I’d like to start off this week’s blog with a question; how does organisational culture affect IT Teams?
All organisations have their own specific culture, but it is something that can be difficult to define. The way that I sometimes think of it is that if the company was a person, what would they be like?
Would they be friendly? Intelligent? Conscientious? Trustworthy? What values would they have? And what would this company/person look like; male or female, young or old, tall or short etc.
Most importantly, if the organisation that you work for was a person, would it be someone that you’d want to be friends with?
I’m sure that there are other metaphors for looking at culture, but I find this to be the most useful, especially as you can take it further, and investigate sub-cultures.
Let’s pick on finance. What sort of person would your finance department be? Let me guess; reliable, measured, diligent, middle aged, spectacles, intelligent, but not necessarily in an imaginative way.
Of course this is simplistic. Your finance department might be completely different to the one I’ve described, but nevertheless the technique is useful.
The next step – and I’m sure you’re way ahead of me here – is what sort of person would the IT department be? If you work in an IT department, you might find this more difficult; the exercise seems to be easier when applied to other teams, rather than your own.
Imagine the IT department/person interacting with the other department/people and with the organisation/person. Are the relationships strong, built on shared values and trust (as you would hope), or might there be some room for improvement?
What do other people think the IT department/person would be like? Geeky, uncommunicative and a bit scruffy, perhaps?
How might this effect the way that people interact with IT as a service (as opposed to a person) and what improvements can be made?
Even if your organisation, and the various departments within it, isn’t likely to become your new best friend, you still have to find a way to build good working relationships.