Tomorrow, Tomorrow, You’ll Always Have Tomorrow – But Are You Ready?

by drjim on March 25, 2010

Sure You Want To Get To The End Of The Rainbow, But What’s There?

Sure You Want To Get To The End Of The Rainbow, But What’s There?

If you’ve been reading the papers or watching the news on TV, you’ve probably started to see stories that are daring to hint at a global recovery. Now that’s all fine and good and I’ll believe it when it shows up. However, smart IT Leaders know that now is the time to act. Are you getting your team ready for the madness that will hit your firm when things really start moving once again?

Six Things That You Need To Be Doing

The thing that you’ve got to realize is that both you and the rest of the business have been in a hunker down, just keep the lights on, mode for quite some time. The good thing about this is that everyone else in your industry has been doing the same thing. However, one-by-one everyone is going to be waking up soon and you don’t want your team to get caught unaware.

Since you may still have a little bit of down time on your hands, now is the time to make the most of it. Here are six things that you need to be having your team work on now before they become too busy to think straight:

  • Simplify, Simplify, Simplify: When we are moving at 100 mph, we have a nasty habit of creating redundant systems and duplicating processes. We do this because we don’t have the time to research how things are being done right now – we just solve the same problem once again. Use this time to comb through the applications and processes that your team supports and uses and find / eliminate the duplicates.
  • Level Set: how many user licenses are you paying for? How many of those are you using? For that matter, how well utilized are the servers and storage systems that you team uses every day? Now is the time to sort all of this out. Get rid of the licenses that you don’t need anymore and make sure that you are maximizing the value from each one of your hardware resources.
  • Call In The Governance: When things start to pick up, everybody and their mother’s Uncle are going to be coming to your team and asking you to do work for them. Now is the time to lay down the law on how you’ll be approving what projects you’ll be working on.
  • Inventory Skill Sets: If you look out into the future 12 months or so, what skills will your team need to be able to bring to the table to do the work that will be asked of them? Now is the time to bring in people who have the needed skills or to send your team off to get some training.
  • What’s Your Value?: This is something that you should have done a long time ago; however, if you haven’t then you need to do it now. You need to sit down with your team and make sure that everyone has a clear understanding of how your team supports the rest of the business.
  • Learn To Live With Uncertainty: As IT professionals we love it when things are cut & dried; however, that’s not the way that life works. It’s great to start out with a plan but the reality is that things will happen and the plan will need to be changed. How it gets changed and how the new plan gets communicated will be key to your team’s success going forward.

What All Of This Means For You

The Chinese curse says “May you live in interesting times” – and we certainly are. However, as busy as we are today, it’s starting to look like we are going to be getting a lot busier as the global economy starts to pick up.

Sharp IT Leaders realize that this is the time that we need to be working with our team to work through those issues that we can get put right before we get busy. Time invested now will pay dividends later.

The difference between being an IT manager and an IT Leader is that you take the time to look into the future and you prepare for it before it happens. Do this and you’ll be able to show your team the way to go…

Question For You: what do you think is the most important thing that your team can do now to prepare for the future?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

All too often we do a really bad job of looking for our next job. I’m not talking about poorly formatted resumes or even answering questions incorrectly during a job interview. My point is that it’s all the other actions that we take during a job search that really end up shooting ourselves in the foot. Still confused? Maybe I should explain myself…

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