3 March 2016

Breaking free from the tyranny of time


This is quite a long post so here is the 30-second version:

  • organising services around calendars and clocks is generally a bad idea
  • it is much better to organise around outcomes and risks
  • this is now a practical option because of new technology
  • CIOs can take the lead and help the whole enterprise.

Sarah Wilkinson, CTO for the UK Home Office, recently wrote a post about breaking away from some long held traditions in IT. The article includes some great advice but I think we need to go further. Sarah explains that setting a single, arbitrary timetable for strategy and other IT processes creates issues because the pace of change varies across different parts of an organisation and over time. She suggests that CIOs should monitor what is going on and keep resetting the timetable for IT Strategy to fit. This is better than the traditional IT approach but why not drop the timetable altogether? Leading organisations are shifting away from operating according to predefined procedures and set routines and, instead, are providing more flexible services which focus on outcomes and adapt to risk. We should do the same for IT.

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