How to take a vacation without worrying about your department having a melt down

Imagine you’re lying on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean, pounding back Mai Tais and soaking up the sun and salty fresh air with your spouse. Suddenly, your Blackberry begins to ring. And ring, and ring, and ring…

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It’s your worst vacation nightmare. You can hear your team leader’s knees knock as he confides your carefully managed IT department is as raucous as a classroom of 7th graders with a first time substitute teacher. You could jump on the first plane home. But the idea of disappointing your wife tears at your heart.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

What if you could slip away whenever you wanted — even during a period of peak business transactions— with complete peace of mind? Sound impossible? Here’s how you do it...

Will your team survive when you’re on vacation?

As long as you’re dealing with humans, the best laid plans are going to implode. That’s why you want to have a doomsday backup plan in place. Establish a verified process of backup and recovery and at least you’ll know where ground zero is when cleaning up.

But having backup isn’t enough. It’s just a safety net. What you really want, is to be able to trust your team to think like you, in your absence. So how do you find the right people to trust while you’re off climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

Here’s how you entrust your team while you are away

The degree to which you enjoy your vacation is directly proportional to the level of trust you have in your team. You want a core group of knowledgeable SAP team members in place, who can be relied upon to address and solve problems self-sufficiently.

Don’t forget to leave them some spending money.

Allocating an adequate budget up front for necessary training and modules is great, but you also want to leave appropriate emergency funds for your team. Last thing you want is having to beg your boss for money to handle an issue when time is of the essence. Besides, peak busy season is not the time to train a team leader how to cut through pesky red tape.

Develop future leaders while enjoying your vacation?

Your vacation is a fabulous opportunity to seek out and identify the future leaders in your organization. Don’t be afraid to look outside your immediate scope of employees — identify key people from all departments. Keep an eye out for eager beavers who are looking for advancement opportunities. These are the folks you want on your backup team.

It’s a win-win situation. Your rising stars get a chance to add a few new skills to their resume. You get the peace of mind that allows you to leave your corporate cell phone at home.

Wouldn’t added responsibility for team members create more stress?

Perhaps, but how much more stressful would you returning to a war zone be? Preparing your people to step up in your absence empowers them, teaches them self-reliance and gives them purpose. With greater responsibility they can see their future brighten before their eyes.

It also teaches a powerful work-life balance lesson. When they see you responsibly unplug the corporate umbilical cord, they’ll see they can do the same. What makes an even more potent impression is when they see you, and themselves, return refreshed and more enthusiastic about their work.

Pack your bags and leave anxiety at home

The good news is you can trust that things will run smoothly in your department without your watchful presence—it just takes a little planning and preparation to make this a reality. Backup your systems, train your team members, and identify future leaders who can help out as needed. Your team can remain calm, and your vacation doesn’t have to suck.

Not only that, but you just may return to work to find you have a group of future leaders on your hands. This system will grant you peace of mind that SAP will always run to support business operations, and let you know that your team is sufficiently equipped to handle anything that comes its way.

Next Step

If you’d like some help putting these steps into practice, give us a call (or fill the form below and send to us). We’re happy to meet and discuss your situation.