IT project management,IT business processes,ITIL,Durban,South Africa

By: Occam Consulting  11-11-2011
Keywords: IT Management, Mentoring Program, Management Mentoring

IT career progression is one of the hardest challenges in business. If you put someone who is technically gifted but with no business skills in charge you’ll have problems. Similarly if you put someone with business skills but no technical knowledge in charge, they will struggle to gain the respect of their staff and you’ll have problems.   At Occam Consulting, we recognise this challenge and have assisted companies to mentor their staff so that they become the right people. Our IT Management mentoring program includes all of the skills required to effectively run an IT department including:Psychology – How to get the best out of IT staff by recognising how to motivate and manage them on an individual level.People Management – How to recruit, assess performance, set goals and develop career plans for your team. An important aspect of this is learning how to delegate effectively. Marketing – How to market IT to the rest of business as an enabler rather than a necessary evil and how to encourage and obtain feedback from the rest of the business.Finance – How to manage the financial aspects of running an IT department such as setting budgets, cost/benefit analysis and projections.Reporting/Communication – How to package and present your ideas at Board level to obtain buy-in. How to communicate with staff and customers (users) effectively. Business Processes – How to recommend and implement systems that support the strategic goals and processes of the business. 
This is the foundation of a good IT system. If your infrastructure isn’t planned and managed correctly, your systems cannot function at optimal levels and your staff and customers will become frustrated. At Occam Consulting, we can provide the tools and knowledge to identify issues and propose practical and cost effective ways to ensure that your infrastructure is supporting your business goals. We will put policies and procedures in place to govern how your company information is accessed, protected, stored and archived. We produce manuals and run workshops so that every employee understands these policies.If you are starting out or moving to new premises, this is the perfect opportunity to review your ICT infrastructure and make sure that it meets your current and future business requirements.  
A new system is implemented to great fanfare but fails to deliver on its promises. The IT Manager is threatening to resign and the staff are on the verge of mutiny. Why?If a new system was the answer, what was the question?This is our starting point for discovering why a solution didn’t live up to the promises on the box. There can be many reasons but it is guaranteed that the answer will be found within one of the pillars of good IT management ie: people, infrastructure or processes. • Were all of the right questions asked at the start of the project?
• Does the system answer all of those questions?
• Does the infrastructure support the system?
• Do the people support the system?
• Does the system support the people?
• Was the system implemented in a controlled and phased way to minimise adverse impact?
• Were the people who would be directly affected canvassed for their opinion and input?
• Was there a comprehensive change management process put in place?
• Has the relationship between the business and the vendor broken down?
• Has there been adequate training?
• Is there adequate support?By tracing every aspect of the project, Occam Consulting will find the reasons why an IT project failed and put steps in place to recover the situation, change negative perceptions and get the project on track for a successful re-launch.In addition to getting IT projects back on track, we also assist in the selection and implementation of new systems to ensure that every aspect of the project runs smoothly.
The steps required for a company to get from point A to point B, or business processes will dictate any IT solution. In many companies, these processes are well understood but are not documented in any manual or company handbook. Staff just know what they need to do. Selecting or designing a new solution for a particular area of the business requires that every business process (even the obvious ones) needs to be documented and either measured against an existing software solution or provided to a software developer to create a custom solution. And because businesses consist of interdependent departments, any proposed changes to a system need to be evaluated against other systems and processes before the contract is signed or the first line of code is written.Occam Consulting can assist in documenting processes and evaluating software solutions based on business requirements. Using our experience, we will assist the company to make the best decision for their business;• What business benefits are required?
• Is there an existing solution that delivers all of the benefits?
• Will the business accept a solution that delivers most but not all of the benefits?
• Is there scope for customisation to achieve a 100% fit?
• Will a custom solution deliver benefits that justify additional time and costs?
• If a change to process is required, what is the impact of that change, does it benefit the business AND will the business support that change?
Occam’s Razor - Is the meta-theoretical principle that "entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity" (entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem) and the conclusion that the simplest solution is usually the correct one.

Keywords: IT Management, Management Mentoring, Mentoring Program,