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Lesson Learned in Managing IT Departments

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2 Author(s)
Jiyang Xu ; Qwest Inf. Technol., Denver ; Lippert, D.

Managing a large IT department with many legacy systems can be very challenging. Though replacing legacy systems that use outdated technologies is recognized by most as an urgent necessity, the efforts quite often fail and can be the cause of management turnover, leaving the subject a formidable task for each new generation of IT leadership. With this presentation we share our observation on the issues surrounding managing IT departments, with a focus on why efforts are often unsuccessful and lead to policy flip-flops. We have seen flip-flopping on policies such as outsourcing vs. self-building, buying vs. building, agile vs. rigid software development methodologies, preferences over tactical vs. strategic approaches, centralized vs. distributed architecture groups, technical vs. managerial middle management, funding controlled by IT vs. business unit, etc. Although our experience is primarily based on the IT department of a telecommunication company, we believe the lessons learned are valuable for companies in many other industries.

Published in:

Management of Engineering and Technology, Portland International Center for

Date of Conference:

5-9 Aug. 2007