I started a new role this week, and the first thing that I’ve been asked to do is implement a restructure and set up a shared service.
This is my third consecutive role where I’ve been involved in restructuring, and all of these projects have one particular thing in common; IT running costs need to be reduced.
In many cases, the new structure, once it’s up and running, actually provides a better service also. If the right people are in right posts, IT teams can achieve great things.
I’m guessing that restructuring proposals are fairly widespread at the moment – in the public sector, at least. As I’ve mentioned previously, IT departments are expensive, and they are an obvious place to look when organisational savings need to be made.
I’m aware that restructuring is a stressful time for IT staff, and so I’d like to share a few thoughts which may help staff who are going through, or likely to go through, a major change.
- Update your CV, and build a profile on Linkedin. It’s possible that there will be a position for you in the new structure, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared, and making a comprehensive list of all your skills, knowledge achievements and qualifications is a good starting point.
- Be flexible. In any new structure, there are likely to be some new jobs and there may be an opportunity for you in a better role if you are prepared to undertake a new challenge.
- Be positive. Look at change as an opportunity to progress. Many people have a negative attitude to change, and there’s no doubt that this holds them back.
- Continue working as a team. I know that this can be difficult, as people may be competing with each other for jobs, but it is very important that the service keeps running while the change is happening.
- If you are interviewed for a post, prepare properly, be professional, and don’t assume that just because the panel know you, you don’t have to try too hard. Treat it like an interview for an external position.
- If you are offered a one to one meeting with HR, or your IT Director, make the most of it. Prepare a list of all the questions, concerns and ideas that you have, and don’t be afraid to bring them up. Remember though, that the object of the exercise is to save money and improve the service, so any suggestions which actually cost money probably won’t be well received.
Decisions about service costs are generally made at Board level, and while your IT Director may have had some input into the new plans, he or she probably won’t have a great deal of freedom when it comes to making amendments to the proposal. I know this from experience; sometimes it’s possible to make small adjustments to job descriptions etc, but any changes which have HR implications or affect costs are usually fixed.
Major change is a difficult time for all concerned, and there’s a lot of it going on at the moment. For those affected, try to stay positive, and give yourself the best chance of securing a new, better, position.