I wanted to take the opportunity to share a bit about my experiences over the past year. I apologize for being a bit quiet recently. With new opportunities, comes new challenges. Over the past year, I have had the great opportunity to lead a team of IT admins. It has indeed had its challenges. Mixtures of personalities, business habits, and a rapid changing business model.

Granted when businesses are born, IT teams develop certain habits. As well as good habits unfortunately they also develop bad habits. These habits become SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) when handling implementations, service requests, and deployments. All IT teams go through this, and can be crippling as the business grows. Quality standards suffer, project timelines divert drastically, and SLA’s go un met. It can be a rather impossible task to get a ship back on course once it diverts. as that ship gets bigger, that task becomes more daunting.

It takes a strong leadership and team to realize that a ship has strayed off course, admit there is an issue, and make a clear objective to right it. In fact realizing ways to improve and change our methods as an IT team should never stop, regardless if you are able to correct core issues that may affect the teams deliverables. As the business objectives/needs change, technology advances, budgets shrink and grow, so should the IT department look for ways to improve services.

Other then looking for ways to improve services, we must also be willing to look at our methods as a team and ways to be more efficient. Today businesses constantly are looking for ways to streamline and become more efficient. As an IT team, we should be doing the same. One thing i have noticed, is that the way IT operates sometimes can suffer by the standard of “That is just the way we have always done it” syndrome. as an IT team we can loose our credibility when our methods become ineffective our quality suffers as well as our standards. We need to be able to rip off the bandaid at times, open up the wounds and look objectively for ways to improve rather then blame and perpetuate our problems. Sometimes admitting false and flaws can feel like career suicide. However i must object to this. Some of the greatest leaders of the largest corporations find themselves pointing at themselves for failures. It isn’t that we make mistakes that kills our careers, it is failure to acknowledge and develop a plan to right the failures that will ultimately lead to our demise. Many leaders inherit predecessors flawed plans or objectives. The best level 5 leaders out there are willing to identify and make the drastic and difficult to choice to right the flaws, so that the business can prosper. At all levels, leader or not, shouldn’t we do the same?

Processes I have found, can cripple an IT department if they are over done and not done enough. To many processes can frustrate and demoralize staff when it takes weeks to make a simple IP change due to paperwork. To little processes can stunt a businesses growth because it creates enormous chaos, lack of direction and demoralization as well. Staff will lack drive to improve and invest in the business because suddenly everything is a priority 1. So everything because rushed and half done, leading to a severely suffering quality standard. IT teams will stop growing with the business, and become more reactive to situations because now they cannot keep up.

So time to stop the cycle, rip off the bandaid, collaberate and find ways to improve a crippled system. Stop blaming the process, or lack there of and find a way to fix it. The greatest minds of our generation found ways to solve issues rather then let someone else fix it. They have become successful and legendary because they had a clear objective to get the best and brightest out there team to identify the issues, devise a plan and path to resolve, and then set out to change the course.