Agile self organisation for IT operating teams

The IT department in the digital age is different: Between IT specialist and business-allrounder

// Digitization, IT Cost Reduction, IT Processes and Organisation, IT Quality Improvement, IT Technology Consulting

IT teams are currently under pressure from two sides: the business demands new and complex solutions that drive the digital transformation process, while at the same time the existing infrastructure must be kept up-to-date and operated smoothly. The lack of IT specialists is blocking staff growth, and outsourcing alone is not always the way out. In addition, the pressure in IT departments is increasing and employees are as dissatisfied as the longer queues of customers at the door. The solution does not lie in "keep it up", the structure and work organization of IT departments will have to change. IT teams are called upon to work on concepts for an IT organization of the future themselves and to examine whether agile methods of self-organization can be the solution for a successful change.


Transparency and quality of work are the focus of a special coaching for IT departments that want to meet the challenges of digitization and the lack of skilled workers with a renewed work organization. noventum consulting lives the so-called "agile organization methods" in its own working environment and successfully introduces them in numerous customer projects from the initial workshop to the "training on the job" phase. The coaches of noventum consulting have been consulting IT teams for 25 years and combine their experience with the methods of agile organization. For many IT teams, agility means a major change in their work culture. noventum consultants bring a full toolbox for this change process and apply these tools together with their customers' employees.


The digital transformation is changing processes and technical infrastructure in companies. IT departments in particular are being put to the test and in some places are struggling with the changes. The need for a new understanding of roles is under discussion. What new tasks are facing IT? How must companies reorganize their IT so that it can meet their future tasks? How can structural changes counter the increasing shortage of skilled workers?

In the past, when "IT" was running, everyone was satisfied, and of course this demand still applies today: technology must run smoothly. However, the importance of IT departments in companies has grown dramatically. In the past, they were usually only a subunit of the central services in the company, but today they have become a decisive part of every company, mirrored in all central processes. Today, many managers expect their IT to provide support and impetus for their core business.


The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy forecasts that around half a billion devices and machines will be networked via the Internet by 2030. The world is going digital and the challenges that come with it are enormous. Even today, however, IT departments are already hopelessly overwhelmed in some cases, ticket systems are overflowing and IT staff are just as dissatisfied as many of their customers. Constant innovations and updates are taking precedence over day-to-day business and in some places there are calls for two-speed IT, divided between standard and future tasks.

The Handelsblatt found out in a survey: only 38 percent of German companies consider their own employees sufficiently qualified for digitization. At the same time, IT and data analysis specialists are in short supply. Digital investments are delayed because ongoing operations swallow up capacities before innovations can be considered. Existing data is not used and existing technology is not used efficiently - digital potential is wasted.

It is time to act! Companies must adapt the tasks and internal structure of their IT departments to the new requirements. Digitization does not only change business processes, digitization also requires a newly established IT. And if specialists are not available to the desired extent, this cannot remain without consequences for the organisation of the IT. 


What are the current challenges facing IT teams? What are the demands facing IT team leaders?

  • Increase in productivity and quality of results
  • Faster reactions to new requirements
  • Increase of customer satisfaction through predictable delivery times
  • Greater transparency
  • Development of personal responsibility
  • Taking over tasks in the team
  • Broad know-how build-up
  • Increase in employee satisfaction
  • Reducing fluctuation

The overview in keywords makes it plausible where the overload comes from. The current organisation of work does not match the customer interests, the employees themselves are also dissatisfied. A fundamentally different view of work, a paradigm shift, is under discussion. But where should the leverage be applied?


In preparatory workshops for management and employees, noventum consultants present the topic of "Agility in IT operations" and compare it with the concrete situation of your company. Through various "training on the job" and transformation phases, they accompany their customers and support the teams in their renewal. noventum consulting for your agility project is both modular and comprehensive.


What does the demand for a changed "mindset" for the organisation of tomorrow refer to? Every team situation is concrete and differs from that of other teams in terms of tasks, team composition or work organisation. In general, however, there is a demand that IT departments must no longer provide "technical solutions" but "customer-oriented solutions" in the future.

The relationship with the customer

The customer relationship in agile teams is like refreshing the image of the customer as king. The contact to the customer, regular and personal contacts as well as the effort for an open and at the same time respectful interaction with each other are the basis for everything else. In more complex projects, the customer is actively and offensively involved in the organisation and planning. The customer feedback is of great value and the service/product is to a large extent oriented towards the suggestions and wishes of the customer.

The result is a service-oriented working team that provides its customers with high-quality services promised on time and allows the customer to participate in the process at any time through a high degree of transparency.

The relationship to the team

The team situation is a great challenge, especially for experienced and hierarchical teams that are sometimes a little "run-in". The team is the fixed point, this is where the best ideas and solutions are created, this is where the greatest expertise is gathered. The own shortcomings in competence, experience or performance are openly discussed and supported in solidarity. "Playing hide-and-seek" was yesterday, the common goal requires helpfulness and the willingness to accept help. Team decisions are binding, "solo trips" are taboo. The individual assumes responsibility, adapted to the situation and according to his or her abilities; the team demands this willingness.

The relationship to oneself

People are by nature motivated and willing to perform, they only need a space to live out these abilities. With agile working methods, they are particularly good at putting this into practice through their own initiative, assuming responsibility and developing creativity in a team. The willingness to discuss and compromise also promotes team spirit and is an essential prerequisite for jointly supported change. A changed error culture, towards individual and joint learning from mistakes, is necessary. This can become a celebration for every team and every individual. The agile employee is always open to criticism and change.



The IT operations team is the most important expert when it comes to designing planning and change for the future. As with any traditional change, agility coaching for IT operations teams begins with a detailed assessment of the current situation:

  • Who are we (skills, experience, wishes)
  • What are our tasks?
  • Who are our customers?
  • How do we organize our work?

To answer these questions exhaustively, every person involved is needed, not just managers. Already during the stocktaking, it should be expressed with great openness, courage and honesty what is. Our consultants moderate this in individual workshops.

Then the critical questions are on the agenda:

  • What is not working, where is our performance limit?
  • What is left?
  • What role does the customer play (what role do we allow him to play)?
  • How do we deal with transparency?
  • What is our balance between team spirit and individual interests?

After taking stock as comprehensively as possible, the next step is to get to know the agile tools and methods and apply them to your own situation.


noventum consulting's agility consultants are very experienced IT professionals who know the daily routine of different IT operation teams from a multitude of consulting projects. They know what they are talking about and, in addition to their knowledge of agility methods and models, bring this IT knowledge to the project.

With the "noventum Process Model for a Renewed IT Organization", they present a change plan with which each IT team can tackle its own future planning.

noventum accompanies the teams on a partnership basis and individually with "training on the job" in the transformation of their everyday work.

Our best-practice experience over more than 25 years in IT management, IT operations, agile methods and corporate culture development provide the decisive added value.

noventum consulting

Carsten Schütte

Senior Consultant

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