Time flies when you’re having fun. It also flies when you’re insanely busy managing an information technology department—and it's in times like these that you stop prioritizing more efficient strategies for the sake of just getting things done so you can jump to the next task.
Sure. It's great to feel like you're checking projects off the list and answering help desk questions like the champ you are. But just because your department is technically getting things doesn't always mean that you're using your team's time as wisely as you might think.
Ensuring that your team keeps their productivity remains high is an ongoing issue that many CIOs deal with. However, wasted time at work doesn’t always mean checking Facebook or re-re-resetting Karen from finance’s email password for the fifth time this month.
In actuality, most wasted time within IT happens due to ongoing inefficient processes within your department and organization. Here are a few key areas where an IT. tam may be losing time, plus some advice on how to make your IT department more efficient.
Proactive vs. Reactive IT Strategies
With a “reactive” strategy, the IT team and individual employees take care of problems as they occur. This severely cuts down on the ability to instead proactively devise new strategies that'll solve or even stop these problems before they happen at all.
To reduce the time your department spends on reacting to IT issues, it’s necessary to first evaluate your current fleet of devices and your workflow process. That'll help you uncover where common problems are happening and allows you to dig deeper into finding proactive ways to solve them.
- Is your team fixing the same printer on a daily basis?
- Are employees consistently having issues trouble working certain tools like online payroll records or PTO requests?
- Do you constantly have requests to update security software?
If these types of problems are always popping up and causing you to pause whatever you're doing to fix it, rethink your current strategy. With a proactive approach, time spent on these issues could either be eliminated or significantly minimized by updating the faulty printer, retraining your employees, or scheduling a mass security software update.
Sure. Enacting those particular solutions will take time and maybe even some money. But once you consider how much you'll ultimately save by not putting aside whatever you're doing to address those reoccurring issues, it's clear to see which strategy wins.
If you can’t immediately identify problem areas outside of your department, the problem may be with your repair processes. Is it possible that employees in your department may not fully understand what’s required of them when it comes to fixing that printer? Or, maybe they're not appropriately educating others on how to work certain tools or programs.
As a result, the underlying issues are never fully addressed. Revising those processes and conducting extra training sessions can help out significantly.
While strong procedures are essential to a functional IT department, you need to be careful that these aren’t actually being counterproductive and tripping you and your employees up.
Resist the urge to create systems, both digital and operational, that over-complicate what should be simple. It's not always necessary to account for every piece of information. Instead, focus on creating processes that make life easier—not adding unnecessary work for everyone in your department when it doesn't require oversight.
In short, the more complicated your systems are, the more likely they are to break down, especially in times of great stress. If you’re constantly dealing with over-complicated processes, seriously consider finding ways to simplify them while still delivering high-quality results.
Unclear Roles and Priorities
Few things frustrate people more than unclear guidance.
If you’re finding that much of your department’s time is being wasted, make it your mission to clarify to your team where they should be spending their hours. Simply keeping them aware of priorities can help them better understand how their skills are most valuable and where they should be focusing their time.
If you're still noticing inefficiencies, try conducting an IT department survey to see whether the team truly understand their roles and the chain of command. This can be especially valuable in a larger enterprise. The bigger problem might be employees just not understanding what they’re responsible for and to whom they should report.
To ensure your department is working as efficiently as possible, it’s essential to look inwards and get proactive. Once you do, you’ll better equipped to save not just time, but money as well, all while making everyone’s day run more smoothly than ever.
Ready to run your IT department more efficiently than ever before? Call the experts at imageOne! In a 10-minute, zero obligation chat, we'll discuss smart strategies, tools, workflows and more that'll save you time and money.