The Strategy to Bottom Line Value Chain


Culture Management

The following is an excerpt from  "From Business Strategy to IT Action"

"Four basic themes about the impact of management culture occur previously in this book. These themes focus on the barriers culture can erect to the Strategy-to-Bottom-Line Value Chain and will lead us to the best approaches for reducing them.

1) Weak management support for processes causes disconnects in the Strategy-to-Bottom-Line Value Chain. Such disconnects are based in culture, where the culture discounts the importance of connecting IT to business strategy or the importance of business and IT management working together to meet business strategic goals.  Without management support and commitment, processes donít work, and the outcomes of processes such as planning and prioritization simply donít make it to the next steps, such as budgeting and annual planning.

2)  Culture Restricts Management Roles.  The value-chain depends on business and IT management playing specific roles throughout the steps of planning, innovation, prioritization, alignment, and performance measurement.  This is partly a disconnect, where the culture discounts the importance of playing the planning and decision-making roles about IT, and partly management misunderstanding, where the culture gives pre-defined limits and boundaries to the levels and categories of roles management plays.  This is especially true in siloed organizations when NIE practices have managers playing roles across silos.

3)  Culture limits ITís role.  Business and IT management can have inappropriate or conflicting views about ITís role in the company in helping set and fulfill businessís strategic directions, and in management processes. Culture pre-defines ITís role in the business, and limits what IT can contribute.

4)  Culture resists change.  Management groups are reluctant to change how they do business, particularly if the initiative to change isnít theirs.  To the extent the Strategy-to-Bottom-Line Value Chain requires process and role changes, this resistance kicks in.

 The most critical resistance is to changes in how decisions are made.  Reluctance to accept the results of decisions made in new NIE-based planning and prioritization processes, which is a great change in ďhow things are doneĒ, is a great inhibitor to connecting strategy to results. This is especially apparent in siloed organizations, where managers are reluctant to change how decisions affect individual (especially their) silos.

These four culture themes can determine whether an individual manager believes it is important enough to spend time on and devote energy to business/IT processes, whether those process outcomes should be paid attention to, and whether thereís enough importance/incentive to change or affect the assignment of resources based on those process outcomes. The four themes obviously overlap, and can be traced throughout the management culture discussions in Chapters One through Four.  The bottom-line, however, is that management culture looms large, and we have to be able to deal with it. "

Excerpt from "From Business Strategy to IT Action"