By JOHN P. JARVIS
Director of Technology Financial Business Management at Molina Healthcare, Inc.
When I first began implementing Technology Business Management principles at Molina Healthcare in 2006, I didn’t realize I was doing TBM. I just knew we needed to get a handle on IT resources to better understand our costs, and from there it evolved and expanded.
Four years ago, we formalized our TBM discipline, and two years ago, I started attending the TBM Conference. I wish I’d known then what I know now about the conference, because I believe there’s unique value in this event that is unrivaled by other IT conferences.
I’ve learned so much to progress our TBM discipline by attending this conference, so as the event draws near (Oct. 26-29 in Chicago), I wanted to share why I think this is the only IT conference you should be attending this year. It really boils down to five key reasons:
- Realizing you are not alone. When you connect with peers who are experiencing the same challenges and have implemented and found success with TBM, you realize that the way your company operates is not that different from other companies, and this allows you to see different aspects of the problem and solution that you may not have originally seen. It was comforting for me to realize that TBM is a journey and not an end-game, and everyone continues to evolve and improve as you tackle new challenges.
- Sharing your experiences with peers – and your team. For years in TBM circles, we’ve talked about the need to evangelize IT to the business. But as TBM is becoming more widespread, there are a lot of people who come to the conference to learn more about the discipline and receive guidance on how to get started. The conference provides a forum for sharing your knowledge and expertise in best practices with peers, and also educate those who are just getting started. There’s something for everyone at every level; it’s not exclusively senior strategy leaders at the conference – there’s also a user base of practitioners who are responsible for the data and the model. This year, I’m bringing several of my teammates because I feel strongly that they can benefit from their peers the way I have at this conference.
- Getting the un-conference experience. Too many conferences have become these massive forums for vendors, and as such, you end up spending a lot of time and money to be sold to. I believe this conference is really geared towards the practitioners – their experiences, their successes, and their learning lessons. That makes the TBM Conference more heavily focused on solutions than selling. And that’s the real reason you attend conferences anyway – to learn and grow. I don’t know how many conferences I’ve attended that laid out a problem and gave no actual solutions. This is not one of those conferences.
- A-ha moments. There’s a lot to learn at this conference, but it’s those big “a-ha” moments that make it memorable. For me, hearing from Lisa Stalter from Cox Enterprises at last year’s conference was a big moment. As she was talking through her TBM model, she confirmed everything I started with Molina was in practice and working successfully elsewhere. Having that confirmation was really validating for me and what we’d done. And that was just one moment among many. You’ll have yours, too (check out this year’s keynotes here).
- Connecting with those who have a shared purpose. The TBM Conference provides some of the best networking opportunities out there for senior IT leaders. You’re all there for the same reason, and interestingly, that shared purpose strips away the competitiveness and empowers us to support each other – there and throughout the year. Several of the people I’ve met at the conference are people I speak with throughout the year. We’ve even developed an unofficial user group that meets periodically.