Embedding Efficiency and Effectiveness (Triple E) at Intel IT

A couple weeks ago, I attended an internal training session for Intel IT employees that focused on business process innovation and efficiency.  The goal of the session was to increase the focus on organizational efficiency by raising awareness of IT employees, targeting the tools and techniques we use every day.  As the class dove into its agenda, I was questioning the value of the class and specifically my time in class.  I naturally thought about all the work that was piling up in the office and how this class was not helping me do my job, but rather hindering it.

Bottom Line, I was a skeptic regarding its value to me.

In hindsight, I  initially missed the big picture and strategic value of this training.  What got me back on track was when the instructor posed a question that made me stop and take notice … and it has had me thinking constantly since.  The focus of the question was on the role of IT.

Is Information Technology a "value-add" activity to the business or is it "necessary waste"?  The business process terminology we were using in the class forced the role of IT into the "necessary waste" category.  This does not and did not sit well with me.  After all, the mission/role of the Intel IT team is create business value for the corporation and our vision is to make IT a competitive advantage for Intel.  How can we do that if we view ourselves as “necessary waste”.

Having pondered this question now for nearly two weeks, I've reached my "ah-ha" moment. This class was a strategic way for CIO staff to get the entire IT organization to think differently about ourselves (and our mission), by giving us the tools and a common framework to challenge the things we do every day … all with an eye towards improving our alignment and support of the business.  The focus was not to improve execution to any individual project or initiative that I'm working on today, but rather to instill a culture of IT innovation that is aimed at improving core capabilities, like IT efficiency, business agility, and building robust IT-business partnerships.

I have to admit, that sometimes seeing the forest through the trees is hard to do.  When I did open my eyes, I did not have to go far to see IT best practice examples of business process re-engineering efforts that have already delivered some pretty compelling results for Intel.

So, once a skeptic, I'm now a believer in "Triple E in IT". I’m curious - what does your organization do to promote IT efficiency and effectiveness?