IT departments will be forever tarnished by the age-old ‘turn it off and back on’ mentality many people think they employ. In reality, such teams are the engine room for most businesses. If they get something wrong, the entire company’s infrastructure could come grinding to a halt.
It therefore stands to reason they need to be as productive as possible. But how? How can you make your IT department shake off their reputation for being a room full of nerds who will do everything they can to avoid fixing the latest network problem?
If you’re a company director, you’ve probably worked on your own rules for productivity, but it’s time to give your IT team the boost they deserve with tried-and-tested productivity-enhancing tips.
1. GIVE THEM THE RIGHT TOOLS
IT-related problems can usually be fixed in a number of ways. Experienced techies will know every backdoor route possible to rid your laptop of the virus you’ve picked up, but doing so might take an inordinate amount of time.
There are software tools and pieces of equipment which will increase productivity of your IT department. In the case above, proper antivirus software and an enterprise-level router would have negated the need for hours of fiddling. Always invest in the best tools
2. USE AGILE PLANNING
Agile planning is typically used in the world of software development, but it can just as easily be applied to your IT department. Encourage the team to set quarterly goals for projects and break the constituent elements into two-week ‘sprints’.
By breaking down the work required into bite-sized chunks, the team will be able to focus on reaching the end goal pragmatically.
3. HOLD REGULAR, SHORT TEAM MEETINGS
No one likes meeting overload, but people do like to share their successes and air their concerns, so spend ten minutes every couple of days catching up with your IT team.
Let them bask in the glory of success, but remember to ask one important question: are there any roadblocks getting in the way of their productivity? Find out what they are and promise to remove them.
4. DON’T MICROMANAGE
There are few bigger productivity-killers than micromanagement. If you’ve hired the right people, you don’t need to micromanage them. Let them do the job you’ve employed them to do and ask for fewer status reports.
Trust your IT team to do a good job.
5. END EMAIL CONVERSATIONS. FOREVER.
Email has its place, but it shouldn’t be used as a casual conversation tool. If your IT department has fallen into the trap of only communicating via email, they’re wasting valuable time that could be spent being productive.
If it comes to it, ban email altogether and use a tool such as Slack, but encourage face-to-face comms everywhere else.
Use the tips above to create a dynamic, productive and happy IT team which will finally shake off its reputation as a one-fix-for-all problem department. There’ll be far less cases of ‘turn it off and back on’, too!