It’s a tough dynamic: Staying on top of IT when it doesn’t directly report to you. But there is a way.
With the size of the budgets in IT, no CFO can afford to take a hands-off attitude on its management. But if you’re only connected to this group by a dotted line, that’s a whole lot tougher.
Fear not. By employing some “lateral management” best practices, you can keep a handle on this group, without stepping on any toes.
Here are some strategies to help you do just that:
- Make the other group look good. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. If there’s a lateral dynamic between Finance and IT, look for opportunities to speak well of IT. Whenever possible, focus on their strengths, rather than their limitations, and you’re likely to have a smoother working relationship.
- Earn their trust. If IT believes you have their best interests at heart (or at least the best interests of your company), they’ll be more likely to be receptive to your input. So look for opportunities to earn IT’s trust.
- Stress common goals. Sure, sometimes you and IT may feel like you’re at odds. But most of the time you have a single goal: the continued success of your company. Stressing that in your interactions can pave the way for a better working relationship.