Project Meeting
IT team meetings to discuss workday

In the IT environment, it’s crucial to not only clearly define employee roles, but also to ensure that each individual is making the most out of their time. Each person on your team must be accountable for certain assignments, without any gray area, to maximize productivity. IT team management is critical for success.

Three Pillars of Work in IT

To gain some insight on this, let’s first take a look at the three pillars of work in the IT world and what each encompasses:

  • Planned projects involve strategic work that helps the company prosper. They are often long-term commitments, and require team development and coordination.
  • Support deals with unplanned events that often become priorities, such as help desk tickets, troubleshooting, or repairing failed products or processes.
  • Operations include day-to-day administrative duties and proactive management of key systems.

Time Estimates and Role Distinctions

After understanding the three pillars, you can start to more clearly determine what pillar of work each employee should focus on, and thus the specific projects and tasks individuals should get involved with, as well as their role distinctions. Using this information, you can better manage your team’s time.

For example, say John is responsible for one major aspect of a project due to your CIO, yet he becomes continually involved in ticket troubleshooting — a task for which he is not primarily responsible. Due to lack of role definition and time management, John is focusing on technical issues (support), which have taken priority over his major assignment (a planned project). This results in the project not getting done on time — or you having to step in at the last minute to complete it.

A good way to begin sorting this out, and putting a plan into action, is to provide time estimates, sorted by type of work, to each individual on your team. See the table below for a simple example, outlining the percentage of time junior employees, mid-level employees and management may be expected to spend on the three pillars of work.

How Work Management Software Can Help

Using work management software can help you clearly define these estimates, and allow individuals to track time against them, so that you can run reports that uncover exactly where your team’s time goes. This can also put in perspective how long different tasks usually take to finish, and the breakdown of that time, to help you better plan project teams and timelines in the future.

Time analysis will also provide better insight when making hiring decisions, since you’ll know in advance what type of work the new person will need to perform and be qualified for. This information will also provide powerful leverage when presenting a case to C-level for those hiring recommendations.

In addition, work management software provides you with the tools to streamline the planning and execution of projects — as well as support and operational tasks. This improved management of projects and workflow allows you to keep the right type of work with the right people, which is time and energy well spent.

Lastly, work management software allows you to monitor your company’s entire portfolio of active projects, and consolidate time and project reports in a central location. This means there’s no more need to regularly check in with project managers about project status; instead you can simply view details in a convenient dashboard.


Understanding the pillars work each team member should focus on, and the time he or she puts into each, can help your entire IT department better serve end users, keep projects on track, and improve daily business output.

What project and time management tips do you have? Does your business use management software? How has it impacted the efficiency and ROI of your team?

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flickr photo of man and pillars – First American