Across all job titles, regions, and industries, the communication happening between IT and their non-IT coworkers is often described as insufficient. And according to a recent Executive Council benchmark survey, only four out of 100 IT leaders believe they are effectively communicating with their non-IT coworkers.
The reason for this issue is due to an absence of effective communication, trust and a cohesive vision within the organization. Reports show that many IT departments are unsatisfied with executive leadership decisions regarding the company’s digital strategies and innovation processes.
Clearly there is a major communication problem within business information technology, but what exactly can companies do to fix it? Some communication tips to battle the problem include:
#1: Train them on the ENTIRE business
Don’t let IT leaders become isolated “techies” within the organization. They should have a true understanding of the perspective of all roles and parts of the business. Having a cohesive understanding helps them to gain an understanding of why certain business decisions are made so they can effectively implement the changes needed. Allow IT professionals to job shadow in the various departments of the business, and if needed, rearrange the teams or floor plans to establish convergence.
#2: Educate About Stakeholders
IT decisions made during projects are often the result of the needs of the stakeholders rather than some leadership or other departments. If you educate your IT leaders on who these people are as well as why their decisions are important or needed, they will likely respond more effectively to why certain changes are happening.
#3 Encourage Normal Language
IT professionals seem to unintentionally create their own language that's cluttered with technical jargon and acronyms that other departments simply don’t understand. IT leaders need to make a continuous effort to simplify their conversations and eliminate the use of confusing acronyms.
#4 Insert Metrics into Discussions
IT leaders love metrics, so it’s a great tool to use to drive a conversation with someone with a more technical brain. During the right time, this can be a powerful tool to help make conversations easier and more effective.
#5 Outsource When Needed
If communication issues are holding your IT department back, don’t be afraid to look for some help from an expert. Outsourcing the help of an IT Communications Director can implement processes and tools to enhance the business information technology communication. Using an expert can also help to identify the nuances that are hindering your specific organization’s communication process and provide realistic suggestions on how to improve on it.
IT leaders of today simply must be willing to work through and discuss the complexities of the digital world with effective communication. Doing so helps the organization solidify strategies, expand abilities and ultimately, encourages growth. Additionally, improving the communication between IT and the rest of the business helps the entire organization understand their digital processes, growth goals and the future plans of the business, which is beneficial for all.