Chapter 14. Business Communications


The play was a great success, but the audience was a disaster.

 --Oscar Wilde[1]
<poem> <verse> <line>They said come skating;</line> <line>They said it’s so nice.</line> <line>They said come skating;</line> <line>I’d done it twice.</line> <line>They said come skating;</line> <line>It sounded nice. . ..</line> <line>I wore roller—</line> <line>They meant ice.</line> <line>—Shel Silverstein[2] </line> </verse> </poem>

This chapter addresses the frequent failures in the day-to-day working relationship between the IT department and business users. This failure to work well together occurs at all levels of organizations—from IT management to IT staffers and from senior business managers to systems users.

Why This Topic Is Important

A key cause of IT ineffectiveness is the inability of IT personnel to work well with the business side of the organization. Sometimes IT leadership and staff fail to communicate clearly (or at all) with the business leaders and users and make little or no attempt to understand what is important to the business. The business leaders begin to ignore the IT department and make key decisions impacting IT without input from the IT department.

Failure to resolve these issues results in a variety of negative outcomes for both the IT department and the business units. The IT organization usually becomes more insular and internally focused, withdrawing even further from an effective relationship with the business. The business and other ...

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