April 24, 2012 1 Comment
The maturity of resource allocation of most IT organizations are typically less than the resource allocation maturity of the enterprises that host these. This is not a surprising finding given people and groups usually adopt the norms and behaviors of the context they are surrounded by.
For an IT organization to increase it’s Economics Maturity it needs to address the concerns of its host. This suggests stakeholder analysis and managing expectations is of significant importance, possibly more importance than the level of precision of the actual economic justification. Texts on decision analysis indirectly discuss this phenomena.
One strategy to mitigate this issue is to choice the appropriate level of methods for both decision and organizational decision maturity.
Many organizations often in an effort to expedite decisions either choice methods that are too simplistic. This can result in decisions that don’t address the nuances of the problem or are not repeatable as inputs and influences to the decision are not explicitly, hidden in pockets of subject matter experts or decision makers. The other alternative are decision processes that are overly complex. Initially the rational of these complex processes is to provide a comprehensive system for making decisions. Where this often goes wrong is that the process becomes the standard and dogma for all decisions. Thus creating a bureaucracy for decisions.
A possible remedy for this unintended consequence is to develop a series of decision processes at different levels of complexity and guidance as to when to use which. While it can be argued with the information technology one all encompassing process can be created and automated thereby reducing the overhead in these processes making them easier to execute. The problem with such a strategy is that it neglects that the decision maker still needs to understand the attributes and variables to make an effective decision. For a complex decision there are not only multiple variables but typically require time to digest the interaction of variables. Using a similar process for simple decisions places undue delay.
Another strategy is to create a decision team composed of the stakeholders, guide them through the development of the economics case themselves. This has several benefits. First it helps raise the knowledge level of the group. Second it help build confidence in the methodologies used as they develop experience. Third, an open discourse explicitly raises concerns of stakeholders to be addressed.