Chris J Powell

IT Roles Get a Boost – Part 4

Well I must say that this has been a bit of a marathon run to be able to get through a 4 Part Series this week, but it has been quite enjoyable.  The final 3 roles that are expected to see a bump in staffing availability in 2011 include Architecture,  IT Strategic Planning and Business Analyst.

Architecture

Back on June 15th I wrote a post on Enterprise Architecture (EA).  In no way am I an expert in any framework or in the implementation of an EA framework but having talked to IT Managers, Directors and CIOs at hundreds of companies in the past 6 months, this is a concern for them.

The challenge that I have found in both speaking to “Architects” and “EA Consultants” or for that matter working with the aftermath that can at times ensue is that it is a massive project that puts the IT Department on notice to the entire organization for an extended period of time.  I know more than a few Network Admins who would prefer to be the worker bee and never have to interact with the business units other than during their assigned “help desk coverage time”.

There are some very solid EA Frameworks out there.  Some require a masters degree in BS and others are very open and logical.  Here are some links from Wikipedia if EA is on your radar:
Consortia-developed frameworks

Open Source Frameworks

Proprietary frameworks

Defense industry frameworks

  • DoDAF – the US Department of Defense Architecture Framework
  • MODAF – the UK Ministry of Defence Architecture Framework
  • NAF – the NATO Architecture Framework
  • AGATE – the France DGA Architecture Framework
  • DNDAF – the DND/CF Architecture Framework (CAN)

Government frameworks

The list above is far from exhaustive but is a good start to gain a better understanding of what is being thrown at you during a pitch or Job Interview.

 

IT Strategic Planning

When it comes to Strategic Planning within an IT Department it has become all to clear to me that it is more like a wish list of things to pad the budget.  The days of mis-alignment and doing for IT and only for IT are long over.  Any Strategic Plan whether it be a 2 year, 3 year or 5 year plan it must have input from the rest of the business…to fail to include Jane in Finance, Burt in Sales and Fred in Operations is a move that will lead to eventual failure!

Future growth and preparation for what is going to be around the next corner is what the overall objective should be for any effective IT Leader.  If you are in need of help because you are too busy with putting out the fires of every day…I can think of a few options to give you a short term win and a long term gain…first off…book some time with me…its what I do.  My calendar is available at Tungle.me.

The alternative is to look bring in some expertise that can help you focus on what is most important today and what will become important tomorrow.  The building of an effective IT Steering Committee does not happen overnight but can make a world of difference between seeing an IT Budget Shrink into oblivion and an IT Budget that is designed to enpower a business to grow and expand!

 

Business Analyst

I know that the BA absolutely has their place in every IT Department but what truly frustrates me is the fact that the Facebook Generation that is coming out of College and University now has a sense of entitlement to them that because the have lived their entire lives (or the vast majority of it) with Internet Access that they are now the all knowing all seeing Truth Seers of the IT World!  A Business Degree does not make you an IT Professional, it is the ability to bridge the gap between business and IT that makes you an asset to both the IT Department and the organization that hires you!

From my initial comments it may appear that I am against the application of a Business Analyst within the IT Department and that is not the case.  A good Business Analyst is key to ensuring that the moving parts of a project are successful…a bad Business Analyst is nothing but a drain on EVERY resource within the department.

I have worked with a few absolutely amazing examples of these but on the flip side I more often than not felt that their technical skills were lacking.  Now I am myself a bit of an anomaly in that I have strong technical skills, proficient orator, at times a “wordsmith” and I have been known to post a sale or two in my time as a Sales Professional so I look through Rose Colored Glasses and a major reason why I dread the thought of a Management Role (my expectations of ME tend to be placed onto those around me).

 

I hope you have enjoyed my first Week Long Series.  Leave some comments or shoot me an email if you would like to see more of this type of “Deep Thoughts with Krispy” kind of work.

 

Enjoy your weekend and for a little fun…some Weird Al and Ebay!

 

Chris J Powell

 

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