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Dear Workforce How Do We Help a New IT Group Clarify Its Role

Dear Fuzzy Focus:

Too often, groups like this are established with vague definitions and little buy-in from stakeholders. Work with management to explicitly define the group’s strategic objectives, functions, responsibilities and areas of authority. Make sure that management communicates the mission to other stakeholders, particularly peer groups.

Involve key stakeholders–management, peer group leaders and the new group’s staff–to build consensus around decision-making processes and procedures.

Understand the group’s mission and how it interacts with the larger organization. This helps define employees’ roles, which must be tied to specific skill sets. It also highlights training and development needs. Involve human resources from the outset.

Move quickly to establish processes, metrics and reporting requirements at a high level. Change your goals to refine these processes as the organization matures. Staff members need to have a clear understanding of how to do their jobs and how they’re expected to interact with peer groups.

Don’t underestimate the importance ofchange management. New groups in a larger organization face many potential barriers from established groups, who resist learning new methods of operation and fear possible loss of their influence. Intimately understand the key stakeholders and any potential barriers to change, using communication plans and performance incentives to encourage positive behavior.

SOURCE: Max Harvey, principal,Intellilink Solutions, Inc., New York City, April 20, 2004.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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