IT Departmental & Staffing Evaluations

Marathon senior consultants have been called upon to perform various types of IT Departmental and Staffing Assessments. These have included IT due diligence inquiries in support of a planned acquisition or merger, IT departmental effectiveness assessments, and the assessment of staffing levels, both from a FTE headcount and experience point of view.

IT assessments are carefully tailored to the needs of each individual client, but continue to utilize Marathon's approach to project management:

  • Clarity of expectations
  • A practical project management methodology
  • High levels of client involvement
  • Effective scope control
  • Frequent, two-way client communications
  • Project transparency

IT departmental assessments are often initiated by clients for one of two reasons: in response to one or more perceived performance shortcomings; or to determine how well the IT department is positioned to support the planned growth or diversification of the company.

In either instance, Marathon utilizes a project approach that produces measurable results in a manner that presents actionable recommendations to client management. The final deliverable of an assessment engagement includes the evaluation and consideration of the following criteria:

  1. Is the client organization receiving satisfactory value in return for their investment in IT, i.e., the "IT Spend"?
  2. How does the client's IT Spend compare to similar organizations in like industries?
  3. The "external view". On a measurable scale, how is the IT Department perceived by various groups in the client organization: senior and middle management, supervisors, and various end user groups? How would these "customers" rank the IT Department in terms of:
    1. Understanding of their business needs and priorities?
    2. Responsiveness?
    3. Flexibility?
    4. Ability to provide "options" or choices for specific solutions
    5. "Customer" service?
    6. Work product quality?
    7. System and application availability?
    8. Thought leadership
  4. The "internal view". Also on a measurable scale, how do the members and managers of the IT Department rank their department on the same criteria?
  5. The "objective view", as seen by Marathon.
    1. How does the Marathon project team rank the IT Department in terms of its ability to execute or perform:
      1. Backlog management?
      2. Project Management?
      3. Change management?
      4. Risk assessment and management?
      5. Quality Assurance management?
      6. Productivity & Cost measurement?
      7. User department communications?
    2. Do repeatable processes exist and are they executed to manage the IT function?
    3. How does the IT Department measure and communicate its productivity?
    4. Does the IT Department take regular, proactive steps to find new ways of providing value to the user community?
    5. When measured, what portion of the IT Department's work is reactive versus planned?
    6. What is the degree of alignment between the demands of each IT position (or role) and the qualifications of the individuals filling those positions?
    7. How do the IT Department's pay scales compare to those of the surrounding region, on a position-by-position basis?
    8. Based on the nature and amount of work produced, how does the FTE count compare to other organizations faced with similar challenges.

Once the collected data is analyzed by the project team, Marathon develops a series of recommendations geared toward the remediation of any identified shortcomings or areas of potential improvement. Each recommendation is accompanied by supporting rationale as well as commentary on the expected benefits of executing each recommendation. The recommendations are related to each functional area: Project Management, Risk Assessment, Change Management, et cetera, and are communicated in way that makes each one actionable.