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The Makeover of an IT Organization Eva Steiner Director of Information Technology Dewey Ballantine LLP

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Presentation on theme: "The Makeover of an IT Organization Eva Steiner Director of Information Technology Dewey Ballantine LLP"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Makeover of an IT Organization Eva Steiner Director of Information Technology Dewey Ballantine LLP

2 The Makeover of an IT Organization Session Spoils Organize an effective IT Department Transition from a Techie to a Manager and a Leader Create an environment that will attract and retain employees Hire the right employees for your organization

3 The Makeover of an IT Organization New York, New York… May 1998 Eva Steiner leaves Boston firm to accept position as Director of Information Technology at Dewey Ballantine LLP Number of Attorneys:450 Number of Users:1,100 Number of Offices:9 New YorkWashington D.C.Los Angeles Menlo ParkLondon Warsaw Budapest Prague Hong Kong Technology (main applications): Microsoft Office SuiteHummingbird/PCDocs Solution 6/CMSOpenIBM/Lotus Notes

4 The Makeover of an IT Organization New York, New York… The New Job more people, more power Large-sized department more people, more power challenging!! No IT Director for over a year; department overseen by a partner challenging!! freedom! No Executive Director freedom! Reported to Administrative Partner trust! Although a Technology Committee was in place, the administrative partner was reluctant to call a meeting trust! A piece of cake... I have done this twice before. A piece of cake... Back in NY, life couldnt be better!!

5 Get to know the staff Schedule individual meetings and listen Gage expertise and technical abilities Become familiar with the technical environment Understand the organizational structure Understand the departments culture The Makeover of an IT Organization First Course of Action

6 In other words, the dos and donts an individual must learn about a group in order to belong. This is an important factor that must be considered when hiring new employees. The Makeover of an IT Organization Culture: The unconscious and conscious shared pattern of thinking, feeling and behaving, handed down from one generation to another, that give identity and make life meaningful to a group of people. It is expressed as collective values, norms, traditions, myths, institutions, and other social and physical phenomenon that are characteristic among members of a group.

7 The Makeover of an IT Organization Dewey Ballantine LLP Information Technology Department Organizational Chart May 1998 Director of IT Administrative AssistantAdministrator Associate Director Computer Operations Manager Senior Network Engineer Network Engineer Lotus Notes/NT Engineer Systems Administrator Systems Administrator (Evening) Systems Administrator (Midnight) PC Technician Telecomm Coordinator GTE Technician Applications Specialist (PCDocs) Applications Specialist (Word) Applications Specialist (Lotus Notes) Applications Specialist (MSAccess) Applications Specialist Project Manager Programmer / Analyst Applications Specialist (CMS) User Support Supervisor User Support Specialist User Support Specialist (Evening) User Support Specialist User Support Specialist (Weekends) User Support Specialist (Open Position)

8 Initial Assessment May 1998 The Makeover of an IT Organization Linear; unclear reporting structure Unclear functional responsibilities Preferential treatment given to certain groups in the department Lacking leadership No regularly scheduled meetings No apparent project tracking and control procedures Poor documentation Poor communication No teamwork Departments Organizational Structure

9 The Makeover of an IT Organization Many lacking technical expertise Lack of focus and follow-through No sense of urgency Lacking team spirit, divided Clicks with in-fighting, friction Not my job syndrome; passing the buck Lacking problem ownership Unwilling to help others in the department Unresponsive to users needs 5:00 p.m. stampede to the elevators Staffs Performance and Attitude Initial Assessment May 1998

10 The Makeover of an IT Organization Departments Organizational Structure Staffs Performance and Attitude Impact on Users Initial Assessment May 1998

11 The Makeover of an IT Organization Distrust of IT Departments technical abilities Low esteem of IT Department Find other sources for help High level of frustration Reduced productivity Distrust of technology Not receptive to new products Impact on Users Initial Assessment May 1998

12 The Makeover of an IT Organization Without an IT Director or leadership, the IT Department was lacking a proponent – someone to front issues and with whom to form alliances. IT Department Relations with other Administrative Departments Initial Assessment May 1998 This caused friction and, as a result, the IT Department became a scapegoat.

13 The Makeover of an IT Organization IT Department Relations with Remote Offices Initial Assessment May 1998 Mutual distrust Lack of communication Lack of cooperation No sharing of information Operating as independent entities

14 The Makeover of an IT Organization Departments Organizational Structure Staffs Performance and Attitude Impact on Users Initial Assessment May 1998 Relations with Other Admin Staff Relations with Remote Offices Firm Business Needs

15 The Makeover of an IT Organization Stabilize the department Improve culture Hire the right people Improve service to users Key Objectives Strategic Plan:

16 The Makeover of an IT Organization Re-define management structure Re-align functional areas of the department Desktop Support Group Litigation Support Re-organize the staff Re-design processes and procedures Organizational Structure Strategic Plan:

17 The Makeover of an IT Organization Reporting structure Organize meetings Project work teams Encourage information sharing Eliminate barriers between groups Equalize different areas in the department; eliminate favoritism Establish open channels of communication on all levels Staff Strategic Plan:

18 The Makeover of an IT Organization Establish channels of communication More face-to-face meetings When appropriate, involve in decision making process Other Offices Strategic Plan:

19 The Makeover of an IT Organization On-going assessment Final Component Strategic Plan:

20 The Makeover of an IT Organization Q: Q: What do you think the goal/mission of an IT organization is within a law firm? First Departmental Meeting A: A: 1) Implement technology 2) Provide Support 3) Research new products 4) Learn new technologies Action...

21 The Makeover of an IT Organization Q: Q: How is the department viewed by users? A: A: 1) Not very good 2) Not very helpful 3) We get many complaints about service First Departmental Meeting Action...

22 The Makeover of an IT Organization Q: Q: Are you interested in changing the departments reputation? A: A: Few nods and Yess Action... First Departmental Meeting

23 What was wrong with the meeting? The Makeover of an IT Organization First Departmental Meeting Cut! mMeeting was premature; should have waited 3-4 weeks mDidnt share the agenda for the meeting ahead of time mIdentified need to make changes, but didnt elaborate mDidnt present an action plan mSent the wrong message mNot much participation by staff

24 What was right about the meeting? The Makeover of an IT Organization First Departmental Meeting Cut! Staff left with the knowledge that changes were going to be made Established a Mission Statement for the department

25 The IT Department mission is to provide the highest level service possible using all available resources to effect appropriate technological solutions to address the Firms business needs. The Makeover of an IT Organization Mission Statement

26 The Makeover of an IT Organization Reflections Though I have been a manager for over 15 years, my background and experiences are those of a computer technology professional, a techie. I was promoted because I was successful at being an individual contributor.

27 The Makeover of an IT Organization Reflections As a techie, my view of management was very simplistic: More money ! Its easier and more fun. Ill get to mix with the higher-ups and boss around. subordinates And if they wont do what I want them to do, then Ill make them – in other words bully them like we used to do when playing with other children or siblings. Ill make important decisions on my own. But, trust me, it doesnt work. I tried it!! And I have the scars to show for it.

28 The Makeover of an IT Organization Techie Manager Views the world in absolutes, right or wrong Right, wrong and in-between Focuses on details (doesnt look sideways, keeping only the end result in mind) Has difficulty with compromise Emotional when confronted with conflicts Likes to work alone Uncommunicative, introverted Doesnt like sharing information/knowledge Sees the big picture (looking sideways and putting all the pieces together to make the whole) To resolve conflicts in the workplace, must be able to compromise To succeed, must be able to be dispassionate Enjoys working with people Outgoing, extroverted Shares information Ego-centricThinks of others Good CommunicatorTalks techie

29 The Makeover of an IT Organization Definitions... A Manager is someone with supervisory and administrative responsibility over staff in a given area who sets objectives, plans, organizes, staffs, motivates and communicates, measures and develops people and himself. A Leader is someone who has a guiding vision and possesses the ability to turn it into reality. He sets the values and morals for the organization. He is passionate about what he does and is not afraid to take risks and learn from mistakes. A leader instills trust and fosters enthusiasm. He has a positive self-regard and is able to compensate for weaknesses.

30 The Makeover of an IT Organization Manager Leader administersinnovates a copy maintains focuses on systems and structure relies on control has a short-range view asks how and when an original develops focuses on people inspires trust has a long-range perspective asks what and why has his eye always on the bottom line has his eye on the horizon originatesimitates accepts the status quochallenges status quo the classic good soldierhis own person does things rightdoes the right things

31 The Makeover of an IT Organization New management with changes in mind Staff burnout after a major rollout No clear leadership or direction For the first time, the IT Department became visible, although negatively Resistance to change, we always did it this way Attractive job opportunities in the marketplace Contributing Factors The Beginning of the Mass Exodus

32 The Makeover of an IT Organization The majority of those who left departed on their own. It became quickly apparent that the culture of the department was changing, and that some of the staff were not going to fit in anymore. The Beginning of the Mass Exodus

33 The Makeover of an IT Organization Ø Loss of productivity Ø Lost efficiency Ø Lost institutional knowledge Ø Lower moral of co-workers left behind Ø Increased stress Ø Increased dependency on temporary help Effects of High Turnover

34 The Makeover of an IT Organization Five Principle Reasons Why People Leave Their Job: - From Keeping Good People by Roger E. Herman, a Certified Management Consultant 1)It doesnt feel good around here – physical environment, organizations culture 2)They wouldnt miss me if I were gone – recognition, appreciation 3)I dont get what I need to get my job done – inadequate tools, insufficient information, incompetent supervisors and co-workers 4)There is no opportunity for advancement – training opportunities, new skills 5)The compensation doesnt meet my needs – fair market compensation

35 The Makeover of an IT Organization The following table was compiled by researchers conducting a study, which was repeated many times over the years, to learn what motivates people in work organizations, and also to determine whether the supervisors perception of the workers needs were consistent. - From Keeping Good People by Roger E. Herman, a Certified Management Consultant Motivational FactorWorkers Response Full appreciation for work done 1 Feeling in on things 2 Help of personal problems 3 Job security 4 Good wages 5 Interesting work 6 Promotion and growth 7 Management loyalty to workers 8 Good working conditions 9 Tactful disciplining 10 Supervisors Response

36 The Makeover of an IT Organization People want: Appreciation Stable and secure environment Accountability Greater responsibility Autonomy Involvement in decision making Empowerment Leaders who listen and act on suggestions Continual learning – formal and informal, including mentoring Freedom to experiment… and to fail without being punished Supportive, rather than restrictive, work environment Information – knowledge of whats happening with the company and industry Reward based on performance The opportunity to make a difference

37 The Makeover of an IT Organization 1001 Ways to Reward Employees by Bob Nelson 1001 Ways to Energize Employees by Bob Nelson 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work by Dave Hemsath & Leslie Yerkes Addressing the Turnover Problem Quick Measures: sRead books for quick fixes; the 1001 series

38 The Makeover of an IT Organization Ideas Award dinner for two for doing something special Give special holiday candy (e.g. Halloween, Christmas, etc…) Recognition lunch A letter of praise Circulate praise received for individuals to the rest of the department Welcome card/flowers for new employees Give a day, half-a-day, or a Friday off Afternoon ice cream wagon Take daily humor break with someone sharing a joke with staff Take candid shots of people and post pictures Cookies and candy for staff for no reason

39 The Makeover of an IT Organization Addressing the Turnover Problem Quick Measures: sScheduled a monthly breakfast meeting on the first Friday of every month for people to gather and interact socially.

40 The Makeover of an IT Organization I listened. I asked one question: How can we improve the work environment to make it a place where we would want to stay, and a place that would attract and retain new employees? I listened some more; encouraged discussion. I made no judgements… And continued to listen. Addressing the Turnover Problem Quick Measures: sScheduled a second departmental meeting with a new approach.

41 The Makeover of an IT Organization Higher salaries Bonuses Outside Training Flexible work schedule Tuition reimbursement Casual dress all year round Non-legal staff retreat IT Expo/Open house for users Private offices Attorney presentations to IT Staff IT presentations to the Firm Non-legal staff publication Include non-legal section in The Bull 2 nd Departmental Meeting Results Quick Measures: It Staff Issues for Consideration by Firm Management

42 The Makeover of an IT Organization Internal Training Inter-group meetings, seminars, training Telecommuting More frequent departmental meetings IT staff personnel exchange between offices Getting better acquainted with other administrative departments IT Web site / centralized documentation IT gatherings without family 2 nd Departmental Meeting Results Quick Measures: It Staff Issues to Be Addressed Internally with the Department

43 The Makeover of an IT Organization IT Staffing Market in the Last Two Years çBoon in the computer industry presents tempting opportunities çTight labor market çShortage of qualified personnel çEmployment tenures getting shorter çTo retain good people, forced to promote before they are ready çCompeting with new technology companies promising over-night millionaire riches çChallenge of getting the Firms management to buy in to the necessary changes (e.g. adjustments in salaries, more training, etc…)

44 The Makeover of an IT Organization Filling the Vacancies Mass Exodus: Instead of looking at the mass exodus as another negative, we used the situation as an opportunity to: 1)Redefine some roles and positions 2)Outline the qualities we wanted in new employees

45 The Makeover of an IT Organization General Characteristics More suitable technical skills Well-motivated Enjoys responsibilities and challenges Professional Possesses determination and perseverance Willing to learn new skills and tasks Creative; organized Sense of humor; sensitivity; tactfullness Sound value system Hiring Guidelines

46 The Makeover of an IT Organization Self-Knowledge and Acceptance An understanding of skills and limitations Ability to discuss failures openly Ability to handle criticism, setbacks Able to identify areas for improvement Positive attitude / outlook Realistic expectations Clear goals and objectives for the future Hiring Guidelines

47 The Makeover of an IT Organization Inter-Personal Skills Good listening skills Good communication skills Team player Ability to remain objective Friendly and pleasant Likes to deal with people Easy-going Hiring Guidelines

48 The Makeover of an IT Organization * Note: Use interviews to flush out the right candidate. Prepare interview questions in advance. Rate answers for the comparison of the various candidates. Hiring Guidelines

49 The Makeover of an IT Organization Interviewing Guidelines When interviewing, you should try to determine: Did the candidate use relevant examples to back up some of the claims? What are his/her personal values and character traits? Is he/she detail oriented? Are the candidates personality and temperament a good fit? Does the candidate demonstrate enthusiasm and excitement? Will the candidate be happy in your work environment? Does the candidate maintain a healthy balance between work, family and outside interests? How does the candidate deal with failure? Conflicts? Does the candidate have the appropriate problem- solving skills?

50 The Makeover of an IT Organization Interviewing Guidelines The most important aspect of the interview is being able to assess if the candidate will fit into the culture of the department and that of the Firm. Ask yourself the following questions: Is the chemistry right with this individual? Are we on the same wavelength? Do I feel comfortable in this persons company? Does the individual have habits/quirks that make me uncomfortable or get on my nerves? Can I trust this person?

51 Desktop Support Supervisor LAN Admin Supervisor Support Technician LAN Admin LAN Admin (1 st shift) LAN Admin (2 nd Shift) LAN Admin (3 rd Shift) Support Technician Notes / NT Engineer Desktop Engineer Network Engineer User Support Specialist User Support (Evenings) User Support (Weekends) IT Director AdministratorAdministrative Assistant Support Analyst Apps Specialist (Lotus Notes) Telecomm Manager User Support Specialist User Support & Training Manager Network Engineering Manager Litigation Support Manager Computer Operations Manager Applications Development Manager Apps Specialist (PCDocs) Apps Specialist (MS Office) Apps Specialist (MS Word) Apps Specialist (MS Access) Apps Specialist (CMSOpen) User Support (Evenings) Trainer Prog / Analyst (CMSOpen) User Support Specialist Network Engineer (Open) Re-organization of the IT Department Trainer

52 The Makeover of an IT Organization Presentations to IT staff in other offices (Washington D.C. & Los Angeles) Help Desk study and analysis Team building and conflict resolution seminars for entire department IT Summit Meeting with other offices regarding FY2001 Projects and Budgeting One-on-one meetings with managers Bi-weekly conference calls with IT Staff in all offices Performance evaluation of managers Communications coaching IT Director Initiatives Meeting the Objectives:

53 The Makeover of an IT Organization Meetings between different groups in the department to talk about issues and conflicts Staff members providing other members of the department with training in their speciality Group lunches initiated by managers and open to everyone Movie outings Department softball games Staff Initiatives Meeting the Objectives:

54 The Makeover of an IT Organization An organizational structure that functions well. Turnover reduced dramatically. Receiving positive feedback from users. Formation of IT/Users Committee Increased positive interactions among staff, both in and outside of the office. More laughter and fun. Increased cooperation and knowledge sharing throughout all offices. And the Results?

55 The Makeover of an IT Organization Reference Materials "Leaders", Warren Bennis and Burt Namus "On Becoming a Leader", Warren Bennis "Emotional Intelligence at Work", Hendrie Weisinger, Ph.D. "Keeping Good People", Roger E. Herman "Finding and Keeping Great People", Jim Harris, Ph.D., and Joan Brannick, Ph.D. "Hiring Top Performers", Bob Adams and Peter Veruki "Love 'em or Lose 'em", Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans "1001 Ways to Reward Employees", Bob Nelson "1001 Ways to Energize Employees", Bob Nelson "301 Ways to Have Fun at Work", Dave Hemsath and Leslie Yorkes "Recognizing and Rewarding Employees", R. Brayton Bowen


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