Major IT change project
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Please complete 200 words for each of the two scenarios.

1. This module provides some interesting description of what it's like to shepherd a major IT change project. EDS has referred to it as just as easy as 'herding cats' (to reflect back on a highly-rated Super Bowl ad of some years ago).

Left to their own devices, many savvy IT managers/ professionals could go forward handsomely with technical changes. However, we have customers, vendors, bosses, executives and a host of organizational political and other realities which act to confound simple (if it is) technical change.

So, what are your strategies as an IT manager for becoming aware of, and managing the political realities that swirl around an IT project you will be/ are managing. This is an intense organizational behavior question with no simple answers. Get it wrong and the organization is liable to 'hammer' you. Get it right, you may be the bosses' darling for at least 24 hours.

Inquiring minds want to know your views. No IT tech-speak please.

2. I assume many of you can, or will be able to, plan and direct the many technical processes that go into Project Management. However, as an IT manager, you must be able to develop teamwork both within a single team and across the multiple teams it often takes to get a large project successfully accomplished. Without good teamwork you may have a project on a fast track to failure. So let's begin to examine a highly possible scenario via a series of questions I will ask over the course of this Session Four TD...which will help us figure out how to 'read' and assist team processes to work well.

The scene: You are in a meeting with two groups who report to your boss. The task of one group has been to produce the deliverables for the other...the second group's task was to clearly communicate about those deliverables.

There are two elements the IT manager must understand, track and skillfully intervene about where necessary. The first is to insure the CONTENT to be discussed in the meeting is appropriate, on-target and in the detail necessary to the task. The second has to do with the PROCESS of the meeting...what are the interactive dynamics going on between members of the meeting? Your boss has assigned you to be the meeting 'process observer' and asked you (mid-way through the meeting) to give the group feedback about what individual, interpersonal, group and inter-group dynamics you have observed and how these have either contributed to, or deflected, the success of the meeting to that point. So...what will you be looking for and what will be some of your own personal 'process' you will use to deliver successful group feedback (which will likely not be denied or will not have the group turning on you making you a 'scapegoat')?

These questions are not simple ones and that, as an IT manager, your success will someday hinge on being able to read a task team's dynamics just as well as a Gantt Chart tracking their progress. And, the issue gets more critical if you are managing group processes virtually.

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