We talk about corporate culture and how the ‘way’ the company does things affects how readily they change or adapt.  Is corporate culture all that different from personal habits, just on an institutional level?

Isn’t the problem of creating bad data, and then repeatedly cleaning it up pretty much the same as making a waiting for the pizza boxes to pile up before cleaning up the living room?

What about leaving the cap off the toothpaste?  Isn’t that the same as ignoring the fact that a good customer is mad at you, letting them shop around, and leave?  You have to spend up money because you ignored good practices and let the resource dry up.

What about failing to change the oil until your engine overheats?  Isn’t that the same as letting your facilities decay or maintenance fall off until you have a turnover problem in your staff?

So what are the IT specific versions of bad personal habits?

From an IT standpoint, you could say that failing to change your oil means the same as installing an app but choosing not to install service packs, security releases, or upgrades.

You could say that leaving the toilet seat up (it’s a guy thing) is similar to the sales side of the business ignoring the support side of the business when rolling out a program.  From an IT standpoint, it may be like the new development team ignoring the data management and app support team needs by delivering software that is difficult to install, lacking in documentation, or makes life difficult when diagnosing issues.

So what other personal habits, good or bad, would you consider to be equivalent to bad behavior in IT?

By Nick Malik

Former CIO and present Strategic Architect, Nick Malik is a Seattle based business and technology advisor with over 30 years of professional experience in management, systems, and technology. He is the co-author of the influential paper "Perspectives on Enterprise Architecture" with Dr. Brian Cameron that effectively defined modern Enterprise Architecture practices, and he is frequent speaker at public gatherings on Enterprise Architecture and related topics. He coauthored a book on Visual Storytelling with Martin Sykes and Mark West titled "Stories That Move Mountains".

2 thoughts on “Corporate personal bad habits”
  1. Developers not eating their own "dogfood" is top of my list.

    Some examples of developers not eating dogfood:

    – running as admin

    – developers not running "standard" set-up e.g. no roaming profiles, logging on localy to avoid group policy, etc.

    – Microsoft product teams not following externally published standards for software packaging.

    – Using Windows Server rather than XP (or Vista) as base for developer platform.

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