IT Delivery – Are You Focused on the What, or the How and the Why?


by David Probst, Vice President of Theoris IT,

So much of the emphasis on delivering IT projects is focused on the “What” (what project, what tools/languages, what compensation, what timeline) and less attention given to the “Why” (productivity gain, cost savings, new market penetration) and the “How” (professionalism, courtesy, communication, responsiveness).   With leaner workforces and intense shareholder pressures, corporations have evolved over time into a greater focus on “get it done” while the purpose and the method for getting there can oftentimes be ignored.  I would submit that if equal or more project attention was given to the Why and the How, we would see more productivity, better results, improved overall morale, improved retention and better talent recruitment activity.  In my opinion, current hiring practices and employee development in the market doesn’t seem to be doing much to address this problem.

This phenomenon is not new to today’s market.  Rather I have observed it’s evolution over a number of years and what has resulted in today’s culture is a workforce that is primarily focused on the hottest technologies, the coolest projects, and “what I’m being paid.”  There is nothing wrong with striving toward these project attributes.  The problem stems when the project isn’t sexy or the technologies aren’t leading edge, and then to top it off, a competitor calls and offers a few thousand dollars more to make a move.  Does this mean IT professionals move on to the next job, every year, or every couple years?  I frequently see resumes that look like a checkerboard with six or more jobs in ten years.  Employers today are very squeamish about investing in this type of resource because they fear when the employee is offered a better project, a more cutting edge technology stack, or more money, that employee is gone and they will have wasted their investment.

I believe if today’s workforce would focus on the “Why” and the “How”, the “What” will take care of itself.  Having been in the technology sector for 30 years, the one thing I have learned is that the professionals who show up every day with a good attitude and contribute in ways that go beyond what is expected of them, are the same employees who are most times given the best opportunities and make the most money.   Why?   Because they are loyal, consistent, they can be relied on, focused on the big picture, and their overall value to the organization is higher than the person who strictly focuses on the “What.”  The “What” is simply a resume, but the “How” and the “Why” is a solution provider, a consultant, a valued employee who is taken care of. 

Theoris IT Services is a professional IT Staffing firm who has earned a great reputation for engaging our employees with “good fit” projects.  Moreover, we look for IT workers who get energized by solving problems for our clients and doing the little extra things to add value, all the while recognizing that what you work on day to day changes.  If you are an IT professional or a customer buyer of IT Services who is looking for a firm that focuses on solving problems and achieving results fostered by a process built on the “How” and the “Why”, we want to talk to you.


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