Choosing the Right Time for Reorganization

Reorg isn’t fun. It involves moving people, it’s politically sensitive, and it’s a process filled with ups and downs.

It’s such an intimidating undertaking that we often don’t know where to start, and instead choose to digest all the little things that happen throughout the year without making any major adjustments. In many ways this is the right approach. We can’t react and shift things around for every single change in the business or the IT service delivery model.

However, these little changes add up, until finally we begin to wonder: Is now the right time to reorg? I feel like I just can’t put it off any longer.”

In that moment, trust your gut. If you feel it right now, then it’s time to take the need for reorg seriously.

How to Develop an Objective Picture of Your Need to Reorg

Of course, when people are involved and tensions are high, you can’t just run on instinct. You need a more concretely defined approach to determine whether you have a pressing need for reorganization.

To help you determine if your gut is correct—and to instill you with confidence that the political price and difficulties are worthwhile—here’s a test you can use to provide an objective view on your need to reorg.

Ask yourself the following questions:

1. Have there been major mergers or acquisitions that are not reflected in your organization?

2. Do any of your IT unit leaders lack a direct stakeholder in the business?

3. Does the business complain about not knowing whom to contact with their problems?

4. Does the CIO receive the same information from multiple sources, and/or receive the same question from multiple people?

5. Are you unable to immediately define how you map to the org? (eg: Regionally, functionally, etc.)

6. Do you require constant exceptions to your organizational rules? (eg: Usually you align functionally, but under X conditions you align regionally.)

If you answered “yes” to three or more of these questions, there’s a good chance a new IT organizational design is in order—which you should begin immediately.

Why Now Is an Especially Good Time to Launch a Reorg

Simple: You have all the major input you need to redesign your organization effectively.

With the Annual Planning Cycle coming to a close, you have visibility on all major fronts—within IT and also with the business’ strategic objectives for the coming year. You have likely completed and received approval on your own 2015 plans and know your available resources and where they will be allocated. And—most important—you have a clear picture of where you currently stand in relation to those 2015 plans and what adjustments you will need to make in the organization to deliver on them.

Chances are you won’t be in this strong of a position to reorg for at least another year, so begin now. Your reorg won’t be fun, but the clarity and alignment it produces will be worth the headache. Good luck.

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