|The ITG Evangelist (Table of Contents)|
|002||Yes, I'm Serious||September 14, 2011|
|I spent almost the last five years at CA Technologies, first working in their Clarity marketing organization, and then in their Strategy and Innovation group. In that time I spoke at more than 300 events across the U.S. and more than a dozen countries. My title appeared on the cover page of each of my presentations and I was introduced as CA’s IT Governance Evangelist. Now, as a member of BOT International and the founder of my own consulting company, I continue to travel the world evangelizing the power and promise of IT governance.
My introduction always elicits smiles and sometimes chuckles from many of the people in attendance. I spoke at a PMI conference yesterday in Austin and I received the usual responses to my title. I think the reactions come either from the obvious preacher-related pun as well as the uniqueness if not outright peculiarity of my title. When I hand folks my business card and they see IT Governance Evangelist printed below my name they frequently exclaim, “Oh! You were serious!”
Given my constant travel I find myself inevitably engaging in fellow-traveler small talk. These conversations often include the question, “What do you do?” I always pause because I know I will see a perplexed expression the moment I tell them my title.
One of the most amusing aspects of my moniker-induced puzzlement is the fact that it is the most literal title I have ever had. I have always had to explain every title I have had in the nearly 30 years I worked in IT organizations. Each of my titles in my IT career had some element of nuance or ambiguity that prevented it from being intuitive. To understand my current title you need only know the definitions of the terms ‘IT governance’ and ‘evangelist.’
There are a number of industry versions of the term IT governance (a problem I lament every time I broach the subject). Though I believe the definition from the IT Governance Institute is the most comprehensive, I always defer to an incredibly simplified version:
“The processes and relationships that lead to reasoned and rational decision-making in the use of IT.”
This succinct description of IT governance can only be fully appreciated when it is accompanied by the principles of IT governance, described by the IT Governance Institute (ITGI):
Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definition of evangelist includes the following: “an enthusiastic advocate.” Though I am quite enthusiastic about the discipline, I prefer to tell people I am a passionate advocate of IT Governance. I fervently believe IT Governance is the key to ensuring IT is a true enabler of the business and that information technology can be leveraged for strategic and competitive advantage.
Upon my departure from CA Technologies, I added another descriptor to my title, “IT Business Value Activist.” I have already encountered the same eye-brow-raising with this new characterization of my purpose. You are probably wondering why I would add yet another atypical description to my role. I do so because very few people are aware that ensuring IT delivers value to the business is one of the principles of IT governance. This results in business folks viewing my IT governance title as an indication that I should be talking to somebody in their IT department – quite the contrary. I would much rather speak to business people because IT governance is actually a function of the business. In the absence of this realization, I am hopeful my ‘IT Business Value Activist’ title will garner the attention of the business leaders to whom I so desperately want to evangelize the power and promise of IT governance.
I am thrilled and honored to bring my fervent IT governance evangelism to the BOT International family and this blog. There is much I have to say and promise to try not to be too “preachy.”
~ Steve 9/14/11
Article 002: Yes, I'm Serious
Welcome to The ITG Evangelist. The ITG Evangelist is a blog written by Steve Romero (see bio), principal for the ITG practice at BOT International. Subscribe to have The ITG Evangelist automatically delivered to your Microsoft Outlook RSS Feed folder inbox or equivalent. And, please send your comments, questions, tips and suggestions to email@example.com. We hope you enjoy the PPM PostScript and we welcome your feedback..!