Keeping IT Positively Visibly Relevant

Sheeri

1

Back in December in an IT strategy meeting, my boss came up with a great phrase – “keeping IT visibly relevant”. It sums up the long-standing problem most IT teams have in their companies – how can you make it so IT is seen as positive and good? And not just “really great when the fires happen” but day-to-day?

How can we keep IT visibly relevant, in a positive way?

Part of the problem is prioritization (IT is currently understaffed, has been for years, and our headcount for 2013 does not actually bring us up to full staffing). It’s difficult to balance the “must get done” quarterly goals with the day-to-day requests, but we also cannot say “no” all the time. Because at the end of the day, it’s not that “I can’t do this thing for you because I need to do this thing for my team,” it’s really a matter of what’s most important to Mozilla as a whole.

How do you keep IT visibly relevant, in a positive way?

I asked this on twitter and the responses ranged from “shut down printers” to “organize the office pool” to the more helpful “make it to meetings and be involved” and “present at user groups”. See:

Certainly, being forward-moving in technology is something we do. We speak at conferences, we help run http://hangops.com/ all while getting the rest of our jobs done. However, this shows that Mozilla IT is visibly relevant to those *outside* the company. And again, balance is difficult – working remotely definitely is a boon, in the last 6 weeks I presented at Linux.conf.au in Canberra (Australia), RMOUG Training Days in Denver, Scale11x in Los Angeles and Confoo in Montreal. I would have had to take a lot of time off work if I could not work remotely! But time at conferences *is* time away from the office, so there’s another point to balance there.

So, I am looking for your tips and tricks. What has worked for you?

One response

  1. Eugene wrote on :

    As an IT ops person, I think your blog is great. I really enjoy your post mortems. Mozilla.org sounds like its in a unique place to share experiences as mission-based non-profit.