Regroup and Refocus on Transforming your IT Organization

This week I find myself frustrated in the quagmire of politics and bureaucracy. My typical role in an IT organization is to remove barriers to success, and in parallel motivate and lead them in the right direction. At times however, the sheer amount of work that needs to be accomplished can be incredibly overwhelming. In maturing organizations even the smallest task can require a new policy or procedure to be written. To combat this, the only true solution is to fall back on basic principles of time management, prioritization and delegation. It may feel like the house is on fire, during a hurricane, with the basement flooding, while the volcano in the backyard is erupting and causing an earthquake. In reality however, the situation is only as dire as you make it.

The first step in calming yourself and your team is to have an overarching strategy towards turning a team around. A great example of this is the 4-s strategy can be found in a blog post on entitled “how to turn around a failing IT department” This may not work for everyone, but the key is to begin developing some level of structure to your change efforts.

Now, take a look at your core processes. I don’t mean your “nice to haves” or things that are exciting. I’m talking about the basic things. Examples include:

  • Can you buy things, and can your customers buy (or organization fund) your services
  • Who can make authoritative decisions about the IT organization, what are the limits
  • Can you process the hiring of people, can you terminate people?
  • How will you document new decisions and make them publicly available?
  • What failing services, truly prevent (not degrade) business functions?

It may sound counterintuitive, but address the “hows” first, establish procedure and get everyone doing things the same way. Take small iterative steps and adjust your plans accordingly. Remember, your first goal is to “stop the bleeding”

I’ll be writing more on this topic in the near future……stay tuned


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