IT people and HR people don't always get along in small companies. In working with our customers I've come to the following conclusion:
The leader of IT needs to talk to the leader of finance and HR and say essentially:
We are cost centers and we shouldn't be. We should be helping to move the company forward positively and treat the rest of the business like a customer and value our efforts on a per-project basis that way - so that we are doing the things together as a team that are going to make the company move forward...
... and the HR and finance people should have the same view that they want to execute on the right projects and move the company forward.
In order to do that they need to understand the business value delivered by each of these things that they are working on. So that is the R in ROI, right? And they need to understand the cost. That is where my company, Journyx comes in. We are the time sheet software company that is going to help you understand that cost. We are the I in ROI. The R is they have to come up with some sort of metric that describes what value is being delivered by executing all of these things.
That is a paradigm shift. Instead of just, "Oh, I am the IT guy. I am going to sit here and figure out how to make things cheaper and get the same amount of work done." That is a totally different way of thinking than, we are going to look at how we can deliver big business value and do it with the right ROI. I think that the IT people are probably a little bit ahead of the finance and HR people in this way of thinking.
So that's my big insight for the day. Stop treating your department like a cost center. Treat it like a business and change its paradigm so that you are measuring the business value delivery to your internal customers and work to improve it. Commit to this right now. And soon you will be arguing about what piece of big business value to deliver and how much it's worth instead of how to pinch a few more pennies.
Last updated: May 28, 2008
CURT FINCH has more than two decades of software development and distributed workforce management experience. In 1997, Curt created the world's first internet-based timesheet application and the foundation for the current Journyx product offering. Curt has a B.S. in Computer Science from Virginia Tech. His book, All Your Money, is available on Amazon. @curtfinch