IT Management Model – Drain the swamp

Too many IT organizations run by the “seat of their pants” and are reactive in nature. I’m sure you’ve seen it, even heard people express symptoms of the problem like,

  • “We are too busy & don’t have time to plan.”
  • “We have too much work to do.”
  • “Projects aren’t finished on time because of constant interruptions and surprises.”

Every manager has the opportunity to establish an environment that is predictable and that clients can rely on. For some, however, getting there is a big stretch due to how they operate.

One of the reasons many managers find themselves in an environment that is constantly full of surprises and reactive is that they are so busy fighting alligators (dealing with problems). They forget to “drain the swamp”, , , in other words, eliminate the source of the problems and the problem goes away.

The point is that every organizational situation has key issues that need to be addressed to turn it from a reactive environment to one that is more predictable. You have to identify your key problems (i.e., the alligators) and determine how to eliminate the root cause (the swamp).

No swamp, no alligators to fight.

Key points to the model:

  • Define your mission & plan your initiatives
  • Dedicate resources to primary objectives
  • Eliminate the source of problems vs. spending resources on fixing problems

Drain the swamp is a key model every IT manager needs to pay attention to. Lack of clear objectives and failure to maintain focus causes more productivity loss than anything I know of.

Drain the swamp is one of 72 models in my book, IT Management Models. Learn more

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