What does the IT department really do?

At some point in your career, you will need explain the services that are provided by the IT department to those granting next year’s budget dollar, in a way that makes sense to the them. Your skill in doing so can have a tremendous impact on your ability to get (or increase) budget, people and other resources. Let me share how I do it.

Assume you have approximately 20 seconds to get their attention. If a picture is worth a thousand words, you may wish to use a diagram, rather than a 10,000 page service catalog.  Dropping a 10 pound binder on the desk may have dramatic impact, but not the kind you want.

The chart below is the iteration I’m using at Appleby College, and it breaks out our functional areas and service offerings. It also tags the group responsible for delivering these services.

In a previous life, I laid out a version of this diagram in front of the VP I reported to. His first comment? “I didn’t know IT did all of this!” It was much easier to justify my budget after he was made aware of the services in place.

Of course there are stacks of supporting documentation to go along with this chart (that’s why you have the 10 pound binder), but getting everything on one page in a simplified form was instrumental in building support.

I used Mindjet’s MindManager to generate this diagram. If you want to try it, there is a 30 day trial period. It is one of the indispensable tools in my CIO arsenal. If you are interested in getting a copy of the .MMAP file, send me an email, and I’ll send one out to you (please be patient in waiting for a reply – it is a busy season).

What are you using to communicate the value of IT?

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Kevin Pashuk
Kevin Pashukhttp://www.TurningTechInvisible.com
Kevin Pashuk blogs regularly about his life as a Chief Information Officer in the educational sector. His writings cover educational technology, IT leadership, and whatever else might be on his mind. Some people even agree with him.

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