Ask_for_Help_IAM_Program.jpgPersonal story time: I went to my usual place to get a haircut recently and there was a new stylist. I explained what I wanted and she started to go to work. Right away, I could tell she was nervous, maybe even new, and I was getting that "something's not right" feeling. A few minutes went by and I could tell she was struggling with the cut.

Now there isn't anything specifically difficult about my style. I've had hundreds of haircuts over the years with no particular issues, but for some reason, it just wasn't happening today for the stylist. Then she did something that initially terrified me. After that initial oh !&^% moment, it actually made me happy and put me at ease. She asked for help from someone else.

The Results of Asking for Help

What would you think if you heard your barber/stylist utter those words? For me, I immediately thought the worst: "What did she do?", "How bad is it?", and "Can I wear a hat to client meetings?" 

I think most people would try to fix things on their own and end up making it worse. She made the right choice by asking for help. Rather than risk making things things worse, she turned to one of her colleagues to get back on track. It was absolutely the right call and I walked out with a perfectly normal (for me) looking head of hair.

The experience got me thinking about how I wish this applied to Identity and Access Management (IAM) programs more. I have worked with a lot of programs, both large and small, over the years and the one thing that the best run programs all had in common were the ability to recognize limitations and a great understanding of when to ask for help. Sometimes these IAM teams didn't have all of the answers and you know what? That's okay!

Recognizing You Need Help

Recognition of a problem is the first step towards fixing it. Knowing that you don't have the internal knowledge, experience, and/or tools puts you that much closer to getting where you want to be as long as you are able and willing to ask for help.

I have seen some IAM programs not recognize this and waste a lot of time and money going down a path that does not lead to success. Eventually, outside help is brought in to address a much more dire situation to try and resolve. Generally, this makes it more expensive and painful for everyone involved to get back on track.

Don't be afraid to ask for help. The earlier you make that ask, the easier it will be to course correct or validate your approach. Identropy's advisory team has decades of experience with IAM programs, teams, and technologies. If you need help, you can get by with a little help from your friends at Identropy.

IAM Program Data Sheet

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.