How to build (and sustain) high-performing IT teams

With shorter chains of command and by ‘not shooting for perfection,’ CIOs are emerging from the chaos of 2020 with higher-performing technology teams

How to build (and sustain) high-performing IT teams
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At the height of the pandemic last summer, roadside assistance digital platform company Agero was in the midst of a competitive purchase that required massive migration of dozens of clients to Agero’s platform. The task was complicated by a dispersed IT team who worked mostly from home but remained in constant contact through Slack.

When the purchase was completed in November, a post-mortem revealed that the IT team onboarded the clients “at a pace 14 times faster than we would have traditionally done,” says Bernie Gracy, chief digital officer.  COVID-19 “forced the team to reinvent and rethink work and what was synchronous versus what was asynchronous. We reinvented permanently how we did work.” The company plans to keep the momentum going.

For most IT teams, 2020 focused on stability. 2021 is about repeatability and maintaining the performance improvements that emerged amid the turmoil.

IT leaders like National Life SVP and CIO Nimesh Mehta are asking, “How do we repeat what we did last year?  Something that usually took nine to 12 months we completed in 23 days” because we didn’t shoot for perfection. “The big question now is, How do you feel comfortable with not being perfect going forward?”

These IT leaders describe how they’ve built high-performing IT teams for the long haul out of the chaos of 2020.

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