Has IT lost its Mojo? Is the book “A Seat at the Table” Right?

Where is IT Leadership Chair? Considering the role IT plays in innovation, integration, digital transformation and the customer experience, one might assume that the relationship between senior management and IT is positive and working well. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Within the last decade, IT especially as related to software development has lost its luster. This has garnered much attention since Mark Schwartz’s book a seat A Seat at the Table.

It is well known that senior management often lacks insight into the ebbs and flows of IT development while the IT department lacks the business acumen to speak in business terms such as increased productivity, reduced cycle time, reduced risk, changes in manufacturing or total cost of operation costs and return on investment.

This fundamental lack of understanding and appreciation on both sides created and reinforces the arms length relationship typically seen with external contractors and IT departments. The best example of this arms length relationship is the internal “contract” created that defines the scope of work. The scoping process contributes to these adversarial feelings because the customer is not exactly sure of the priorities of the features they are requesting and as a result include as many features as they can think of.

This “feature creep” results and requests to prioritize what features often leads to a argument about the importance of pairing down the feature set in order to achieve an on-time delivery. To make things worse, the companies use their project managers who create schedules, delivery dates, and deliverables which inevitably are not met which results in escalation strategies which reinforces the adversarial relationship.

What do your think? Is this a adversarial relationship? Does this impact the ability of IT to participate and impact leadership and management?