Stephen Phillips The goalposts keep moving…
Jinfo Blog

1st March 2023

By Stephen Phillips


Corporate belt-tightening continues and we are all being asked to do "more with less".  But how practical is it to maintain service levels with diminishing resources? Before the straw breaks the proverbial camel’s back, how do information leaders proactively manage stakeholders’ expectations and resist the urge to "make do and mend" when budgets are tight?


I was talking to an information leader recently about moving goalposts.

They were working hard to manage the expectations of their leadership, who had just told them they needed to implement a significant reduction in their team. This was a marked shift from their previous situation, when there had been no pressure to undertake such a drastic action, but now they were expected to move quickly to realise economies.

I asked “are you concerned about the situation?” They were unperturbed.  

Having gone through similar situations in the past, they have a well-rehearsed playbook to put up a robust defence of their position and resources.

Their defensive playbook includes:

  • A clear understanding and articulation of their value and critical role delivering the business

  • Detailed insights into the implications of reducing resources

  • Trusted relations with their stakeholders, including their leadership, to ensure robust conversations can take place during challenging times

  • Confidence that their capabilities are best in class and industry-leading; in terms of both efficacy and efficiency

  • The conviction in the message that less capacity means fewer capabilities and lower service levels.

This last point is the most important. How many times have we been asked to do “more with less”? In my experience, we information professionals are good corporate citizens that don’t like to let the side down. 

Can we do a better job of recognising and acknowledging a situation?

In a word, yes. We should strive to provide realistic assessments of limiting resources, more effectively manage stakeholders and not be afraid to push back on unreasonable requests or unrealistic expectations.

Our forthcoming Community events can help you with these challenges:

  • Register now for Let’s talk offshoring on 9th March 2023. We are delighted that Kaushik Biswas of Acuity Partners will be joining us to discuss the benefits and pitfalls of offshoring. The continuing economic uncertainty means many leaders will either reconsider this option or drive more work offshore. Register now to discuss the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of this strategy with other information leaders.

  • The follow up article to our February Community session “Building competitive advantage” is now available. Denise Carter, our CI Senior Analyst, provides her reflections on the very active conversation, and provides some additional insights.

  • In April, we will be discussing Managing up with Jeff Voight, Global Head of Facilities Services at Willis Towers Watson. Jeff has had extensive exposure to C-Suite decisionmakers and “knows enough about information management to be dangerous”. Register now to join us for what will be a lively session.

We continue to strive to develop our Community sessions and Content to meet your needs. Tell us what you want to talk about and we will bake it into our 2023 plans.

Do you love monitoring developments in information products? Do you want to work with Jinfo to keep our clients apprised of the best products? Please email me directly if you would like to learn more.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a Jinfo client, please use this form to schedule a call with me.

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