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Mini Poll Last week we asked whether IT systems could actually help to drive better business practice. However, as one comment mentioned, if the wrong things are measured then the behaviour of employees can end up skewed towards the metrics, hiding the desired results. "If I be a good obedient worker and do what's on the list, I do things that don't need to be done and don't do things that do need to be done," said /dev/me.

Now, don’t get us wrong, we’re pretty sure that the right tools and the right measures, used in the right way, can be a significant help to both setting priorities and achieving goals. What we’re less sure about, is how many organisations get this sort of thing right. Which is where we need your help. Below is a short poll, to gauge opinions on the relevance and effectiveness of both practices and supporting tools.

Do let us know what you think, and we’ll report back in a day or two.

READER POLL

1. On a scale of 1-5, where 1 is totally command and control, and 5 is very much leaving people to their own devices, how would you characterise the management style at your organisation?

Command
and control
1


2


3


4
Own
devices
5

2. How are tasks allocated in your part of the IT organisation? (Select one)

We work according to project plans, updated by management or a central project office
We hold regular planning meetings, agree priorities and allocate tasks
We select what we work on individually, from a central pool of tasks (eg change requests, fault reports)
We prioritise on the fly depending on what is the most pressing

3. What types of measurement and recording are in place? (Select all that apply)

Time spent on individual tasks
Number of tasks or other work units completed
Project milestones achieved
IT service levels maintained – eg downtime criteria
Business-level criteria, for example number of transactions, or customer queries resolved
Other - please state

4. How is information most commonly recorded? (Select all that apply)

We use paper-based systems, the results of which are filed centrally
We record on paper, and information is then loaded into management systems, eg project planning tools
We update spreadsheets and forms and then email them in.
We fill in forms online, updating a central management system
Updates take place automatically as we complete activities, for example via the development or operational environment.

5. Finally, given everything you have in place and on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is considerable hindrance and 5 is considerable help, how would you rank the tools and practices in place when it comes to supporting you in getting your job done?

Considerable
hindrance
1


2


3


4
Considerable
help
5

BEFORE YOU GO

Which of the following best describes the organisation you work in?

Educational establishment
Public Sector (non education)
IT products or services vendor
Company with more than 5000 employees
Company with 250 to 4999 employees
Company with 50 to 249 employees
Company with 10 to 49 employees
Company with less than 10 employees
None of the above - please specify

Which of the following best describes your role?

Business management
Business professional
General IT management
Management of development/integration
Management of operations function
Systems architect or designer
Developer
Operations specialist
Other - please specify

Which of the following best sums up the attitude to IT in your organisation?

An important contributor of business value
A positive enabler of operational efficiency
A necessary but burdensome cost
A complete waste of money

SANS - Survey on application security programs

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