For smooth operating, your IT department has to be professionalized, with 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. If the role is 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, 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.

This professionalization of IT often has to be re-implemented after a heavy-growth (Tornado) phase. Remember, during a Tornado, the tyranny of the urgent rules the company, and that means processes and people may have been thrown out the window. Once the Tornado has passed, it’s time to salvage as much as you can and get it all organized again.

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 need to maintain your efficiency. 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.

Don’t feel like you have to map this out alone. Contact me with any questions before you get mired in the details and lose focus on your business goals.