9 September 2008

The August Survey; Business or IT?

I'm a curious fellow, so I asked you whether you worked in the business or IT side of the technology gulf.  Here is how the answers came back;
  • 98 people responded.
  • 34 of you are 'business' workers
  • 55 of you are 'IT' workers
  • and 10 of you are students.
What does this mean?  What is the difference between IT and business?  In general, are business people ignorant about technology and are the technology people in the dark about how business runs?  Is this you?

It keeps on surprising me when I come across the people who choose to remain ignorant of their tech/operations counterparts in the organisation. 

If you are in the IT team, the business people are your customer, so you really have to get to know them, and know how and why they work, to be able to effectively deliver good outcomes.

And if you are in the business, you need to know your tools.  Can you imagine a carpenter or plumber that doesn't know their toolkit inside out?

In particular, we project workers need to understand both - at a strategic and operational level.  We are the ones who create the business of the future through the day to day priorities we choose, and the design decicions we make (often based on time, money and other contraints.)

So we especially need to understand the consequences of our actions.

Do you? What are you doing to keep learning?  Share your wisdom with us here.

(And hi to the students who have been coming by!  Nice to have you here.)


  1. Anonymous1:05 pm

    Great post, Craig. I totally agree that it helps to have knowledge of the other side's capabilities and constraints. The days of throwing requirements over the fence and hoping for the best should be a distant memory in the age of collaboration.

    I'd be interested to know at what point a business employs both business and IT PMs. How big does it have to be to segment expertise like that, you know?


  2. Anonymous2:53 pm

    In one of my previous companies (BSW Data in South Africa) we used to rotate people around the business to give them exposure to each area. So developers might go and do some pre-sales support for a month or two, support engineers may go and join the development team; and so on.