Information Technology

Guidelines for IT Ad Hoc Teams

From time to time IT establishes ad hoc, interdepartmental teams for different purposes. Examples of ad hoc teams include:

  • Working Team - A working team is generally a temporary, short-term (weeks to months) group of IT staff charged to address a single, well-defined objective. Working teams usually don't need a project plan. Example: Remote backup, Encryption policy.
  • Project Team - A project team is a temporary, long-term (months to years) group, that may include individuals from both inside and outside of IT, charged to address a large, complex, and not always completely-defined objective. A project team usually has a documented project plan. Example: Banner 9 implementation, Document Management task force, Two-factor authentication, Phonathon SID Upgrade, HireEm project, Mellon conference.
  • Operational Team - An operational team is a continuing group of IT staff charged to collaborate, exchange information, document, prioritize, and perform similar tasks relating to an area of shared interest. Example: IT Infrastructure group, CyberSecurity Advisory Committee, Data Governance Team, Web Admin Group, PCI Compliance group.


In each of these cases an individual (or two individuals serving as co-leaders) take responsibility for coordinating the activities of the group. In general, coordinators:

  • help select team participants;
  • schedule team meetings;
  • formulate agendas;
  • document discussions and action items;
  • coordinate the development and updating of project plans, timelines, and deliverables;
  • ensure progress as per timelines and defined milestones;
  • communicate team activities, decisions, and problems to those outside the group (inside and/or outside IT as appropriate);
  • assess satisfaction of group objective(s);
  • decommission group as appropriate;
  • celebrate the completion of your project.

Team Participants

Ad hoc IT groups typically draw upon the expertise of staff members across all five IT departments. In order to pursue objectives as successfully as possible, each participant should:

  • ensure that their department head is aware of and supportive of their participation in the team;
  • work with their department head and the team coordinator to prioritize and balance their (departmental and group) workloads in an effective way.