Five ways to Improve I.T Department Performance

Every I.T. leader is pursuing faster, more effective production in the department. After all, it affects company activities and stifles creativity when I.T. performs poorly. A poorly managed week I.T. department often restricts an organisation’s capacity to meet evolving customer demands, increases the time needed for new products and services to be produced and launched, and eventually degrades customer satisfaction.

It can be a challenge to Executives and Senior Managers to know how to optimise work productivity if team morale struggling, or if growth exceeds existing capability to meet demand. To correct the issue, a leader must understand why the department is underperforming and key performance indicators not achieved.

The five strategies we recommend improving the I.T. department are:

1. Provide the tools to succeed

It is assured that equipping an I.T. staff with insufficient and/or obsolete software and equipment contributes to poor results. To transform the team, remove counterproductive practices that impact long-term performance. Streamline monotonous and repeatable tasks, automate and re-engineer processes and implement innovation and systems supported by the latest technology.

Automating I.T. operations has never been simpler and removing staff time for the repeatable maintenance task. Continuous delivery and continuous deployment practices automate phases of software delivery. The tool enables development teams to release new features, enhancements, and bug fixes to their customers with greater speed, accuracy, and productivity and should include features to monitor, manage, alert, and self-correct systems under management.

Service management automation tools enable the team to be responsive to customer requests. The future of service management will be about automated workflows, self-service capabilities and self-managing I.T. systems. Machine learning will resolve routine requests, with Artificial intelligence (A.I.) enhancing the user experiences, and Internet-of-Things (IoT) sensors will provide real-time monitoring of technology platforms and customer services.

2. Communicate goals

A primary morale killer is not entrusting the I.T. team with information and keeping members in the dark. It is crucial to empower and trust staff and convey the organisation’s strategy. Open communication about status and how staff participation and work effort contribute to achieving the overall goal. Staff need to feel that they play a role in the organisation’s success.

One-on-one meeting, town hall session and team leader meetings are techniques that will start to inspire team members, communicate what is going on in the organisation, and build trust within the team.

It is also important to set individual targets every quarter and then review them in one-on-one sessions. Providing frank, open, and positive feedback to team members about personal and organisational objectives is important to communicate. Building and environment where team members can discuss their issues, needs and goals will improve performance.

3. Keep a close eye on performance levels

For monitoring overall I.T. performance, key performance indicators (KPIs) are crucial to measuring activity outcomes. However, many I.T. divisions rely on the wrong metrics, using generic I.T. KPI’s such as infrastructure maintenance. Choose performance metrics relevant to the delivery and management of I.T. services to the organisation and not just the I.T. department.

Include critical success factors (CSF’s), required to achieve objectives. Monitor stakeholder expectations and customer satisfaction to overall organisational objectives. And manage key risk indicators (KRIs) to alert I.T. management to emerging risks that could have a negative impact on performance.

4. Check for signs of burn-out in your I. T team

I.T. services are required twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week; there is continuous demand. And passionate I.T. professional work long hours to meet customers’ needs and keep up with new technologies and innovation.

Burn-out is a real issue, and a good I.T. Executive energises and motivates their team.

Maintaining high levels of productivity will benefit from burn-out minimisation strategies. Include rostered days off in staff performance plans, provide incentives to take a time-out, encourage coffee breaks, encourage colleagues to take a walk or share lunch, and establish rest areas in the office.

5. Invest in training and skill development

Reducing burn-out will build a productive atmosphere, team cohesion, and reduce staff downtime. And a successful strategy is to energise a team by offering training and skill advancement opportunities.

Allowing team members to attend conferences and professional events, continuous professional development, qualifications and certification and professional association membership, will not only expose them to new ideas and technologies but breaks up their routine, ultimately improving morale.

About Author

David Wood as the managing consultant has over four decades of experience and a background as an Accountant, Senior Manager in the I.T sector and the Dotcom era; and a season Digital \ I.T Consultant with a high level of accomplishment across various industries, sectors and technical environments.

David Wood Company Pty Ltd. ABN 45 624 529 488. Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. e:david.wood@davidwoodcompany.com.au, w: www.davidwoodcompany.com.au.

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