Thursday, April 10, 2014

Close the divide between your IT department and end user.

Technology is always changing, which leaves uncertainty in the workplace in the forever advancing industry.

It is important to keep the office as connected as possible.  Keep employees informed to whats going on with the business and they will see how they are the lifeline to the businesses success.


End users and IT departments often see systems in different ways, which causes tension.  End users want a simple online app where users can chat or use voice-mail.

IT sees back-end integration work, backup, security, device compatibility, and many other “invisible” functions that must be thought of when building an app.

Timelines and expectations will differ, depending on who you are and which side on the end user/IT divide you sit on.

Here are a few steps to take to gap the bridge between end users and your IT department:bridge-employees-itdepartment

1. Know the business

If you understand the business from a business perspective, you will have first-hand knowledge of how the business works.  Departments tend to focus on their role and forget how they are really working as a whole.

2. Form alliances with key end users

By forming relationships, successful application development and deployment are nurtured.  With open communication, it is easier to ask questions and give honest feedback in development.

3. Talk less and listen more

Listen and be responsive, application developers aspire to be great, but often have tunnel vision when on to something good.  By listening to input from co-workers, they can get a better understanding of their progress.

4. Arrogance is ignorance

End users love technology but may not understand it very well.  IT professionals need to leave out jargon when in meetings, sticking to the business and purpose of the app.  When acronyms are used by IT that end users don’t understand, a barrier of communication takes over.  Less collaboration for the app are likely the result.

5. Understand the process

The IT department sometimes start building an app without understanding the business workflow.  Application developers should spend time with the end user, observing business operations and goals.

6. Understand the business

It may be surprising that IT developers have never taken a business course.  It is important for them to know how the business runs and how technology affects performance of the company.

7. Read the corporate financials

If employees at a business know how the business is doing, it will give employees appreciation for what the company is and how they are involved.  Employees that know the businesses financials and the status of the company, apply themselves with more dedication.

8. Be service oriented

Analysts and application developers who succeed are the ones who understand the value of the business and the people they work for.  When people know they are relied on, they feel more important and put more effort into their performance.

9. Check back

Check with end users to see if they are having issues or problems with application deployment.  Ensure that end-user training on the new app is part of your application deployment.

10. Look for ways to fix whats wrong

When finding out there is an issue, work immediately on fixing the problem.  Pilot testing and other test techniques are ways to eliminate end-user pain.

With a company working as a team instead of a single unit will ensure successful development.  Have company meetings and involve the staff with whats going on, on a regular basis.

Comradery within a company between departments is something businesses often fail to be mindful of.  Talk to your employees, make sure they understand the ins-and-outs of the business and how they can work together, as a team.

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10 things to help you bridge the IT/end user divide – Tech Republic

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