When properly utilized, scheduled job rotation is a necessary and practical way to reinvigorate and refocus resources on their goals. When resources spend too long in a given role, their attention to detail begins to wane. Vital protocols may be missed because they have fallen into a routine, and the strength of the entire system ultimately suffers.
Stuck in a Rut
Have you ever found yourself in a position where every day was very much like the last? When in that position, did you find yourself often ignoring pressing matters or dealing with less than optimal situations, just because it was the path of least resistance? When you're stuck in a rut, it's very difficult to find effort to improve. You may start following clunky, old protocols out of habit, or putting off tasks until "tomorrow" on an infinite basis. Job rotation makes every job new to the person doing it, and thus makes it easier to accomplish improvements and changes.
The Danger of Overspecialization
Without job rotation, many individuals begin thinking in a very "hammer meets nail" mindset. They only use a few tools in their mental arsenal to complete their job, so they begin using only those tools. They lose sight that they are part of a larger whole. By rotating jobs, each individual gets a taste of what those in other positions experience. Not only does this help them think outside of the box (and outside of their current job), but it also helps them empathize and work with other members of the team.
Job Rotation Is Ubiquitous
Almost every other department in a company, from the very bottom to the very top, will use job rotation. It isn't only for the benefit of the employee or the benefit of productivity; it's also a safeguard that provides checks and balances.
As an example, when security holes are accidentally introduced into the system by one employee, they can be caught and sealed by another. One employee may never notice this type of issue because they don't have the "fresh set of eyes" necessary. In accounting, job rotation is used to make sure no employee is straying too far from accepted protocols and procedures. There is no reason why IT employees should not rotate in the way that other departments do.
A lack of job rotation can significantly limit IT transformation and health, but luckily it's a fairly easy problem to fix– just implement and enforce a department-wide job rotation schedule that will help employees rediscover their strengths and talents. Cross-training and rotating employees will ultimately improve upon the entire IT department and system as a whole.