Today John Maxwell’s (MINUTE WITH MAXWELL) John cleverly contrasts being overcome and overcoming. What could this have to do with IT?

Frustrated man sitting at a desk with chins on his wrists and a clock, laptop and stuff all over his desk.

If you have ever been overcome by trying to manage your IT environment then you understand the applicability of the term. Yet it does not have to be that way. You can overcome. And you can avoid being overcome going forward.

Being is a state. No action is involved. Nothing changes. To overcome, “being overcome”, action is required; as John clearly differentiates in his monologue. So how can you overcome and stay from being overcome with your IT challenges? Take action in terms of understanding, rationalizing, and stabilizing.

Woman seeing "Time To Upgrade" on her computer screen.

Step one is understanding. Most people I talk to think they understand their IT environment. But they do not understand why it does not do what they want it to do and why it costs so much. I have learned that the shop manager that doesn’t walk the shop floor and participate in shop operations cannot articulate why they are missing promise dates. To understand your IT environment (or shop floor if you are a manufacturer) complete process mapping of your current environment. Do not be concerned with the applications for now, simply focus on the process. That will itself ferret out the imperfections in technology. Going through this exercise you will learn that there are three versions of your process. What you think it is. What it really is. And what it should be.

Step two is rationalizing. The process mapping you did in step one will identify the MUDA (Kaizen term for waste) in your process. And the associated technologies. Rationalizing is simplifying your process, and thereby your application environment as well, by removing the MUDA and any redundant or underperforming applications. And by simplifying the process you will rip out the cost of trying to make a disorganized and inefficient set of processes and data produce business outcomes.

Spheres of eveolving technology through phases of improvement

Step three is stabilizing. Once you have simplified your processes and removed the waste you need to add the guardrails to keep the mess from growing back. Simple steps can be put in place to manage and control creep and abuse. One example is to institute a rule that no new technology is added without proper vetting, and without removing two other existing technologies. That eliminates adding point solutions that are redundant with existing technology and helps you pair down the complexity of your environment. In short, develop and implement controls that keep your environment healthy and safe.

Group of happy young multiracial people working in modern light office. Businessmen at work. Feeling of success

In summary, if you feel overcome by your IT environment there is a solution. The steps are simple. Taking action is what will help you overcome. If you would like some help planning and executing the actions required then schedule some time on my calendar à