Illness, holidays, leaving the company

What do you do when you lose a key player?

Illness, holidays, leaving the company

What do you do when you lose a key player?

Everyone is replaceable – you’ve probably heard this phrase. Unfortunately, it gets thrown around a lot at many companies, and not just in the HR department. Things could be quite different in your IT department in reality, though. Losing your top experts and best performers could, in fact, seriously damage the company. You probably also have employees in your IT department who are often solely responsible for keeping your crucial IT systems running smoothly and fixing errors. If your people aren’t available because they are on holiday or ill, and if that means downtimes for your financial planning, purchasing or even your production, then things can get pretty expensive for your company pretty quickly. Get free of being trapped in to a few key knowledge holders – and prevent falling into it with the right actions.

What is the key player trap and have you already fallen into it?

It’s amazing how often huge risks are taken with business-critical IT systems. Many systems often depend directly on the knowledge of individuals. These are the “key players” in your IT organization. Their knowledge and skills are essential for your IT support and the development of the affected IT systems. Without them, you won’t be able to fix disruptions or implement new demands quickly enough. If it also seems nearly impossible to pass this knowledge and these skills on to others, then you have fallen into the “key player trap.”


It takes more than having someone who could theoretically cover.

If too much knowledge about an application or process is held solely by one person in your team, then fundamental precautions could fall by the wayside. For example, there might not be any documentation because that colleague “knows it all” and has it “in their head.” While you might have a protocol on paper for who is in charge when someone is out, that doesn’t guarantee that that person truly has the required skills and expertise. Does this scenario sound familiar? Then you aren’t alone: Studies have shown that well beyond 50 per cent of maintenance organizations rely on the availability of individual knowledge carriers. To free yourself of this dependency, you need to keep in mind four key points:

  • What is the current situation with your corporate applications? Naturally, the applications that are truly essential for your business should be checked first.
  • It should be reviewed whether the documentation for the applications is available and up to date.
  • It is essential to ensure that knowledge about an application is distributed among at least three people.
  • Continual maintenance of the key applications must be carried out on schedule.

Only by adhering to these rules will your IT department be able to ensure that applications run smoothly and errors can be fixed quickly if they pop up, even when individual knowledge bearers are out of the office. Those four points sound great and plausible in theory. But ...

Prevention is better: With help from the outside.

There’s no question about it: You’ve got the best intentions and the will is there. It has been our experience, though, that things are often miles from this in reality in IT departments. The reasons for this are shortages in staffing or time because there is already a great deal of pressure from the challenges of daily business. We therefore recommend a solution that is separate from your daily business: our Trivadis SystemCare.

These are tailored services for applications, databases, middleware and operating systems with a focus on the entire IT life cycle. Our flexible catalogue of services and the service configurator make it possible to adjust the service packages to ideally suit your needs. The range stretches from service desk to technology experts for individual areas or full-scale outsourcing, as a service in the cloud or on premise. With Trivadis SystemCare, you’ll get high availability and quick reaction times, which guarantees that things run smoothly. The costs for operations, support and maintenance will stay plannable for you and you can focus on your core business and reducing risks without being dependent on one knowledge bearer.

Sounds tempting, doesn’t it? Make an appointment now. Then you’ll be able to approve holiday requests without worries and sleep peacefully even if you’re suddenly down an employee.

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