IT Madman 4: Winning at all. Costs.

Once every four years something special happens. IT madman blog image

Yes, people who have a birthday on 29th February get to have their much awaited party, but no, not that – the celebration that is the Olympic Games is here again!

It's the big one in athletics. We find out who has prepared best for the competition, both mentally and physically for the challenge. Who will take the gold medal in their discipline? Individual performances dominate the Olympics, heroes are born, whilst team events take second billing. Predicting the winner of an individual discipline is relatively easy, but in team events, the team dynamic makes guessing the eventual winner less predictable than what happens in any episode of Big Brother. Strange how we know the names of the house mates in Big Brother but Olympians of the past are all but forgotten. (In a poll of 1 teenager, 100% suggested that Jesse Owen broke the 4 minute mile first, so I rest my case, full research done)

The individual Olympian invests enormous amounts of time, energy, resources in preparation. We forget there is a team behind that individual, advising, assisting and researching to give the athlete the best chance of gold. If only they'd known what Tim Curry1 knew in 1975 – "Such strenuous living I just don't understand. When in just seven days, oh baby, I can make you a man". Sadly though, there are no shortcuts. Teamwork is vital for success not just in the Olympics, but almost everywhere. Think of the English Premier League Champions – Leicester City. Who? And that is exactly the point – the players have a clear objective (win the EPL), they communicate effectively, they support and trust one another, there is a clear leader, and of course, they co-operate. Do any of these attributes apply to the England team that lost 2-1 to Iceland?

You can call me crazy, and there are some who do, but these same characteristics also make teams successful in the realm of business. I can think of no other entity where such disparate individuals come together to achieve a clear objective. That objective is usually something like "committed to creating a great customer experience", which privately translates to "making a healthy profit" (note, these are not mutually exclusive!!). Businesses today live and die by the services they provide – which are supported and often delivered by an eclectic group of people who collectively make up the IT Department, or Information Systems, or similar. It is a little bit scary to think that this team is responsible for the health of the company – let's face it, they speak a different language from many of us, when they do emerge from their darkened rooms. How do we make this work?

I can take you to many of my clients, where they have used Tufin Orchestration Suite™ to address trust and communication, using our tools to make these interactions easier - we help take non-technical user requests and transform them into IT speak without the usual frustrations, and accusations of "stupid users". As we solve one of these difficulties (communication) we also address the trust issue – users do get what they request without the previously experienced pain, and they get clear status updates to boot. And with trust, we gain increased cooperation… And with this, we really can "create a great customer experience"

I am truly grateful to work with Team Tufin that lives and breathes these attributes.

By the way, it was Roger Bannister who first ran faster than the 4 minute mile. Not Jesse Owen. <Sigh> teenagers of today.

1 Rocky Horror Picture Show "I can make you a man"