I was having lunch with the CIO of one of our clients discussing challenges with the IT organization in general and he made an interesting observation. He said that he takes volunteers from the business to help him in testing new functionality and features thereby not only expanding his resource pool, but also building a strong relationship with the business. Using this approach, he has been able to not only get his testing and validation done very effectively, but these very resources acted as evangelists for the new functionalities and features during the roll-out. Additionally, he is able to get feedback and input from these ‘volunteers’ that he uses to improve the final product before roll-out. Finally, if the functionality is not good enough, he has limited its exposure to a few trusted people outside of IT without getting a bunch of negative press from a larger audience.
Of course, it is important to find such trusted ‘tech-savvy’ people in the business. You just have to look for them….