Graeme O'driscoll
Graeme O'driscoll Head: Software Engineering

Business landscapes are getting more and more competitive. And increasingly, CIOs and IT executives are being called on to come up with creative ways to do more for less, and to do so in less time. Essentially, they’re required to develop innovative techniques to complete tasks and come up with smart processes that will help modern workforces be as productive as possible.

man working on a laptop

They say that productivity is never an accident but rather that it is the result of careful planning and focused effort. An organisation with a comprehensive and well-executed IT management strategy is a productive organisation and one that is able to best meet their goals.

In this blog, we outline some of the ways you can improve your IT team’s productivity.

Understand what end users really want and, also, what they really need

There has long been a disjuncture between business and IT. This rift is generally a result of the fact that their priorities and skill sets differ – IT usually doesn’t grasp what it takes to run a business and business don’t fully understand all the technicalities of IT. To improve productivity, this needs to change. According to Small Business Trends, end users must have a say in hardware and software decision making. IT management and decision making has an enormous impact on a business’ success and competitiveness, so embracing policies like BYOD, which allow staff to bring their own devices into the office, can prove a great technique to boost productivity.

Provide tools and infrastructure that promote collaboration and efficiency

You may have the smartest, most hardworking and efficient team but if they don’t have the systems and resources they need to complete tasks they will struggle to be effective. It is so important that technology resources promote communication and collaboration between teams, regardless of their location. An article from CIO.com highlights how IT managers and CIOs should be pushing platform-agnostic solutions that allow employees to work anywhere and anytime.

Efficiency and productivity goals must be set and monitored

It’s all very well to decide that you want to run a marathon but until you actually enter the race you’re not really working towards anything. In business, teams must sit down and agree on their goals and then come up with a realistic schedule for achieving those goals. It’s best to break down the task into manageable chunks so that people feel like they are making progress. And remember, that being efficient isn’t only about working quickly; if the work isn’t completed properly, it doesn’t matter how speedily you completed it.

Stamp out unnecessary tasks and streamline workflows

Do you really need to have that two-hour catch-up meeting every week? Perhaps you can do it just once a month? By eliminating unnecessary tasks, you’re freeing up people to get their jobs done and to be more productive. When planning projects ask yourself if certain tasks actually contribute to achieving the desired outcome. If not, it’s probably best to eliminate them. It’s also valuable to communicate with employees as to what processes they think could be streamlined and how.

What are the “symptoms” of an unproductive work environment? Perhaps it’s complex systems that stifle collaboration? Or outdated processes that make it complicated to complete tasks? Whatever your productivity Achilles Heel may be, successful IT management means addressing these stumbling blocks early and putting procedures in place to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible. We’ve created a Symptom Checker that you can use to discern if your IT workloads are being mismanaged. You can give it a try here.

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