Process may not be critical with one computer or one application or one employee, but without process an organization cannot scale. Process can make the IT manager and the IT organization effective and efficient. However, at times it will put the IT manager on the receiving end of a nasty mob. Nothing seems to stir up organizations like the introduction of process. In this instance, however, the assembling of a mob with pitchforks and torches may mean the IT manager is doing his job.
Process protects the enterprise. The IT manager must remember that any particular project team, developer, or service request has a customer, and an important one at that; yet, the IT manager responsible for the enterprise must serve ALL the customers. Thus, they must balance all individual changes and efforts with the impact on the enterprise. Process, then, is imperative for forcing the enterprise discipline. Without process and controls, organizations remain in a fire-fighting, reaction mode, depending on superstars making diving catches. That may be exciting, but not successful in the long term. IT needs to work as a unit from the same playbook to be a winning team. As stated by New England Patriots Super Bowl winning head coach Bill Belichick, “On a football team, it’s not the strength of the individual players, but it is the strength of the unit and how they all function.” Industry frameworks such as ITIL, MOF, CMMI, and COBIT provide guidance, but IT managers and their organizations must work out the specifics themselves. The critical areas the IT manager must be concerned with are Change Management, Configuration Management and the CMBD, Project Management, Release Management and service management (i.e., service agreements, service outages, etc.).