Key questions you need to ask to improve IT service delivery

by Dr Nigel Martin, on 17-Oct-2017 15:41:00

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IT leaders are under pressure to improve services and IT performance.  IT continues to take a large chunk of the company’s budget, yet things seem to stay the same. Business leaders are growing increasingly frustrated by a continued lack of IT performance. Every CIO should have a clear plan for improving IT capability, efficiency and agility.
Improvements don’t happen on their own accord. That means taking decisive action and implementing changes in the way IT works. Questions are a powerful tool for driving activity, creativity and change; often because they challenge and disrupt the status quo. When used properly, questions can uncover the problems, challenges and opportunities that operational metrics don’t show up.
Building a roadmap to higher IT maturity means gathering information and making a series of difficult decisions. Asking the right questions will help you gather that information you need to make sound strategic planning decisions. The result is a workable IT maturity improvement roadmap that will deliver a more capable, agile and cost-effective IT department.
To build a high-maturity, high-performance IT department, you need to stack up progressive capabilities - where each successive layer is founded on the layer below. There are no shortcuts to the top. Many of the advanced capabilities are entirely dependent on the lower layers. It also takes time to “burn in” new processes, skills, behaviors, technologies, policies and partnerships before they are ready to support the next layer of capabilities. These foundations must be vitrified in the forge of day-to-day IT operations to ensure they are robust enough to support the next step.
But how do you climb the ladder of IT maturity? How do you get from where you are now to where you need to be? And in what order? Where do you need to shore up current capabilities to ensure a steady foundation for improvement? What are the priorities? What does your IT maturity roadmap look like?
There are many questions to be answered. When driving strategic IT change, question can be powerful; more powerful than statements or orders. Questions start discussions. Questions trigger thought processes. Questions get the creative juices flowing. Questions help you get a clear and accurate picture of your current IT capabilities, a better understanding of how they work, how they interconnect and where the dependencies lie. With a clear view of the status quo, you can then ask the right questions to plan a path forward; to plan a workable IT maturity roadmap that will deliver advanced capabilities and higher IT performance that the business will notice.
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