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Where The Gloves Come Off

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Before the committee was established, project planning was an ad hoc exercise, and it was difficult to prioritize requests coming from the business units, according to Zempel. "The executive vice presidents of each division are vying for attention of their respective problems," he says. "Now you have people who are looking at the entire enterprise and making decisions. They don't have a territorial agenda."

The IT steering committee meets two or more times a week, and IT staffers rotate in and out periodically. This group analyzes the IT priorities expressed by the executive committee and recommends point technologies and broader platform changes based on those priorities.

"The IT committee will say, this is the infrastructure we already have in place. Looking at the priorities of this year, should we move to a hub and spoke architecture, should we use a Microsoft platform, and so on," Zempel says.

On Location with Life Time

Step inside a real-world IT department as we document Life Time Fitness'
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IT crew at work and at play. You can even post questions for the Life Time IT
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The idea for the committees sprung from an evaluation in late 2001. Zempel's peers asked him for a clearer explanation of how technology ties into their business agendas. "It was a very strong sentiment," he says.

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