Some observations made at a pizza session organized by www.functioneel-beheerder.com and hosted by the Port Authority of Rotterdam om 15 January 2013. The topic was how to 'sell' the need for the operational layer of business information management to a manager. About 20 people partipated, many of which fell in the category of 'functional administrator' (Dutch functioneel beheerder), in other words somebody who helps regular business people use information (systems) effectively and efficiently, deals (as an intermediary) with the IT department, and specifies and tests (acceptance) new and changed functionality.
- Functional administrator's (FA) aren't proactive in selling their services - often too modest, loyal and hard-working, like Boxer, the horse in Animal Farm who works himself to death
- If you can't find a manager who has a problem, then maybe you're the problem (working in the wrong organization)
- Which resources (carrots and sticks) are scarce in your organization? Sometimes money doesn't motivate people, so what does?
- Know your customer - whats his/her business agenda (KPI's) and personal agenda (career, pet projects)?
- Don't talk about IT to a business manager but translate the issue into relevant topics such as reputation damage, loss of business, loss of customers, operational costs, non-compliance to regulations
- Make sure that you know what's happening in the business so that you can advise on business and information - you should be part of the department, not isolated in an ivory tower
- Talk to the users and business managers (two separate groups), build relationships, win hearts and minds
- It's not important how you demarcate, classify or position your work - just do something useful (in the eye of the beholder)