You just left your annual planning meeting with your company's CEO and you are eager to begin on your big technology goals for the new year. Your team has the skills and abilities to meet the demands of the organization and you are confident that your to-do list is manageable, except for unplanned events.
You asked your CEO about the possible acquisition of a new division and the consolidation of some North American locations, but he wasn't able to provide details. For you that means there is a strong probability that your project plans will be interrupted, and your team will need to react to important time sensitive requests.
So how do you fit the unplanned into your plans?
- One common but costly option is to be staffed for the spikes in work but probably be over staffed for routine workdays. Aside from not having the budget for this option it contradicts your goals for efficient and smart management.
- Another option is to stretch your current team though your current plan will already have them working long hours. Asking your team to do more is always an option but managing the downstream effects may be more difficult. IT talent is scarce and giving your team reasons to look elsewhere – even those who don't want to – may affect your ability to meet your goals.
- Temporary IT staff could also help. You pay for the hours you use and will not have to increase your staff. However, they will need training. Effort and resources spent on onboarding temporary staff can quickly be lost if you cannot bring on the same individuals the next time you need them.
- You can also rely on an outsource partner. By outlining your needs for unexpected projects, you can find companies that specialize in the type of work required. A specialty partner would be beneficial in three important ways:
- Requires very little effort in onboarding because they are experts who quickly understand what needs to be done.
- By negotiating a detailed scope of work you should be able to keep project costs within budget and only pay for what you need.
- You will offload routine, low value, time-consuming work; but, keep impactful, meaningful work with your in-house team keeping them motivated and engaged.
With a little forethought you can extend your team's ability to be ready for unplanned spikes in work while still meeting your project timelines and goals.Read our other posts in this series on IT partnerships here.