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The IT Career Builder's Toolkit, Chapter 21: Concept Over Process

COP Origins

During my time with Blue Cross, I had the opportunity to work in a unique and valuable environment. I was a technology professional who did not work within an information technology (IT) department.

Initially, I desired to make that transition, interviewing for positions within IT. None of these positions offered either the pay or opportunity I was seeking. For a period of my career, this frustrated me. I initially coveted an IT title. I discovered, however, that I truly wanted the opportunities I was already being faced with every day.

I worked within a user department. By that, I mean I worked in a department with the users of my programs and technical solutions. For this reason, my title had to be one available to the department. Corporate edict mandated that all technology positions were available only to technology staff.

Instead, I held positions of junior data clerk, business analyst, senior business analyst, and so on. My day-to-day tasks, however, involved application development, network administration, and other IT-related tasks.

My unique position provided me with incredible opportunities—opportunities that probably would have been lost working for the MIS/IT department.

During this time, I developed a comprehensive, yet simple project development methodology. The methodology first creates a strong understanding of the underlying business model. It is a dual creative/analytical process that fosters innovation and results in a unique business/solution-based focus for your technology projects.

I titled this methodology Concept Over Process.

COP has become the backbone to my career as a technologist, consultant, and mentor to other technologists. Many have found it instrumental as a career development tool. Its unique approach properly emphasizes strong conceptual knowledge over straight technical know-how.

Technology professionals who adopt a COP mindset are better able to produce comprehensive business solutions and are more adept at proactive analysis and recommendations. Management recognizes these people more quickly because their solutions, language, and focus are unique in the business model orientation.

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