Having been a Developer, Manager, and a Program Manager I’ve seen all sides of IT. I’ve seen the developers who think the company is there to provide them a place to code.  I’ve seen project managers demanding timelines be met without understanding the technology and impediments.  I’ve seen managers who haven’t kept up with best practices and don’t want to learn anything new.  I have seen the classic QA/Operations/Development battle lines tear a company apart.  I've been in the meetings where Waterfall and Agile ideology almost come to blows and the Security and Standards guy leaves in a huff because he is being ignored.

But there is one central truth. IT is about making money and if you are doing it wrong you are losing money.  You only make money in IT when you deliver on time and with quality.  But that seems to be the Holy Grail of IT. 

TadMcClellan.com, is a guide on finding that Holy Grail.  That search starts with the realization that your IT shop is one of these three things.

Cost Center

If your IT department is considered a cost center, you are already losing.  Cost centers are necessary evils and a tax on the over corporation.  They are the first place C-Levels look to make cut backs.  The problem though is that when those cuts are made, it only adds to the problems and the “Cost Center” mentality.  IT becomes the punching bag for the whole organization.   Fixing this problem does not mean you run out and through bodies at IT.  The first step is to look for efficiency by solving imbalances in The IT Biosphere.  That will allow you to transform to a Service Center.

Service Center

When you have started to find ways to cut costs and pick up efficiency you are starting to add value to your business.  You have done this by balancing The IT Biosphere .  You should be able to achieve up to 20% gain in throughput depending on where you started.  This means more can be done for the same cost as before. 

But the problem you face is one of diminishing returns.  Once you pick all the low hanging fruit, the inevitable questions will start to become, “What have you done for me lately?”  It will become harder to add value over time just by removing constraints on your process.  Now that your IT Biosphere is balanced,  it needs to grow and grow rapidly for you to achieve a Profit Center.

Profit Center

IT becomes a profit center when the company realizes its goals will only implemented because of IT delivery.  For that to happen, IT must deliver value every day.  The delay between the business reaction to the market and the implementation of that reaction in production must be an absolute minimum.  The IT Biosphere is now in balance but it must function at an expedited rated.  In order to experience this hyper growth, The IT Biosphere must achieve full automation and continuous delivery.

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