Applying The Marslow Pyramid To The IT Department

It seems as if needs and their importance are presented in pyramids. In journalism, we have the inverted pyramid showing how you should tell a story, starting with the most important to the least important facts. In human needs, we have the Marslow pyramid. Why not have a pyramid in IT? The Marslow hierarchy of needs is a pyramid representation of human needs, from the most basic to the highest. However, this applies not only to the human needs, but to IT needs too. For you to achieve the highest effectiveness from the most advanced IT processes, you must first start by implementing the most basic of IT needs first.

If you look at IT in terms of the Marslow Hierarchy of needs, the most basic IT needs of the company should be met first, before the other higher needs can be met. And what is the most basic IT need for any company? That is what we will look at below:

The IT needs in their hierarchical order (from the most basic to the least basic)

The most basic IT need is infrastructure and connectivity

What is the most basic need of IT for every employee today? Well, this must no doubt be the computer. It is the first thing that you turn on anyway the first thing when you get to the office in the morning. Now, if the computer is not working, if it keeps on crashing during the course of work, if it takes one hour to boot up, well, we can assume that for that employee who is affected, nothing else matters.

If the computer goes down, so does the will to work. The morale of the worker is affected and their productivity plummets. Of course, the person to blame for all these will be the IT guy. It does not matter that IT has to be allocated the budget to buy new equipment. To the affected employee, all that matters is that the IT team has failed.

The second most basic IT need is support

You have the infrastructure in place and the connectivity. That leads you to the next need and that is support. You must be ready to offer support to the end users of the infrastructure. The IT team needs to set up a good customer support operation. End users face many frustrations, especially if they are using an infrastructure that they are not used to. Thus, if the IT director wishes to get into their good books, he must delegate the support task to knowledgeable technicians, increase the support hours and if you must use the infamous ticketing system, help the users to open their ticket and keep it open until they (users) report satisfaction.

The third most basic IT need is personalization

As IT, you might be tempted to try and push a standard IT service to the users. They will not like it and anyway, not all of them have similar needs. The best thing to do here is to create personas, which are groups of people who have the same needs. While you cannot exactly create a solution that will meet everyone’s needs perfectly, the truth is that with personas, everyone feels well taken care of. For example, when creating applications, one can be tailored for people who are always on the move, another for people who are always at their desktop and yet another for people who are hardly stationed anywhere for long and therefore they can share computers.

The fourth most basic IT need is measurement for satisfaction

It would all amount to naught having to lay down the best infrastructure and connectivity, offer the best tech support, personalize IT and then lack to find out whether the users are satisfied. In fact, many businesses use satisfaction as a way to determine whether IT is adding any value to business. The best way to measure user satisfaction is to ask the users. Create surveys and questionnaires with reasonable questions. If the users report dissatisfaction, well, you can be sure they are genuinely not satisfied. Do not assume that they are hard to please because they are not. To the contrary, most users just want to be able to do their job, that’s all. If you receive complaints, well, that is a nudge to improve things a bit.


There, you now have the semblance of an IT version of the Marslow Hierarchy of needs. If you are determined to become a highly achieving IT team, it is not too hard. Just get started on it already and satisfy the most basic IT needs of your users.

Posted on June 9, 2016 .