CXO

I love information technology, except—

When there's a personnel change, the IT department should be notified immediately, right? If not, here's a suggestion for changing the way your company deals with moves, adds, and changes.


I have been in the information technology field for almost 10 years. Some days are better than others, but all in all I love what I do—with one exception. When a personnel change results in an unscheduled move, add, or change (MAC), it tends to make my blood boil and convert me from a motivated and high-tech hillbilly (Dr. Jekyll) to a lazy redneck, (Bubba Hyde).

IT needs to be in the know
When I accepted the position with my new employer, the first difficulties I had were with moves. Here is a good example: Joy, a customer support representative, was promoted and moved to another department. Everyone knew of the promotion except for the IT department. That is, we didn’t know until a manager complained that Joy was unable to work because “her shared drive was missing.” After the manager calmed down, we all figured out Joy had changed departments.

Does this sound familiar? How often do you find out about a change too late? How about this? The company fires an employee and forgets to tell the network administrator! I am sure these problems must go on everywhere. It is possible, however, to get a handle on this situation. Through procedures, policies, and training, you can put a stop to the madness!

Because I was new to the company, I feared “rocking” the boat too early. However, about a month ago, I could stand the MAC nightmare no more! I talked with the director of Information Technology and formulated the policy that follows as a means to help control MACs. Please feel free to use this information in your desperate attempt to gain control. Good luck!

Introduction
Moves, adds, and changes (MACs) are one of the most difficult portions of the IT professional’s daily routine. Most of the time, poor communication between the involved parties results in a move nightmare. Effective immediately, the IT department has established a set of service standards to improve the MAC process. These standards will ensure moves, adds, and changes are effectively communicated and completed.

The move process is a two-step communication. First, the requestor of the move must inform the company’s move coordinator (MC) via a Move Requestor Form (Microsoft Exchange) of the intended move. Second, the IT department will schedule and conduct the move. This process is detailed below.

The move coordinator
The move coordinator’s sole responsibility is to ensure effective communication between the requestor and the IT department. In addition, the move coordinator holds the big picture on upcoming moves, adds, and changes. The MC, an HR representative, is held fully accountable for the complete move process.

The requestor
The requesting stage of the MAC is key to the success of the move. During this process, the requesting parties (must be a supervisor) will complete and e-mail a MAC Requester Form (Microsoft Exchange) to the move coordinator. Moves, adds, and changes require a five-business-day notice. However, on a case-by-case basis, some moves will be processed without a five-day notice. This usually occurs in an emergency situation. The reason for these requirements is due to limited IT resources coupled with a growing list of IT responsibilities. The IT department must have time to plan MACs.

The IT responsibility
The move coordinator will inform IT of a move and provide the technician with details of the request. The IT department will evaluate the MAC and determine an approximate time of completion. The five-day notice of a move is a time frame that allows the technology department to schedule. The Information Technology department will attempt to conduct the MAC before the five-day period if possible. However, five-day notices will be the norm, and “special” moves will be a nontypical exception. The IT department’s goal is to make moves a simple operation.

Although moves are important, the IT department must assign moves a low priority. This means a scheduled move can be bumped from the to-do list by another technical problem. For example, Jane is scheduled for a move at 2:30 P.M., but Jill’s computer has crashed. Correcting Jill’s difficulty will take priority over the move. These decisions will be made by IT supervision, and the move coordinator and other involved parties will be informed.

In summary, here’s how I think the process should work:
  • The move coordinator is held fully accountable for the complete move process and is the traffic cop for move coordination.
  • All moves require a completed Move Requestor Form.
  • Five-day notice is required for MACs.
  • Approved special moves occur on a case-by-case basis.
  • MACs are assigned a low priority. However, the IT department understands their extreme importance and will expedite when possible.
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