What if IT stopped funding SharePoint projects?
Public Service Announcement:
"Your IT department is no longer going to fund any SharePoint projects for this organisation"
After the initial panic, and believe me there will be a huge uproar in your organisation, when the dust settles and we calm the f*ck down, will it really be as bad as we first thought?
I don't think so...
You see if we wind time back to where we are now, in a time before that really scary the public announcement, you'll find that in 90% of cases (maybe more), SharePoint projects were funded and led by (unsurprisingly):
Now this is hardly surprising when we look back at the origin of IT projects... They were mainly development projects (mainframe, PC, Client-Server etc etc.) or Intranet projects with the sole purpose of pushing news out to employees. Back then it kinda made sense for those departments to be leading the charge, let's face it, back then the business didn't really think about IT at all. Now I still think that 'back in the day' this wasn't really ideal, but I think the negative impact of these historical projects was relatively limited due to their nature.
But now we live in a different world, a world of collaboration, business process, social, knowledge and hugely different (or at least they should be) working practices.
IT (and Marketing and Comms) have basically done enough of the project funding and leading to deliver IT platforms and basic functionality to get us over the 'new ways of working' threshold. We thank you for this, we really appreciate it, we couldn't have done it without you, but now...
It's now time for you to step back.
Time to pass responsibility back to the business.
Time to trust the business, they get it now and I think they can apply this (SharePoint) to our business for good.
[This is your business people talking now]
We can handle this now, we'll drive the right projects forward, with your support and valuable help.
Don't worry, the organisation will pay for the projects, well the ones where we see business value anyway.
Don't worry, we see SharePoint as part of our strategic platforms, so we'll absolutely invest where we see we can deliver business value and use SharePoint to help us facilitate progress towards our vision.
Please feel free to suggest cool new features or technologies that might help the business, but don't get p!ssed off with us if we don't jump on the bandwagon yet, we will when the business value is there and they help us achieve our vision.
We appreciate what you've done for us now, but we think we need to take the lead now.
[Back to me, Ant]
So, I hope you can see that if IT (and Marketing and Comms) do stop funding SharePoint projects it's a bloody good thing.
Actually it's an awesome, liberating, enabling, innovative, right thing to do!
The business will drive forward towards it's vision, using technology (like SharePoint) as a strategic asset and an enabler.
There will be no more SharePoint Celery projects.
Business value will be delivered (and measured).
We will reduce technology and time and money waste.
Adoption will increase (Why? Because we're delivering business aligned projects that make sense in a business context).
But before I finish this post, lets add further disruption to the mix, I think we still need to go one little step further, go on stick with me, hold my hand, it'll be alright, don't be scared!
You see if we move the funding of SharePoint projects to the business then we are making serious progress, but we still have the legacy of delivery that project tied to IT, I think this still has some dampers on our effectiveness, such as:
- Feature / Technology bias
- Prioritisation and resourcing challenges
- Disconnect from business change management.
Now if we move the SharePoint delivery capability (BA's, PM's, Training, Devs, Consultants etc. etc.) into a central, strategic position, with autonomy, the right resources and a business led approach, perhaps (you could see this coming couldn't you?) we create a central SharePoint Centre of Excellence, reporting into a strategic level (not IT or Finance), then I think we have the recipe for strategic SharePoint success.
I think then it's game on!
What do you think?