7 Productivity Tips for IT ManagersOctober 4, 2013 No Comments
Moving into a management position is a big adjustment. All of a sudden, executives are getting after you about deadlines, budgets and recommendations on whether they should move to a cloud database. In addition, you must now oversee a team and deal with service requests from other departments. All of this responsibility can leave managers stuck running from one problem to the next without getting anything done. To boost productivity, here are some tips to consider.
1. Create a Help Desk Protocol
IT managers can quickly become swamped by service calls, leaving them no time to actually manage their team or work on actual IT projects. If you don’t have one already, create a help desk for all of the service calls to go to. Assign or hire an employee to specifically manage the desk. Then, establish a protocol of which situations your team will address and which they won’t. Counterproductive requests from other departments will eat up your time as well as your teams keeping you from the tasks that are most important, so fend them off by making your standards clear.
2. Keep Records of Time Spent
Spending time keeping records of how you and your team are spending their time may sound counterproductive, but doing this is the only way for you to evaluate how your team’s time is being spent. Ease up on your workload by having each team member keep a timesheet of how long they work on each project. With this data, you can then better distribute resources based on business priorities and also go to executives with evidence of a need for additional help or resources.
3. Identify and Work on Weaknesses
Managers don’t like to admit their own weaknesses, but if your lack of knowledge or skill in a certain area is slowing you down, the best thing you can do is identify that weakness and work to get rid of it. Don’t be afraid to go to trainings or ask for advice from other managers. The more knowledgeable and skilled a manager is the more efficient he or she will be.
4. Create a Disaster Plan
Every IT manager needs to be prepared for a system failure or other IT emergency. Create a plan for how you will get the systems back up and running well before disaster strikes, so you and your team can work efficiently to correct the issue rather than scramble to create a plan in the moment.
5. Avoid Taking Over Employees’ Projects
Many managers are promoted to their position because they were well skilled in their job function. This sometimes makes it difficult for them to not take over tasks when they see a subordinate struggling. Resist the urge to fill up your time with employees’ projects. Instead, answer any questions they have with an explanation of the next step they should take.
6. Provide Training for Employees
Pushing your team to work harder and reach lofty goals will often fail because team members don’t have the skills necessary to reach those goals. Again, avoid dismissing subordinates in this case and taking over, instead provide training to bring employees up to the level you desire. Much more will get done with a team of highly trained employees than if a manager insists on doing everything themselves.
7. Set Clear Objectives
Finally, set clear objectives for your team to measure themselves by. Meet regularly to discuss goals and timetables as well as performance standards. Most team members are ready and willing to rise to the occasion, but they can only do that if goals and expectations are communicated to them.
Do you agree with these recommendations? How have you improved your team’s and your own productivity?
Gil Allouche is the Vice President of Marketing at Qubole. Gil began his marketing career as a product strategist at SAP while earning his MBA at Babson College and is a former software engineer.
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