Monthly Archives: September 2013

Increasing IT Maturity: Access for everyone, a telltale sign of low maturity

By |September 30th, 2013|Categories: IT Maturity|Tags: |Comments Off on Increasing IT Maturity: Access for everyone, a telltale sign of low maturity

Let me tell you a little story about a company called Acme. (Names have been changed to protect the innocent.) A financial analyst…let’s call him Bob…worked daily in Acme’s financial accounting system.

Since everyone was always busy, and everyone “grew up” together, access and change controls, and roles and responsibilities were loose at Acme. Bob made a few minor data and calculation changes to the accounting system to make his work easier. But he didn’t document or test his changes. Even worse, he didn’t realize his changes impacted the month-end closing application.

When the time came to close the books, the month-end closing application failed. And, as luck would have it, Bob was on vacation and inaccessible. As a result, the company was forced to perform a manual month-end close. Acme’s CFO demanded to know what happened and Bob’s tinkering was eventually discovered.

I wasn’t all that surprised by this situation. Typically, level 0-1 IT organizations operate in a very ad hoc manner. Case in point, at Acme, Bob the financial analyst had the same access rights and privileges as the DBA support person. In these low-maturity organizations, everyone works in an isolated way, focusing only on their individual needs. There’s a general lack of rigor and awareness about the complexity and interdependencies—the cause and effect—between environments.

Our belief is that stabilizing the environment is the goal at this level. In baseball, you have to get to first base, before you can get to second. But defining rights, putting processes in place, and helping colleagues realize that process is not just overhead is downright hard. While every maturity step change has its challenges, at a level 0-1, one of the biggest challenges is the people.

There are also a
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Let’s start from the very beginning

By |September 30th, 2013|Categories: Change|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Let’s start from the very beginning

Hey folks! Welcome to the final quarter of 2013 and thanks for reading the first issue of TransAccel’s refreshed blog. I had a whole blog series planned on the different levels of IT maturity that I wanted to lead off with. You can still read the first blog in that series, but I decided at the last minute to lead with something different.

Two weeks ago, my team and I reached out to our network of past and present clients and colleagues with an update on what TransAccel has been up to. We received so many kind responses with great feedback on our website and more. But we also heard one question consistently: Can you help me better understand what you do?

I’d like to use this blog to tackle that question head on, and I’m hoping that you’ll give me feedback on whether or not my answer makes sense to you. I’m truly looking for candor, advice and constructive criticism. So here it goes…

TransAccel Group is, first and foremost, a management consulting firm. We help organizations improve their performance by analyzing existing organizational problems and developing plans for improvement.

Today, every business change has an information systems component. So we focus our efforts on Information Technology (IT) organizations because of our firm belief that a company can only progress as fast as its IT systems and organizational capability allow.

Our ultimate goal is to help IT mature: develop, grow, and become more efficient and effective. An IT organization with mature capabilities can better support change while one with immature capabilities can and will hinder it.

Since maturing an organization requires extra hands, we also provide the thinkers and doers to help with implementation…what we refer to as the
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With A Little Help From My Friends

By |September 30th, 2013|Categories: time|Tags: , , , , , |Comments Off on With A Little Help From My Friends

In my travels, I try to pick up tidbits to help me be more effective at managing projects. We’ve all seen the various tools, techniques, methodologies, etc. to help us deliver against The Big Three: cost, scope and time—but is that really all there is? The funny thing about projects is that success is declared despite most of the project participants knowing that the outcome was somewhat less than successful. Why is that? You hear things like, “It came in on time, under budget and was executed exactly as documented in the requirements.” So it must have been a success, right? And yet there is an unspoken disappointment because it’s not really entirely what was envisioned.

The other day, I ran across a great piece by Gartner about improving project success. Its premise was that if you focus on three things—Partnership, Requirements and Resources—you can really increase the probability of a successful project outcome. Wow! . . .something different from The Big Three!! I was easily able to relate requirements and resources back to the big three, but what about partnership? The formal definition of “partnership” (courtesy of my dictionary) was of little use, but when I looked at its synonyms, I found words like alliance, collaboration, connection, relation, and union. And that’s when it hit me. Partnership doesn’t relate to the big three but rather comprises the foundation that enables us to deliver on them. Without true partnership, project realization or the ability to deliver the expected value from the project is unlikely.

This should have been obvious considering the successful projects I’ve participated in and led. It was partnership at all levels that helped drive realization. From various IT organizations to external partners to
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