Would you like an increased level of collaboration between IT and the rest of your organisation? Do you need to improve your ability to communicate the value that IT is bringing to the table? If you have answered yes to these questions, it might be the time to develop an organisational engagement strategy.
Some common signs that you need to increase your level of engagement include:
- If you are hearing “I brought in an external provider because IT couldn’t……”
- Or, “I don’t have much money or time to work with you, but I want all the options.”
Or if your clients are asking:
- “What does IT do? What don’t you do?”
- “How do we work with IT?”
- “How do we leverage IT services?”
Here are the 6 ways to create an effective organisational engagement strategy:
1. Know your audience
To engage someone you must first understand them. It is important that you can think from their point of view. It is critical that you begin to think from their perspective and not from the viewpoint of technology. If you were to select one of your major clients, how much do you know about them above and beyond their technology requirements?
If you want to remain at the level of an “IT supplier” this is probably enough, but if you desire to move up the IT Maturity Curve to the level of “partner” or “innovative anticipator”, your knowledge of your client must be much deeper.
Do you know their strategic plan, their goals, organisation objectives, business strategy, current pain points, etc? A simple way to approach this is to consider what your client might be thinking about on the way to the office in the morning.
2. Know how your audience views you
In addition to knowing your audience, you must also learn how your audience views you! This will have a significant impact on their willingness to engage with you. How is the past performance of IT impacting the organisation’s view of IT? What is the current level of trust of IT from the organisation?
If a third party was going to ask the organisation what they thought of IT, how would they answer? The answers to these questions will let you know your starting point in working to achieve a relationship of collaboration and understanding.
3. Include everyone
Organisational engagement is the responsibility of everyone in the IT organisation. If you want a consistent message that communicates the value of IT, builds your image, and creates a professional and competent impression, include everyone – IT staff, relationship and project managers, senior IT leadership and the CIO – in the plan.
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