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Leadership Improvement: The IT Maturity Method™


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Leadership Improvement: The IT Maturity Method by Justin Coven, Ph.D.


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The IT Maturity Method™ Full Course


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IT Maturity Method™ (ITMM) Leadership Improvement FAQ


How can ITMM Leadership Improvement be used to handle complex projects?

How can ITMM Leadership Improvement be used to handle regional differences?

How can ITMM Leadership Improvement be used to optimize planning ahead?

What is the best place to understand the optimization of an organization’s information flow and problem solving (or Exceptional Leadership)?

Why reviewing case studies is not the optimum way of doing anything, or why we create models!

Why is ITMM Leadership training so much more valuable than other leadership training or books?

IT Maturity Method™  FAQ


How is ITMM different from Enterprise Architecture?

How is ITMM different from the Capability Maturity Model (CMMi)?

How does the IT Maturity Method (ITMM) eliminate bureaucracy?

What philosophical model is ITMM based upon?

Why has no one created an IT Maturity Method that focuses on the core functions of IT before?

Is a full IT outsourced model required to use ITMM?

Is my organization big enough to start implementing the ITMM?

Can ITMM be used for business domains other than IT?

What is the difference between Usage Tracking, Usage Assessment and Business Value?

Do you offer individual training for ITMM?

Answers


How can ITMM Leadership Improvement be used to handle complex projects?

  • While the ITMM Leadership Improvement Office supports standard and advanced project management, it goes much further in the identification and tracking of other and project solving activities in order to insure effective handling of complex projects.
    • The ITMM creates processes for managing organizational activities such as communication, delegation, escalation, and empowerment.
    • The ITMM creates processes for managing problem resolution activities such as depth, scope, increments, and lightweight. 
    • The ITMM creates processes for managing organizational structure roles and responsibilities at an enterprise level which insures that organizational activities mentioned in the first sub-bullet above execute cleanly.

How can ITMM Leadership Improvement be used to handle regional differences?

  • Newsletter 10 discusses how asymmetrical organizations can evolve due to regional differences.  Please review that newsletter to see the ITMM handles regional differences effectively.

How can ITMM Leadership Improvement be used to optimize planning ahead?

  • The ITMM looks at planning as an ongoing near real time activity. Planning should include near real time knowledge of all business processes, products, services, vendors, partners and the larger enterprise environment and how all of these are evolving. Mechanisms are providing to track the evolution, foster the evolution, and analyze how to best react to the evolution.
  • Specific mechanisms include:
    • Business process and integration maps.
    • Business process research and improvement tools.
    • A near real time improvement matrix which can be used for short, and long term planning. Being near real time allows plans to adapt to changing business environments as well as the optimization of negotiation positions.

What is the best place to understand the optimization of an organization’s information flow and problem solving (or Exceptional Leadership)?

  • While Chief Executive Officers and other “C” level executives regularly get the big picture of what happens in their organizations, they are not on the front line of information flow and problem solving. The roles that get the best view of  information flow and problem solving are enterprise level technical and project roles. Individuals in theses roles get to see both detail and big pictures of problems across the enterprise.
  • While enterprise level technical and project leads to not get to see the full enterprise environment (e.g. breadth of business processes, and interfaces of the enterprise with the external world) they do get a unique and intense view at how information flows and problems are solved within the largest of organizations. It is from this unique vantage point that optimizations of information flow and problem solving can be envisioned.
  • Caveat: envisioning optimization of enterprise level information flow and problem solving (or exceptional leadership) is different from excellence in execution, which additionally requires understanding of the full enterprise environment and political acumen.

Why reviewing case studies is not the optimum way of doing anything, or why we create models!

  • When dealing with intractable problems, often the only option is to look at successful cases to learn how to handle. 
  • However, if an effective and efficient model becomes available, it is more advantageous use such a model due to both ease and predictability of usage. Usage of cases is an art with very variable results. With effective models, usage and results become predictable.  This is why the ITMM is of greater value than the study of an excessive number of only possibly applicable leadership and other enterprise management level cases.

Why is ITMM Leadership training so much more valuable than other leadership training or books?

  • ITMM Leadership training is integrated into the context of a larger business/IT model, taking advantage of and optimizing the integration of leadership components into other business activities and other business activities into leadership.
  • ITMM Leadership is built around the context of the organization, not an individual. The meaning of leadership outside of organization is questionable, for without an organization you cannot have a leader.  Models of leadership built around individual leadership skills are naturally limited because they do not explore how the skills they advance, fit into the larger organization.
  • ITMM Leadership training is high level,  and covers leadership concisely and effectively.

How is ITMM different from Enterprise Architecture?

  • IT Enterprise Architecture is the art and science of creating a holistic model of technology (applications, data, and infrastructure) and associated business processes for an enterprise. IT Maturity advances this art and science several steps further as follows:
    • The art and science of creating holistic models is extended to Vendor Integration, as well as Leadership Improvement.
    • Mechanisms for tracking and measuring of technology, business processes, vendor integration, and leadership are provided.
    • Tuning and advancing tools are built based on the results of tracking and measuring.
    • Methodologies are provided to evolve product and services based on emerging technology.

How is ITMM different from the Capability Maturity Model (CMMi)?

  • CMMi is definition and management heavy. Because of this focus, many organizations become stuck at these levels, spending extensive time and resources just making it to these levels and never attaining more advanced levels. ITMM is lightweight and abstracts out bureaucratic activities by measuring vendors on their ability to both create optimized and tailored processes and to efficiently manage projects with those processes. [Vendor Performance]
  • Organizations using ITMM can advance rapidly. In ITMM, each definition is an independent tool. The entire enterprise does not need to be defined to generate benefits and maturation. Any element can be defined, measured, and advanced individually.
  • Most of the efforts around the CMMi have been on software development, while ITMM focuses on modern-day core IT functions including: leadership, business integration, technology advancement, and vendor management. Software development was key to IT in earlier eras, but in today's world, outsourcing and commercial off-the-shelf software have altered the core functions of IT.

How does the IT Maturity Method eliminate bureaucracy?

  • Leadership Improvement reduces empire building and associated bureaucracy. Additionally, it provides methodical dissemination of effective leadership skills that reduce unnecessary activities and provide focus on value-added activities. [Tracking Organizations]
  • Business Enhancement reorients IT away from excessive 90’s IT processes and on to business value-added activities. [Business Function Maps]
  • Vendor Integration abstracts away from enumeration and micromanagement of IT micro-tasks and towards enumeration of business purposes of IT activities and holding vendors accountable to addressing business purposes. [Eliciting Integration]

What philosophical model is ITMM based upon?

  • ITMM is based on the philosophical assumption that theories, methods, and other conceptual constructs are merely tools used to tackle complexity and provide tangible value.  Underlying unified models are only of value as utilitarian tools. Tools should be measured from the perspective of their ability to efficiently provide benefit.
  • The underlying conceptual tools of the ITMM are: define, track, measure, tune, advance, integrate, communicate, incremental, lightweight, context, and breadth of depth.

Why has no one created an IT Maturity Method that focuses on the core functions of IT before?

  • While the concept of methodically improving the core functions of IT is a simple idea, there have been numerous complexities that have prevented the IT community from seeing the forest for the trees:
    • IT is a large, complex, and ever-changing endeavor, which prevents any individual or team from conceptually getting their hands around the entire domain.
    • Previous attempts at implementing maturity models, which have provided benefit, have weighed IT down with extensive fixations on definitions and management (i.e. bureaucracy).
    • The nature of people is that they look at things from the perspective of the tools that they know. As many IT team members are from a technology background, their focus is often slanted to geek-opolis as opposed to business benefit.
    • The IT community is still getting its hands around the shift away from software development and towards an outsourced and commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) software-based model.
    • Many individuals look at definitions as fixed reality, which need to be adhered to dogmatically, as opposed to as ever-changing tools that should be used only when they provide benefit.

Is a full IT outsourced model required to use ITMM?

  • No, while the basic ITMM handles many traditional IT activities, such as sustain, development, deployment, testing, and project management, through the Vendor Integration Office, these activities can be handled using analogous insourced mechanisms. IT organizations can also choose specific business areas or sub-areas to insource or outsource.  For example, manufacturing businesses may consider manufacturing IT to be a core business function and want it insourced, whereas other IT functions can be outsourced.
  • ITMM does encourage you to evaluate best sourcing and even Business Process Outsourcing for commodity activities. 

Is my organization big enough to start implementing the ITMM?

  • ITMM is incremental, with the intention of providing value immediately. Implementing even one maturity tool can provide benefits beyond the training costs. For example, a key leadership skill is to define goals and communicate those goals throughout the organization to get all of IT working as a team. ITMM's first of twenty-seven tools mentors IT organizations through this process in a lightweight fashion.

Can ITMM be used for business domains other than IT?

  • While ITMM is specifically crafted for IT, many of its elements are directly applicable to other business domains. The Leadership Improvement Office can be wholly transferred to any other business domains. The other ITMM offices can be modified to apply to other domains. The underlying methodology of the ITMM (define, track, measure, tune, advance, integrate, communicate, incremental, lightweight, context, and breadth of depth) is globally applicable to all domains.
  • IT Maturity Inc. is happy to work with customers in crafting ITMM to their specific needs.

What is the difference between Usage Tracking, Usage Assessment and Business Value?

  • Usage Tracking is quantitative analysis of business function usage.
  • Usage Assessment is qualitative analysis of business function usage.
  • Business Value is qualitative analysis of business value of business function usage.

Do you offer individual training for ITMM?

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