How A CIO Can Reorganize An IT Department

How a CIO conducts a reorganization can have a big impact on the IT department
How a CIO conducts a reorganization can have a big impact on the IT department
Image Credit: rocket ship

Hey CIO, how’s that IT department of yours looking these days? If you are like most of us, you are fairly happy with how your IT department has been put together, but there are some areas in which you’d like to make a few changes. Sound like it’s time for a reorganization of the IT department. However, before you get this started, you need to realize that you’ve going to be impacting everyone who works for you. Do you know how to do this correctly?

It’s All About The Roles

One of the most important things that happens during a reorganization is that roles get redefined. This can mean that a number of your staff will now be reporting to someone new. As you can well imagine, this can cause a great deal of confusion within the IT department.

No matter how carefully executed they are, these kinds of changes can cause a great deal of confusion. Ultimately your goal has to be to permit the new structure of your IT department to allow it’s workers to focus on the company. This means that the new organization is going to have to make it possible for IT workers to work more closely with other departments.

One way to go about making sure that you get the new roles that are created as a result of the reorganization correct is to to perform the reorganization from the top down. Have each layer in your IT department take some time and define how they would like the layer beneath them to be organized. This will allow everyone time to get buy-in.

A Little Help Never Hurts

One mistake that a lot of people who have the CIO job make is thinking they have to pull off a major reorganization of the IT department all by themselves. This simply is not true. If ever there was a time for you to bring in an outsider to help you out, now is the time.

One important area the you can probably use some outside help in is public relations. Keeping both the members of your department as well as the rest of the company informed on how the reorganization is going and what the next step is can be critical. Everyone may not like the changes that are happening, but at least if they know that what is coming this will make them easier to live with.

You Need To Be Very Clear

A reorganization is a significant upheaval for any IT department. Whenever this kind of change happens, your staff is going to be spending a lot of time talking about what is going on. You can’t stop this kind of conversation, but you do want to make sure that what they are talking about is accurate.

Your responsibility while the reorganization is happening is to make sure that you very clearly communicate to everyone in the department what is happening. You need to be constantly sharing with them what your goal for this reorganization is – what are you hoping to achieve by making all of these changes?

What All Of This Means For You

The person in the CIO position is responsible for creating a smoothly running IT department in addition to telling the rest of the company about the importance of information technology,. If you look at how your IT department is designed today, it is probably doing fairly well, but there are parts that could be improved. One way to make your IT department run better is to reorganize it.

A reorganization is a very disruptive event. You are going to have to take the time to get the new roles that people will be filling correct. You should not expect to have to do all of this by yourself. It is perfectly ok to bring in some outside help to provide you with assistance. Just make sure that you take the time to clearly communicate what is going on, and why, to everyone in the department.

As the CIO it is your job to solve problems for the rest of the company. In order to do this, you need to have a very efficient IT department backing you up. A reorganization might be just what it’s going to take to create the IT department that the company needs.

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

Question For You: How often do you think that a CIO can reorganize an IT department?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

The CIO runs the show when it comes to all things having to do with IT because of importance of information technology, right? Well, it turns out that this is not always the case. Even as you are reading this, in your IT department a mutiny may be brewing. What has caused this to happen and what should you be doing to prepare for it?