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How to Handle IT Growing Pains

babyWhen your company grows, your IT organization grows — and that's a great experience, to be sure. But as IT grows, so do the challenges and risks. Knowing how to ease your IT's growing pains is something that Cindy Waxer of Information Week can help with and does help with by asking Clate Mask of InfusionSoft to share his experiences. The first tip is to expect meetings to fundamentally change: 

Forget about drawn-out meetings. Small IT shop members simply don't have the time or inclination to brainstorm for hours on end. Instead, each and every employee is considered a key decision maker with plenty of decisions made on the go. “In a small group setting, there's not really any policy or decision-making overhead that you'd typically find in larger organizations,” said Mask. “It's extremely nimble and you're working with people who want to do, do, do. They don't want to sit around and strategize a lot.” That all changes, however, as a company's IT department expands. “Today, InfusionSoft has 250 employees and there are probably four or five in the group who are major decision makers,” said Mask. “The rest are in teams, writing code or conducting research. The percentage of workers who are decision makers naturally goes down as the company grows.” 

Another important consideration: small IT shops generally have team members who are jacks-of-all-trade. As an IT organization grows, however, employees will become specialized, which might make those “generalists” feel a little less skilled. To ease this tension, make sure you perform knowledge transfer and training in a way that recognizes the contributions made by your original team before growth   began.

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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