Copyright TIGERS Success Series by Dianne Crampton

With external business demands increasing and technologies continuously emerging, organizations that are agile enough to “change direction” when they need to remain competitive.  This includes adapting their systems to new processes in a fast evolving marketplace. At the forefront of the adapt or die reality is the ever-advancing world of IT, where new innovations and technology seem to progress daily.

In a recent IT Executive Outlook survey conducted by TEKsystems, findings indicate that 66% of IT leaders would like to see improvements in their organization’s ability to have the agility to assemble high quality, collaborative teams of the right competency quickly. With demands in the IT industry changing more frequently than most other business areas, it is vital for the IT industry to be extremely efficient when assembling collaborative teams.

Organizations that struggle with employee conflict, poor communication, and high employee turnover, can never be a position to remain flexible or agile enough to move quickly when project requirements change, let alone an evolving marketplace. With that in mind, just what consequences do organizations face when they are not able to respond quickly enough to changing business models and demands? According to the survey, these startling findings reveal: 

  • Missed project timelines – 81% say timelines are missed due to a lack of agility in bringing in new skills
  • Ability to respond – 77% report their ability to effectively respond to business demands is affected
  • Harmed reputations – 59% say IT’s reputation is harmed when the right people are not put in place quickly 

To a lesser degree, but still having a paramount effect on an organization’s ability to adapt, these survey findings are definitely worth mentioning. Concerns were raised in: 

  • Management of internal politics (10%),
  • Optimizing processes for onboarding team members (9%)
  • Optimizing an organization’s hiring processes (8%). 

“It’s not only about finding people, but ensuring you get the right people on board. Even if you’re only looking at a three month engagement, the cost of a bad hire in IT is too high to risk. No corner should be cut in screening. In-person interviews, technical skill assessments, and thorough reference checks are critical for making the best match possible. The key is to not only be meticulous in screening, but to also act quickly,” states TEKsystems’s Director, Rachel Russell. It is important not to view staffing as a commodity service. If this were the case, then skill and talent wouldn’t matter as much as they do. The success or failure of IT initiatives hinges on the quality of people driving them.

So how do organizations such as IT industries quickly assemble cohesive teams, which include the addition of new hires, to accommodate evolving business expectations?

Simply stated – strategic planning that is in alignment with systems, workforce development and cooperative principles are the key components in determining the direction of an organization, implementing new processes, and developing pre-hiring exercises that reveal desired behaviors that will gel quickly with the existing team dynamic. 

Strategic planning allows an organization’s leaders to guide and implement processes that take the organization into the future. As I emphasize in TIGERS Success Series facilitations, and the IT Executive Outlook survey also agrees with me, companies must take a thoughtful, serious look at: 

  • how they manage their workforces
  • how much they care for each individual
  • how they optimize the way people work together
  • how flexible or nimble they are at organizing teams around important initiatives 

IT leaders as well as other project and business leaders  who are great at workforce planning and management have a clear competitive edge over those who are not. The TIGERS Team Wheel™ game is a powerful team building exercise that initiates the process of strategic planning and work team development, opens the lines of communication, and brings new employees and the existing team culture up to speed quickly with regard to group norms and procedures. And getting up to speed quickly is vital in today’s global marketplace.

Photo credit – iStock