Information Technology can be “done” in many ways. By “done,” I mean the latitude that we, as IT professionals, have in deciding how IT is implemented and supported. Since IT is implemented by people, how it’s done can often reflect the personality of the person who’s doing it. And, of course, as with every industry, the world of IT has a few stereotypical personality types, based on how they approach the job:
The cowboy: This IT person ‘don’t answer to nobody’ and will hogtie anyone who tells ‘em differently. He is happy being left alone and doing things his own way.
The soldier: This IT person does only what he is told, by following procedural instructions verbatim – but has trouble seeing the big picture or knowing what to do when something unexpected happens.
The contractor: This IT person wants to just get it in and work, then move on quick to the next job. He hates to be called back to attend to punch list items or small details, since he only makes money on the new jobs.
The artist: This IT person enjoys the creative aspect of IT and always wants to do something new. He would be miserable working on an assembly line, doing things the same way every time.
But I suggest there is a better approach to implementing IT than the way the cowboy, solider, contractor or artist would do it. Instead of simply getting IT done, we can get IT done well! Instead of employing any of these one-dimensional approaches, a better approach combines the lessons the entire IT industry has learned over these past few decades. As a whole, we now know a lot about the best way to implement and efficiently support IT, especially if we think as an ‘IT body’ rather than as individual body parts.
In this model: