Congratulations, you’ve just inherited your predecessor’s IT dumpster fire. Now, it’s up to you to get essential operations back on track. Here’s how to get started.
It may be the toughest job in IT — and perhaps the most rewarding. Taking on a troubled IT department isn’t a job for the faint of heart. Repairing damage and putting things back in order will require a great deal of time and effort. If you succeed, you’ll be lauded as a hero. If you fail, your washout could haunt your career for years to come.
Getting a derailed IT department back on track requires persistence and a success-focused action plan. The following seven steps will help you get started.
1. Assess IT’s ability to support business goals
Assessing an inherited IT department’s alignment with business strategies and objectives is an important first step toward rebuilding it. “In today’s increasingly digital world, IT plays a key role in enabling business strategy,” says Rahul Singh, managing director of Pace Harmon, an IT management consulting firm.
Ensuring alignment with business goals is necessary for IT to be viewed as a strategic business partner. “Engaging with the business will help one discover what’s working versus what isn’t working, to identify the most pressing challenges and how deep the issues go,” Singh explains.
The new leader must also assess whether the IT department, in its current state, is even capable of providing operational stability. “It’s hard to be seen as a strategic partner when ‘keeping the lights on’ is an issue,” Singh notes.