4. Avoid common justifications
Beware the common excuses that IT makes for not engaging the organisation. The most common ones include: our accomplishments are self-evident; we already have enough work; it’s the CIO or marketing’s job; I can’t justify the time or money; or we’re just too busy fighting day-to-day fires. This type of thinking is exactly what will create or even worsen a lack of engagement and relationship between IT and the organisation.
5. Use formal and informal engagement efforts
As you develop your strategy, it will have two parts. The formal segment will be for announcements of new projects, upgrades, notifications of outages, etc. These will be official communications that are sent out from IT to the organisation.
The informal segment will consist of making sure everyone in IT is prepared with a common message when asked a question by someone outside IT. Most often those outside IT see IT as one unit; they don’t distinguish architecture from network from service desk.
So for example, if the network is down and someone from the organisation sees someone from IT in the lift and they have nothing to do with managing the network, a consistent message should be provided across all of IT as to what to say in this situation. This helps to maintain an image of competence and professionalism of IT to the rest of the organisation.
6. Develop outcome based messages
When constructing messages, whether they be formal, informal or in day-to-day interactions, the most effective communication starts from first talking about what is the desired outcome for the audience you’re speaking to. Avoid the common error of talking about the technology and all its features. As IT, we may love all these bells and whistles but to those outside IT we’d better answer the question of what’s in it for them and give them a reason to care!
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.