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Get your IT people on the team
19 August 2008, by , in Data Management, No comments

By show of hands, how many of you have an “IT” person on your senior management team? Is the most senior IT person in your organization part of the executive management team, or do they report to someone else who is on the executive management team?

What I see far too often is organizations will have their chief technology person (say, an IT director) reporting to the chief operating officer. The COO sits on the executive team, but not the IT director. I think this is a mistake for three reasons:

  1. It sends a not-so-subtle message to the rest of staff that IT is an afterthought, or not critical to the overall functioning of the organization.
  2. It keeps the IT folks out of the information loop. Let’s face it, no matter how good communication is between the IT director and the COO (for example), it’s not the same as being at the table.
  3. It keeps the IT folks thinking that their job is to “serve staff” like a mechanic taking orders, rather than a diagnostician helping to solve organization problems.

The most successful organizations don’t just give lip service to including IT at the table; they actually have them there. What about your organization? Does IT get the respect it deserves?

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National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
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Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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