of excitement and apprehension. On the positive side, the prospect of charting new territories is incredibly stimulating. On the negative, it's also frustrating - navigating IT can be like traveling in a foreign country without an interpreter or a guidebook.

It doesn't have to feel this way. IT is just like any other business function - challenged with developing and delivering products and services to demanding "customers" in the context of constrained resources and changing competitive, organizational and technological landscapes.

As a business, the key to success is to understand the lay of the land in order to make smart decisions about how to get the right people working collaboratively on meaningful objectives in a way that delivers against short and long term needs.

Of course, to get the lay of the IT land, you need to ask the right questions. The following is a short assessment worksheet that's useful in understanding current IT capabilities and identifying opportunities for improvement.

The assessment is organized by "the four key IT imperatives", each with a set of questions about the supporting behaviors that contribute to stronger performance. You can download a copy of the worksheet here: IT Assessment Worksheet.doc

IT Assessment Worksheet.JPG

Don't try to answer these questions on your own. Cozy up with your IT counterparts and benefit from their expertise. For each question, collectively make a best guess as to performance and impact. Then brainstorm how to address the low performing/high impact behaviors.

By getting the lay of the land as a first step in tackling an IT role, you will be able to work smarter, not harder, and in the process improve IT relationships and contribute to the greater good by making progress against the four key IT imperatives.

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