Establishing an IT department as a Nordic level shared service

Through an acquisition, our client expanded in Europe so fast that the new structure for cooperation were not yet secured. The employees were given notice and the terminations will be carried through. The IT department need a complete makeover, and the CIO had recently left. Our interim manager with experience as a CIO accepted the challenge.

To get a comprehensive overview of the business our interim manager initiated the assignment by visiting all regional offices and to meet the employees. The initial impression was an organization where the employees were worried, unhappy, and found it hard to understand what was going on.

– I saw the individuals, gave continuous feedback and on a regular basis communicated what we had accomplished. It gave the personnel job satisfaction and brought meaningfulness, the success was then instantly.

The importance of communicating the big picture

It was important to explain how the organization should function and that we would build it together. In other words, state why the company existed and make every employee to see that they were part of it. A picture emerged of how it would work, the vision was persistently repeated at each meeting.

– I supported the employees to make decision on their own. The starting point was that only a few felt that they were part of the company. Hence, the hierarchy in the organisation was recreated in order for decisions to be made at the right level. It was also important that I showed interest, had a winning attitude and worked on rebuilding trust.

During the assignment the IT department workforce was cut in half, and for four intense weeks everyone in the staff was evaluated, should they have a new role in the company or if they needed to leave. The ones that had to leave could do that immediately. Sometime even staff with the right skills needed to leave. It was unacceptable that staff could stay forever and act non-compliant.

– Cuts are always a problem, but all my actions were transparent. The Union did not always agree, however they appreciated how everything was visioned and accepted the Changes.