The Pitfalls of Stress Management

I’ve witnessed countless managers fall into the trap of relying on the team stress technique to determine when to scale.

People complain about too much work, complaints pile up to an unbearable point, and finally, someone drops the ball. That’s when they decide to scale.

Or consider those aggressive founders who impulsively hire ten engineers to outpace competitors.

And then there’s the tech startup, freshly funded and ready to expand, pouring a significant portion of that money into growing the product and engineering team.

These are valid reasons to scale your “IT department,” but they’re more event-driven than analytics-driven.

Event-Driven vs. Analytics-Driven

Scaling an IT department is an intricate process. Making decisions based on stress levels or sudden financial influxes is reactionary and short-sighted. This method fails to consider the long-term health and stability of the team.

Is Your Team Ready to Scale?

An organization shouldn’t expand merely in response to temporary events or emotional reactions. Where’s the analysis? Where’s the strategic planning?

Do You Need Ten More Engineers?

Rapid expansion often leads to bloated teams, redundancy, and inefficiency. But what if you could be more precise in your scaling efforts?

Are You Overcompensating or Strategically Growing?

Scaling doesn’t always mean hiring ten new engineers or doubling the team’s size overnight. The scaling method should be data-driven and rooted in real needs and goals.

The Healthiest Way to Scale

The optimal approach is to measure what your team can produce. Set expectations for project delivery times, measure your current team’s performance, and adjust accordingly. 

You might find that you are overcapacity (a rare case) or need only a few extra engineers.

Here’s a link to a book that explores this idea further: “Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster.”

How to Properly Scale Your IT Department

1. Measure Your Team’s Capacity: Understand the workload and the ability of your team to handle it.

2. Set Clear Expectations: Establish realistic goals for project delivery and ongoing workload management.

3. Analyze and Adjust: Regularly review performance and adjust as needed. Do you need one more engineer or two? Not necessarily ten more.

4. Avoid Reactive Decisions: Don’t scale merely as a reaction to stress or a sudden windfall of funds. Be strategic and data-driven.

5. Emphasize Quality Over Quantity: The focus should be hiring the right people to fill actual needs, not just increasing headcount.


The decision to scale your IT department must never be taken lightly.

Opting for an analytics-driven rather than an event-driven approach ensures a more stable, efficient, and growth-oriented department.

By following a structured, data-driven approach, you ensure that the decision to expand is not just a reaction to temporary events but a strategic move that aligns with the organization’s real needs.

So the next time you think about scaling, ask yourself: Is this the right time? Are we doing this for the right reasons? Are we growing responsibly? The answers to these questions can set the course for sustainable growth in your IT department.

Leo Celis