I am always amazed by my customer's lack of willingness and acceptance to admit they have issues, problems or the fact that they are not fully realizing the benefits from a current process / tool or recent service / system implementation. I believe one of our industry's biggest maturity issues is the lack of desire to continually ask these questions:
- "why are we doing it this way"
- "what is the end-product / results / benefits realized by doing it this way"
- "how do we translate / relate these end-products / results into business value"
Remembering that IT services are a "means to an end" and the end is the resulting business value created by implementing a technology-enabled business solution. BSM leaders should always challenge conventional wisdom and approach all situations with an assessing eye and a keen sense of inquiry delivered by asking the right questions. We should hone our question asking skills (much like Sherlock Holmes) so that they delivered in the most appropriate manner given any situation, personality or circumstance. Knowing when to ask open-ended vs. closed-ended questions or knowing when to ask a follow-up question vs. just writing it down for later review and approach are two examples of many when it comes to be a great questioner.
We should be sensitive and understanding to the people we are seeking answers from, but at the same time our questions should not be directed to make creators of the "sacred cows" feel like we are questioning their motives, work or decision. Questioning is a realization that everything eventually will change, especially the business and technology drivers. The faster our industry can 'get over' personalizing and emotionalizing questioning in the pursuit of continuous improvement - the better off every customer and employee will be!
Remember: Ask a question - Save a business!