How IT staffers keep pace at fast-growing organizations

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Smart management tactics and agile processes give IT staffers the strength and stamina to support mushrooming business needs.

In the past five years, Darren Tedesco's IT staff has grown from about 100 employees to 250 today. And while that's a lot more people to manage, Tedesco, managing principal of innovation and strategy at Commonwealth Financial Network, isn't complaining. Those additional IT staffers are helping keep up with the firm's overall growth spurt, which includes a 15% bump in total headcount last year alone.

Tedesco says the company's rapid expansion meant business-as-usual wouldn't fly. He says IT policies, procedures and personnel had to change in order to keep up with the significant uptick in demands coming from the business. So Tedesco shifted management tactics, allowing his workers to better seize the opportunities and cope with the challenges that come with hypergrowth.

He organized staffers into smaller teams, with members following scrum methodology to gain agility. He decentralized most decision-making, giving IT workers the responsibility to handle all issues except high-risk ones, which he trained staffers to escalate. And he made sure teams had plenty of opportunities for communication and collaboration by combining business and IT office space and promoting more interactions.

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