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Top 10 Hints for IT Transformation (Cont.): Don’t Mistake Heavyweight Processes For Good Planning

This is number seven in my series of articles on IT Transformation Hints.  If you’ve read my previous posts, thanks and welcome back!  If this is the first article you’ve read in the series, you might want to check out the rest, starting with IT Transformation – Top 10 Hints. You can find a list of all the previous blogs at the end of this post.


Processes and planning, they definitely go together.  Too little and you jeopardize successful execution of your program.  Too much and you can grind your project to a halt.  Finding that happy medium is a challenge.


For years, I worked in a major multinational corporation that is well known for its financial management and execution.  They were (and still are) a company that focuses on process and quality, but they are also a company that hates bureaucracy.   Was there bureaucracy and red tape there when I worked there? Absolutely. Does it still exist there today? Probably.  But they recognized that overhead like a dozen signatures on a PO when only 2-3 are needed is unnecessary overhead.  They tried to differentiate between “need” to approve and “want” to approve, as well as some legacy “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” 


Unfortunately, I see many companies today adopt “more is better” philosophies when they run large programs.  Usually this is because they confuse communication with “voting authority.”  Should your applications people know when a server is upgraded?  Of course they should.  They should also have input to the schedule.  Should they have approval authority on what is purchased and installed, though?  Absolutely not, no more than an infrastructure person should care what programming language the application team uses.  It’s critical that the right people are informed, the right people approve, and the right people execute and test.  It’s not critical that everyone is in every meeting, copied on every document, or approves every decision.


So, I do want you to have processes as part of your program management, but I want you to challenge every workflow, every governance task, every meeting, and everything else related to program management to make sure the right people are doing the right thing. 


Two questions I ask myself when I look at a process are: What value does it add, and is there a way to increase speed without increasing risk?


How many approvals do you sign, or emails do you receive, that you really care about?  Don’t be a victim of “process spam!”


For those of you that haven’t viewed the Top 10 Tips video (or want to watch it again), it can be found at: Episode Overview: Top 10 Tips for Planning Your IT Transformation


Learn more about HP Data Center Transformation Services and how HP can help you plan your next project.

For a great example of how HP can help organizations plan a major IT transformation initiative – and reduce risk – read how one company tested and refined its formula for IT virtualization.


Previous blogs in this series:

IT Transformation: --Top 10 Hints

Top 10 Hints for IT Transformation (Continued): Don’t Underestimate What You Don’t Know

Top 10 Hints for IT Transformation (Continued): Understanding the Current State Will be a Challenge

Top 10 Hints for IT Transformation (Continued): Failing to Plan Is Planning to Fail

Top 10 Hints for IT Transformation (Cont.): Risk Is Inevitable – Plan But Don't Over Plan!

Top 10 Hints for IT Transformation (Cont.): Choosing Is Losing

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About the Author
Mark joined HP in January 2007 as a Business Consultant for the Data Center Transformation team. His role is to assist HP customers in dete...

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