No Rain, No Rainbows

Watch closely the first 8 or 9 seconds of this video…

…Got it? …

No rain, no rainbows?

Good. Now, how often as IT are we in that “no rain, no rainbows” guy’s shoes? That poor guy went to a lot of planning, time, and effort to make sure that bride had rainbows on her wedding day, and she just didn’t get it. We build it and no one comes. We provide the enabling change, and the business changes don’t occur. So we turn off the water and figure that’s their tough luck.

But did that guy take the time to explain to the bride the intended purpose of the rain?

If benefits are outlined in a cost/benefit analysis to justify a project, are those benefits often seen as a “given” and rarely communicated to the staff that has to utilize product? If the vision was that the staff was supposed to use the product to do new things, do things better, or stop doing things, are they told so?

I really like this guy, my heart goes out to him, but don’t be like this guy.

IT needs a new role of educator and facilitator. IT leaders need to be brave and vocal, driving change and innovation, and promoting IT and business/program integration and coordination. Often this means that your focus needs to change from technology to people and relationship building. And your new role as educator/facilitator, driver of change and innovation, promoter of integration and coordination must continue until your organization has reached the point where IT is not in a box on the organizational chart but a way of thinking that has permeated the organization and everyone understands there needs to be rain to get rainbows.

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Andrew Krzmarzick

Great post, Tim. I was on a panel a couple weeks ago, talking about collaboration and I made the point that a lot this is not about technology but psychology…and I have yet to write the accompanying blog post, but seems like we’re thinking along the same lines…what are specific examples of how you were an educator and facilitator to drive change and innovation? Would be curious to see successful examples of “applied psychology” to achieve this level of organizational permeation.

Love the integration of video in your blog post as well…watched the whole thing and the “I do” sign made me laugh out loud!

Tim Constantine

Hi Andrew,

In my 20 years in IT I’ve always emphasized that users should think of technology as a tool to make their work easier saying, “If you think there should be an easier way, there probably is.”

I’ve developed training over the years and try to consistently demonstrate the how and the why we’re using different hardware or computer systems to better meet our mission.

I’ve been consistently disappointed in some results though. It seems like we could always do better, do more, be more consistent in our application of technology.

What has been missing from many of my previous efforts is the full understanding that benefits don’t come from the technology, but benefits arise when people use the technology to do things new, different, or stop doing things. This has lead me to a new way of looking at technology, that I call Focusing on Efficiency. I’m now working to change our processes and procedures through education and training here at our small agency, at the State level, and even across the world thanks to GovLoop!