Transforming your team when the old rules no longer apply


We have all seen the problem time and time again. A team of great people with excellent skills that work well together year after year. However, your organisations new operating model means these great people no longer have the capability to deliver the type of hybrid Cloud model a modern business needs to stay competitive.

There are multiple ways we see organisations manage this transformation:-

Formally training the team – With every new operating model comes a host of vendors with training resources and teams of third party organisations offering to up-skill your people. This approach is effective when the organisation can afford to provide team members enough time to stop their day-to-day functions and attend offsite or online training. The challenges with this approach is, it is often theoretical and only focused on the specific vendors’ products or services. It also often lacks a real world component and isn’t specially targeted to your organisations challenges.

Outsource – Engage a 3rd party to run your IT and hand over the core of your infrastructure requirements to an outsource vendor. . A number of Australia’s major enterprises, predominantly in the finance, banking and retail sectors, has embraced this approach. There are large upfront financial benefits offered by outsourcing vendors and the idea of letting experts run your infrastructure can be very appealing, as it lets your business focus on doing what it’s good at. Of course, the real world benefits promoted by outsource vendors get dramatically watered down once you factor in the complex relationship that exist between the outsourcer and your organisation. Managing the demarcation point often leads to a very complex structure that requires constant negotiation with the usual challenges that come up in any large organisation.

Clear out and start again – Once the new operating model is defined and major changes start to take effect, it becomes very tempting to release a large part of the existing team and start over with an influx on new people. This approach delivers fresh thinking and brings the required new skills. The down side is major upheaval, which can be distracting to the core business, and finding quality staff quickly and economically is challenging. You will also need to consider what happens as the operating model is tweaked or changed again.

Inject strategic capability – More and more we are seeing organisations evolve their teams by injecting subject matter experts and assist their people with learning and implementing new capabilities. This approach allows the organisation to stay focused on delivering services through major change and empower your trusted teams to grow and take on board new skills. We have also noticed this approach gives once stale teams an injection of motivation, as they come to embrace the changes and understand how valuable the on the job mentoring is to improve their long term satisfaction. With clear communications, we’ve illustrated the benefits for the teams and their future skill sets. The down side to this approach is it can be time consuming and challenging to find a partner to augment your team, who has the technical, business and leadership skills required to help evolve your team.

As in most IT decisions in the modern hybrid cloud world, no one model will work for all operating model transformations and often a mix of approaches is required. However, your organisation chooses to evolve its capability, the pace of change of business demand will only increase and the need to proactively manage your IT organisations capabilities, processes and skills will need to grow at the same rate.