IAM_Program_World_of_Warcraft.jpgNow that’s a silly premise… or is it?

For those unfamiliar, World of Warcraft (WoW) is a massively multiplayer game set in a high fantasy world replete with elves, orcs, dwarves, and big bad bosses that require dozens of players cooperating to beat them. It’s played by millions of people around the world and is one of the most successful games of all time.In the game, there are “raids.” These are specific scenarios that take anywhere from 10-40 people and puts them into a situation where they must make their way through a bad guy’s base while confronting (and hopefully beating) various “bosses” throughout.

Raids can be serious business and there is a sub-culture within the game that strive to get “world firsts” by beating these scenarios before anyone else can.

Raids: The Right Know-How

Raids require strategy, the appropriate team composition, the right tools, and timely communication to ensure the team members are all on the same page. Each raid tends to have a leader (and perhaps some deputized officers) who help organize the team to make sure tasks are getting completed, that teammates are where they should be in-game, and to keep everyone in line.

In the many cases, raid team members are spread out throughout the world and the group heavily relies on instant messages and VOIP tools to stay in touch. Some raid encounters require extremely tight coordination (sometimes down to the second) with extremely little tolerance for deviating from the plan or everyone pays the price by having their characters die and having to start over from the beginning. Everyone needs to be on the same page and even one slip-up can spell doom for the team.

One of the most famous of these slip-ups is the legend of Leeroy Jenkins. Leeroy was a brave/foolhardy paladin who decided he had enough preparation and rushed in to attack before everyone was ready (see video here). It didn’t go well.

The Ingredients to Success

If you think about it, raiding in World of Warcraft has some very similar ingredients of a successful IAM program. You have strategies and preparation to overcome obstacles or deliver new services to your organization. You have (or plan to get in place) the appropriate team and tools to implement and run IAM services. You also have a leader, your IAM program manager, capable of marshaling and directing forces to achieve a common goal of new or enhanced IAM capabilities.

If any of these things are missing, it’s going to make it much more difficult to have a successful and sustainable IAM program.

The most successful IAM raid teams take the time to properly plan and develop strategies that take advantage of the skills of their team, available tools, and ensure through effective communication that everyone is on the same page.

If you are struggling with putting your IAM program strategies together, we can help. Our IAM raid team has decades of combined real-world experience and can enable your success.

Building Consensus in Your IAM Program

Jeff Steadman

Jeff Steadman

As part of our advisory practice, I partner with our clients to help plan their IAM strategies. Prior to joining Identropy, I spent over a dozen years managing, building, and running Identity & Access Management programs, projects, and teams for SC Johnson and Walgreens.