When you’re coming out of that dizzying hypergrowth business phase we call the Tornado, it’s time to get things back in order. That means salvaging as much as you can that you chucked out the window, and then getting it all organized once again. Professionalization of IT often has to be re-implemented after a heavy-growth phase. It needs policies and procedures to follow and standard operating procedures. While professionalizing your team, you want to focus on desktops instead of individuals; in other words, it’s the role, not the person that will keep everything running efficiently. People can come and go within a specific role, but if it’s well- defined and well-documented, processes will continue to move smoothly, without gaps, hesitations, or blockages.
You achieve this by implementing a PMO—a project management office—that has business oversight for the IT group. Then, after the technology’s been proven in a test environment (to ensure that mistakes won’t happen like those the medical world has experienced), the PMO approves from a business perspective all projects and changes to the current systems. That way, you can make sure that changes to IT won’t disrupt or break the processes your business depends on.
While you’re doing this, keep in mind, though, that the goal is not to implement a ponderous, many-layered bureaucracy that will weigh down your IT department. You’ll need to find the sweet spot where chaos and restriction are in balance—and you do that by starting slowly, implementing first the key pieces of a PMO and slowly adding only what you really need to maintain your efficiency. IT needs to be fully professionalized by the end of the process, but at the same time, you don’t want to lose your ability to be flexible enough to react to new situations. New business problems will always be emerging, and if your IT can’t align itself with them, it will become a dinosaur that’s too heavy and clumsy to do you any good.
So when it comes to your PMO, how do you know what is too much, what is too little, and what is just enough? Well, it’s a little like trying to cook a particular dish. If you look at two different cookbooks, you’ll probably see that the ingredients for that same dish are slightly different between the two recipes. In fact, if you looked at ten different recipes for the same dish, you’d find ten different lists of ingredients and preparation directions. There will be some overlap, of course, but there will also be differences—and those differences mean that none of the dishes will be exactly the same. The same is true with a PMO. Each PMO will be slightly different from all others, even though all of them are intended to do basically the same job.
So how do you find the right “recipe” for your business? Well, you could do trial and error—but that can be both expensive and time consuming. The cheapest, most efficient solution is to bring in someone who has experience with the Business Storm Cycle, a seasoned “cook” who can put together the exact PMO “recipe” your company needs. You need an experienced professional who will not only give you the ingredients but also help you do the actual “cooking” until you achieve the exact balance your business needs to thrive in all the phases of the business cycle. We’re here to help, contact us today.