7 Ways To Rebuild An IT Department After A Global Recession

by drjim on July 31, 2013

After the global recession, the clean-up is only part of what IT has to do

After the global recession, the clean-up is only part of what IT has to do
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Ugg, nobody likes a global recession especially those of us who have the CIO job. However, now that it appears to pretty much be over, the big question is just exactly how are we supposed to go about rebuilding the IT department. Bad things happened during the recession and everyone in the IT department knows about these things. How is a CIO ever going to get the team to work together again?

What’s The New Secret To Getting Excellence Out Of The IT Department?

As the CIO, you will ultimately be successful if your IT department accomplishes great things. How to get them to do this is where the real CIO magic lies. After having talked with many CIOs, I’ve discovered that the #1 thing that CIOs need to find a way to do is to give their department a shared sense of purpose.

It’s this feeling that everyone is working to accomplish the same thing that allows a sense of collaborative engagement to be developed. This is what holds an IT department together When everyone is working to accomplish the same set of goals, it also helps the flow of information throughout the department.

Having everyone want to do the same thing as everyone else in the department is not going to be enough to make the IT department be successful. More is needed. Disciplined execution is required in order to make sure that the actions of each department member helps other members do more and do it better.

7 Keys To An IT Department’s Collective Ambition

Sure, creating a shared sense of purpose sounds like a great thing to do, but just exactly how is a CIO supposed to go about doing that? It turns out that the secret is to create a sense of shared collective ambition for the IT department. The key is to realize that there is not just one thing that you need to do, but rather a collection of tasks that all have to be done at the same time. The 7 elements of an IT department’s collective ambition are:

  • Purpose: Why does the IT department exist? What is it really trying to accomplish?
  • Vision: How do you want the IT department to eventually be viewed by the rest of the company?
  • Milestones: How will the department be able to tell if they are making progress towards their vision?
  • Priorities: What steps does the department as a whole need to take in order to make progress towards achieving its vision?
  • IT Promise: What is the IT department going to be able to promise to its customers regarding the types of problems that you’ll be able to solve for them.
  • Core Values: Every IT department needs to have a set of guiding principles that tell it what it will and what it will not do both when times are good and when they are bad.
  • Leader Actions: How will you behave on a daily basis? What things will you do to show the rest of the IT department that you are working to make the IT department’s vision a reality?

What All Of This Means For You

Global recessions can kill the spirit of any IT department. Actions have to be taken in order to save the company and the memory of what was done will linger for a long time. Being in the CIO position has just become a whole lot harder.

In order to create an IT department in which the team can work together, the CIO has to create an environment of collaborative engagement and disciplined execution. Additionally, each member of the IT department must have a sense of shared ambition that consists of the 7 elements that we’ve discussed.

The past is the past and the future is what is really important going forward. In order to maximize the importance of information technology for your company, it’s going to be your job to get everyone in the IT department to start to work together. It’s not going to be easy, but it can be done. Good luck!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: Who should create a vision for your IT department?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

A big change is starting to happen in the world of IT. Just a few years ago, IT shops everywhere were busy trying to outsource just about every task that they could put their hands on. What’s happened since then is that CIOs have realized importance of information technology and that the ability to create custom code that will allow their company to move quicker and do more is something that has to be done in-house. There’s a problem however, IT shops are cranking out bad code…

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