The Politics of IDM

by dimikagi

(this post was originally started on 21st Oct 2009 whilst I was still in the UK).

I’m heading home from a good client meeting about my company’s AD Bridge product (QAS – pronounced Vintela) and am still surprised at the politics involved in IDM, even after everyone has agreed something needs to be done for audit/compliance reasons and the product is fit for purpose. My colleagues and I were there to help with technical and commercial questions but there’s nothing we do for the politics.

Unix Engineering, AD Architecture, InfoSec, End-User Services and the PMO were well represented and from all regions.  And I think that’s the big problem with IDM in general.  This is a common scenario, and I often have 3-5 different groups represented in my meetings. Having worked in Dev, DB, Infrastructure, Support and other IT functions, I’ve never gotten involved in anything that included all these groups at once.  Usually, some group was left out, which made things easier.  But with IDM, everyone is involved and stays engaged throughout the project.

And, of course, each group wants the project to succeed but everyone also realised that territories were getting re-arranged. So each lobbied for things to make their part easier or better. On the one hand, I can see every person’s position having done all of those jobs in the past. But if I were an exec, I’d try to figure out a way to have more cooperation and less posturing.  When it comes to IT processes, an IDM project is going to quickly uncover everyone’s motives and show the unlying politics which may seem dormant or non-existent with other projects.

And so it goes . . . with all large projects, its the people, and not the process or tools, that complicate things.

As an aside, when I managed folks and a re-org was needed, I’ve often (half jokingly) asked who would you put where if you “fired” everyone and started over. Not for real, of course, and you can have all the same people, but would you put them in different roles? Would you let anyone go?  Are there any roles that are missing?  What about necessary people in unnecessary roles?

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