How to Get IT and the Business on the Same Team

A management consultant gives three practical tips for building an amiable working relationship between IT and business employees

If you're wondering how to cultivate better teamwork between IT and the business, management consultant Bruce Piasecki offers three tips to help build bridges. 

Always train your people to collaborate and hold each other mutually accountable. When possible, hire coachable people instead of fierce individualists. In today's global economy, executives need to make swift decisions, and IT plays a key role in creating a culture of efficient, aligned execution.

Think of the critical role IT plays in the Internet of Things, where it enables machine-to-machine alignment. To make similar "industrial Internet" successes possible, IT departments can't see themselves as separate, isolated units. That requires a new level of team-oriented thinking.

Sometimes your team must take risks to move forward. This requires IT leaders who see themselves as captains. Captains recognize the strengths and weaknesses of team members and plan around their abilities.

When your department gets bogged down by rule-following and order-taking, your entire organization suffers. Let other company leaders know that IT wants to work beyond limiting boundaries so the business can stay ahead of the pack.

Never put all your managerial eggs in the basket of one superstar. While MVPs may achieve impressive things, they also hoard information until performance time. No single individual has the skill set to take projects from start to finish in today's complex environment.

It's smarter to exchange ideas frequently and reward team results. This makes the speed of information sharing, and the role of the CIO in particular, even more important to the future of business.

Bruce Piasecki is the author of Doing More With Teams and founder of AHC Group, a management consultancy.

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