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9 ways to unify your IT team

By Lou Markstrom | July 26, 2016
Top CIOs discuss the methods they use to unite people in their IT groups.

Everyone must understand that internal service is just as important as external because if we don’t serve each other well, there is no way we as a team will serve our end client well.

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4. Be aware of “discipline lock”

“Discipline lock” occurs when a technology expert gets promoted and still sees themselves as a technology expert and not a leader.

This can be further compounded if discipline bigotry gets promoted into a leadership role and still maintains the belief that their previous area was more important than other areas.

This belief will tend to build further barriers and tensions between areas of IT. This must be avoided so all teams feel valued and appreciated.

5. Ensure your business model supports your objectives

Wataman follows the principle that you must be fluid in your structures to achieve your purpose and mission.

Look at how your teams are structured to gain some clarity around where mismatches are occurring and where individuals are simply working inside the operating mode of what they do. These people are not looking at your broader objectives.

Wataman said these structures must be re-evaluated on a regular basis and adapted over time to keep them on track.

Wilson keeps the focus on an “end to end integration model” while Grant warns to be aware of “local optimisation at the expense of group optimisation” which creates behaviour that is prevents you from achieving your organisational objectives.

6. Build respect for your service culture

Having a good service culture does not mean being all things to all people at all times. You must stand up for the recognition that your team deserves.

Wilson has needed to reinforce the value of the IT function both internally to the IT staff and externally to the client. This reinforced that, although change was necessary, it wasn’t all bad. From this demonstration of loyalty, her team knew that she had their back.

7. Physical space must support collaboration

Does your physical space help or hinder your organisation operating as a single team? Wilson has created a physical environment at ECU that she says “enhances rather than inhibits communication”.

To do this, she has brought previously separate teams into one physical space, replaced high petitions with low ones and ensured everything is well lit. The result is a space where you can’t help but notice the energy and buzz in the air, she says.

8. Provide proper recognition

Too often IT has a history of rewarding and recognising members at a team level rather than an organisation level, Grant says. We must turn this around and build the level of trust so that our teams know they will be rewarded when the results and outcomes are achieved at group rather than just individual levels.


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