After reading Hefty hardware case study, I came up with the following analysis for this case: It is very clear that there is communication issues between the business and IT, there is no connection between the IT department and other business departments. To build good relationship between the IT Department and the Business department, the four foundation blocks needed, Competence, credibility, interpersonal interaction, and trust, which all are not considered between the departments. (McKeen & Smith, 2012). The business manager feels that the IT don’t have the enough competence for finding solution for solving business problems. And this is normal because the IT do not have the enough knowledge about Hefty Hardware business process and goals.
The very important block in building good relationship between the IT and business department which is the interpersonal interaction is not available and usually the meetings getting failed because the IT people don’t understand the business talk and not ready to understand, also the business managers do not understand the technical talk when the IT start explaining the technical aspects of the solution. Hefty Hardware do not has solid foundation and good relationship between the IT and the Business department, and this issue became the main problem that Hefty should deal with it to make sure that the current and future projects will success. Also it is important that the IT department spend the enough time to explain their plan to support the business functions and make sure that they will work to achieve the organization goals.
There is no information sharing between the departments or even between the executives because of the lack of communication. Information sharing will help in reach common goal which will help the organization to be more efficient and productive. Mr. Vogel suggestion was very good to have two from IT and business department travel together as this will improve the relationship between the two departments and make better understanding for the organization goals and will give them the chance to see how Hefty stores operate.
The IT department seems to be understaffed and under budget, as Farzad was complaining that he cannot send some IT staff because they have a lot of work to do at the head quarter, the IT department is mainly to perform the support and keep the network and the systems stable but they don’t have the ability to think strategically. In order for the IT and the business can work collaboratively to deliver the Savvy Store program successfully the below recommendations need to be considered:
1- Hefty Hardware should invest in building a good relationship between the IT and Business department this can be achieved by conducting team building training program where both department can interact and work together. As this will build a trusting and functional environment. 2- Developing the communication skills for Hefty employees and between the different departments, which will help in implementing successful projects. 3- IT and Business managers should work together for removing any communication obstacles to have a successful communication going. (Gartenstein, 2012). By having a weekly meetings which will strengthen the communication more .
4- Interpersonal interaction between the IT and business departments should be improved in the meetings, as most of the time the business team feel that they are lost as then don’t understand the technical points, this can be achieved by train the IT team to improve their communication skills and let then have the ability to communicate with non-technical people (which is not easy) and explain to them in simple way. Visual presentation may help in explaining the technical concepts . 5- Business team should also share the organization business needs and goals with the IT team to let them understand how is the business going and what is the goals of the company. By this cooperation, the gap between the two departments will be bridged and both teams will be able to think more efficiently in finding solutions that will enhance customer experience and will implement competitive solutions.
6- Outsourcing the projects that need to be immediately implemented and do not trouble the IT department while they are overloaded and don’t have enough staff. 7- The Time management & Planning is very important for both departments, the organization should invest in having them trained in time management and planning, which will help them in doing the work efficiently and on time. 8- Do a market research for the same industry and try to implement a competitive solutions that will be a very good advantage for the organization. 9- Hiring more IT staff as the CIO is understaffed and has no ability to accept any new system development, so as to be able to work on Savvy store program. 10- The corporate should not be disconnected from the retail shops.
McKeen, J. and Heather, S. (2011) IT Strategy – Issues and Practices. 2nd Edition. ISBN-10: 0132145669. Boston: Prentice Hall.
Gartenstein, D. (2012, January). Solutions for effective communication. Retrieved from eHow Family website: http://www.ehow.com/way_5765631_solutions-effective-communication.html.
Baum, J. (2011, March 18). Team building exercises in the workplace. Retrieved from Livestrong website: http://www.livestrong.com/article/221732-team-building-exercises-in-the-workplace/.