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The five enablers of IT organisational excellence

Lou Markstrom | July 29, 2015
Properly executing your plans is where the real challenge begins, says Lou Markstrom.

organisational excellence

Leading an IT organisation through a successful transformation can be quite a challenge. Once you've adapted your mindset to prepare for the transition, there are five organisational challenges that you'll want to work through to reposition your business for success.

They are:

1. Employ outstanding leaders

Exceptional leaders have dedicated people who willingly follow them. They have put in the dedicated effort to sharpen their interpersonal skills and learn to influence others. They have developed the capacity to build trusted partner relationships which enhance their ability to produce results through others and they have built a level of resiliency that allows for increased energy and effectiveness under pressure.

2. Create a clear strategy

A well-constructed and thorough road map that demonstrates how you will get from where you are today to where you want to be is the first step to laying the foundation for IT success.

It is essential for increasing profitability, competitive advantage, reducing expenses, maximising productivity, improving customer service, protecting data and in having your people reach their maximum potential. Without a clear plan, there may be a lot of work getting done, but all it will amount to is just 'spinning your tyres' and not getting anywhere.

In communicating the strategy throughout the organisation, you must also find a balance; it shouldn't be vague and nebulous but it also should not be a 500 page document. Ideally it is less than 12 pages.

It is also a living and breathing document. A common mistake is to think 'We've already done our strategy.' You'll want to revisit it every three to six months and make any necessary adjustments or course corrections.

3. Find and develop the right people

Leaders do not operate alone. If you said you were a leader, but had no one willingly following you, would you really be a leader? Our people and our leaders are the lifeblood of our success. You must learn to select, coach, develop, and optimise your staff.

Avoid a quick hiring decision based solely on 'feel' and ensure you have an appropriate selection/interview process that allows you to have a match on capabilities, attitude and cultural fit. How many times has a candidate looked good on a first interview but by the third they were clearly not a fit?

A solid performance management system build around the four steps of setting clear expectations, ongoing feedback, formal appraisals, and ongoing development (including training) will allow you to drive performance, maintain accountability and support the growth of your people in realising their full potential.

Finally, when looking at developing your winning team, you must build it as one IT organisation that shares a common goal, vision and purpose. Silos within IT must be eliminated.


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