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Finance & IT Couples Therapy Guideline #3: Improve Communication

Chuck Czajkowski | | July 24, 2019

In our recent webinar “Couples Therapy: Getting Finance & IT To Play Nice,” we discussed a non-traditional way to bridge the traditional finance-IT gap: thinking of it in terms of a traditional relationship.

 
A team of UCLA psychologists has identified five strategies that married couples can use to repair their relationship. In our previous posts, we discussed the first two of these strategies: changing the views of the relationship and modifying dysfunctional behavior. This third post will go over the next step in the process: improving communication between the two parties.

Express Your Needs

If your finance and IT teams don’t always get along, a conversation like the one below might sound eerily familiar:

Finance: “My hierarchy is totally wrong. How could this have happened again??”

IT: “The jobs from last night were all successful. We haven’t had a failed job in over a month!”

Finance: “How can you not know that this is the same structure from before?”

IT: “You probably staged the wrong file last night.”

Finance: “I’d check myself, but you won’t let me on the server to see it.”

IT: “And you wonder why…?”

This dialogue is an excellent example of how two parties, both working toward the common goal of the organization’s success, can still suffer a breakdown in communication.

Perhaps the biggest problem here is that finance and IT aren’t speaking the same language. IT thinks in terms of IT metrics and KPIs: CPU usage, network throughput, disk space, and so on. For the finance team, however, these metrics are only useful inasmuch as they enable them to do their jobs. The exact reason for downtime is much less relevant than the fact that the system has crashed in the midst of the financial close process, throwing a wrench into everyone’s plans.

In the conversation above, finance and IT are doing less talking with each other and more talking at each other. They’re expressing their needs, but they’re doing it in an accusatory fashion that fails to sympathize with the other party’s perspective.

Work on Bridging the Gaps

The good news is that communication between finance and IT doesn’t have to be quite so dysfunctional. By bringing their different strengths to the table, explaining their expectations, and using effective troubleshooting methods, both sides can cooperate in the service of the greater goal of organization-wide success.

One technology that can help bridge the finance-IT gap, for example, is business process monitoring – a capability of Datavail’s software for Hyperion, Accelatis. Tracking the performance of your business processes over time helps you identify trends and performance issues that are causing unseen problems, or that may devolve into a problem in the long run. When you spot these tendencies early on, you can take proactive steps to fix them and avoid bigger issues later on.

Datavail’s Accelatis software for enterprise performance management has been built from the ground up for teams who need more visibility into their Oracle Hyperion deployment. Accelatis includes a full suite of capabilities for managing and monitoring your enterprise software applications.

Conclusion

In the final two blog posts in this series, we’ll discuss how you can repair the finance-IT relationship by decreasing emotional avoidance and promoting strengths. Can’t wait for the full series to come out? Take a look at our webinar “Couples Therapy: Getting Finance & IT To Play Nice.”

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