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3 ways to make a good idea real
It’s hard to imagine an IT or other corporate executive not interested in hearing some good ideas to help innovate and improve their organization. But how do you proactively gather ideas that will have an impact and stand a decent chance of becoming reality?
Think in terms of three steps:
1. Gather requirements. Whether you crowdsource online, get contributions in town halls, or have people share their thoughts individually in one-on-ones, your first step should be to pull in ideas. This process also will give you a good pulse on the current culture of your organization and everyone’s wants, wishes and desires.
2. Use shared governance to prioritize. It might sound great to replace all HR and financial systems in the organization, but that could be a four-year project. Do the ideas you’re hearing represent the most prudent allocation of budget and time? Are there faster wins that build on your IT agenda? Your community can help you with this prioritization process through activities like online voting. The details around voting also can give you a sense of how widespread an impact a particular idea is going to have.
3. Allocate resources. Resource allocation can be done in a shared governance structure, but it’s more typically organizational leaders making resource decisions. You’ll notice an increasing amount of formality as you move from solicitation of ideas or requirements through prioritization and then resource allocation. That makes sense, because at the end of the day organizational leaders are going to make the final resource decisions. With the right process, though, you’ll feel on much more solid ground that the projects you fund will stand a good chance of success.
Curtis A. Carver Jr., Ph.D. is the Vice President and Chief Information Officer for the University of Alabama at Birmingham. In this role servant leader and enabler of others, he leads a team of dedicated professionals focused on providing solution to the UAB through world-class IT with a focus on innovation, agility and cost efficiency. Previously he was the vice chancellor and chief information officer for the Board of Regents of University System of Georgia, he oversaw a statewide educational infrastructure and service organization with more than 190 innovators and more than $75 million annual investment in higher education. He also provided technical oversight of the USG Shared Services Center. Dr. Carver has led the transformation of IT services by partnering with USG business owners, institutions, and other state agencies to jointly solve problems.