FBI’s CIO has to change the agency’s culture preconception to accomplish success in information sharing, technology utility and its adoption. They are facing a much more harder and complex problem to be solved, than a simple project management crisis, as they need to take into account the human psychology factor: different reactions to change. Agents don’t fear technology, but are now more cautious, so the CIO needs to make them believe technology will facilitate and simplify their tasks, instead of trying to change their cultural contents.
Azmin knows the human factor is crucial: we cannot impose the adoption of technologies but we can help employees see the benefits of adopting it. After this, agents will be more receptive to experience it (the fans and the broken hearts); however, it may have some hostile agents with two possible scenarios:
- Agents get aware and interested, they experiment and use it.
- They don’t accept and avoid it; without the benefits of a correct us of IT, they'll face the culture-led change: separation, identity is not at stake and some levels of incompetence and failure are visible (people are not willing to tolerate the sense of shame and resist change); after this safe context, experimentation; with a gradual and progressive loss of safety, re-integration.
If managers impose a radical and fast change, they will probably fail again; before a “big-bang” implementation it’s necessary to extend an approach and to develop a program management skills and personnel. This gradual situation implies an unified organization with more discussion, trade of information, and analysis of the processes and so the basis of success may be the amount of collaboration that takes place between individuals. Additionally, they must smooth their secretive G-man mentality, understanding sharing information is also good for them; besides helping others, they’re helping themselves as they become an information source.
Other reasons in favour of Azmin’s project:
- Change of political dynamics: the CIO is now shaping the IT consultants.
- Azmin’s has now total control over IT budget » control of decisions, instead of the decentralized situation that disabled the possibility to conduct a general information system.
- Mueller realized he couldn’t compromise the agency even when disagreed with past CIOs, to have a stable management structure without the previous high turnover of CIOs and project managers.
Basic IT management disciplines were established; considering IS play an important role in management control process, enabling the collection of information that wouldn’t be collective otherwise, speeding the flow of information from where it is generated to where is needed (communication) and evaluating to facilitate the analysis of information in ways that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
Applegate, McFarlan and McKenney stated that matrix organizations often failed to enable to achieve their business strategies because of inability to cope with increase information demands. A CIO need to be able to deal with the fact they’re moving from a traditional to a virtual team, with challenges related to each type and the transition, regarding to their team diversity, communication and technology, fighting the lack of resources, incentives and Leadership among the agents.
Negotiation in IT implementation leads to failure; implementation is influence, not negotiation.
After developing basic IT policies, it’ll be possible to consolidate IT applications and systems and develop new ones based on their mission; we should get an enterprise architecture more assertive.
Minimize the gap
between the true needs of the business and their capabilities, "use by agents’ perspective:
Develop a comprehensive information-sharing process:
- Program has to be easy for agents to use; having previously set which applications will indeed simplify agents’ tasks.
- 24 hours help desk (continuous availability and information sharing instead of labour hours),
- more resources to train agents and do partial implementations (before final one) by assigning workshops where agents can test the applications by their own instead of let external consultants to test it, and then let them state the results and personal experience.
- Every agent (or at least every field team) must be given a laptop and PDA’s so they can get familiar with basic technology.
Guarantee that communication/message always move up in the management chain without being lost in the middle (just shared among intermediaries):
- fortnightly newsletter (online via e-mail and printed for who still don’t use technology) to send warnings and news that obligate everyone to notify they’ve read the contents.
More communication (volume and frequency) with executives and field agents:
Change the agency’s traditional scepticism in IT
- Regular meetings with key stakeholders to get advices/suggestions
- Every 6 months – “all-hands” meetings with members of IT staff.
Reduce budget and costs impact and maximize the political dynamics change:
- open/transparent management: the example, for instance by an open panel where managers have to present their achievements and re-analyse/defend their mistakes in front of every agent that want to hear it or by creating random, periodical, task forces, with cooperation between different field teams to solve specific technological crimes.
- Schedule to final delivery of the program: larger, less aggressive » define a more realistic milestones program » minimize the gap need/urge and delivery.
- Every decision approved by the CFO; Office of CIO and CFO need to jointly track and control costs through a budgetary evaluation and reporting system tool and oversight process.
- FBI technicians should act more proactively in the projects instead of letting SAIC developers to decide the needed requirements of the IT programs, so they could make the key decisions