Why would an IT organization need to have a team management solution that brings together a help desk tool and a project management tool into one, integrated environment? To understand this question lets break the IT department into components:
How is work assigned to the IT Department?
Strategies and directives set at director levels trickle down into IT as projects to be executed. These projects, when executed and turned into working components that will somehow help the organization meet the strategies and directives once set.
- Managers request changes to applications and network infrastructure. There is an ongoing dialogue between departmental management and the IT group that facilitates change. Changes, large or small will either become projects or short-term tasks.
- End-users request help. PC’s break, connectivity of devices needs to occur, new staff is hired, old ones are fired. There are a never-ceasing ebb and flow to the needs of end-users.
- Operational, long-term, activities are in place to keep all the equipment and software running in peak condition. These tasks and mini-projects are vital to the organizations’ livelihood and consist of maintenance and regulatory tasks performed routinely.
IT teams are organized in a pyramid of cost and scarcity. The top is the most expensive and least plentiful, the bottom the least expensive and most plentiful. Typical IT organizations consist of level one help desk staff, level two analysts, level three experts, one or two project managers and a number of managers, all silo’d by a pool of expertise.
Help desk staff are typically isolated from the rest of the team as they are dealing with end-user and customer requirements. The level two staff are writing programs and executing operational tasks. Level three teams are working with level 1 and 2 staff to lend their expertise where required.
Level one: most plentiful, least expensive, typically not working on projects or operational activities. Level one requires a help desk solution to manage incoming requests for service and to escalate requests to level two.
Level two: mid-level cost, more plentiful, the project workhorses of the organization and the team where many of the level one issues are escalated into. Require help desk solution to manage escalated calls from level one and require project management solution to manage assigned tasks.
Level three: most expensive, scarcest, tough to get hold of and high importance to the organization because of their subject matter expertise. Require help desk solution to manage escalated requests from levels one and two and project management to manage tasks. Add in a project manager and various management teams with the need to get projects done on time, optimize resources and keep costs down and we now have a daunting job of managing this group.
How can IT create a defensible position within the corporation?
With the truth. To gather the truth you need to have all the time captured on all activities by all staff. This means that the levels one, two and three are capturing their time against help desk requests, project tasks, and routine operational activities. Then, as a management team, the truth of what has occupied the IT team’s time is delivered in standard reports.
Get the proper tools
Providing the tools required to help you learn the truth about your organization:
- Help Desk to manage all incoming work from end-user and customer communities;
- Project Management to manage all planned activities, tasks and projects, and routine operational activities.
- Project Portfolio Management for Project Managers to deliver real-time, concise and accurate information to project sponsors.
- Resource Management Reports to optimize and schedule staff.
Learn how to optimize your IT team with TeamHeadquarters.
- Focus on the core competencies of your organization. If you’re an insurance company then your IT team should be focused on how to deliver the services of an insurance company. add-on application like IT Management Software should be outsourced to SaaS
- Take it slow. When making a change in the IT organization you’ll have the most resistance and least amount of agreement from level three staff. Focus on level 1, they’ll be more compliant.
- Keep it simple. Complex models breed complexity so, by keeping it simple you’ll be able to do more with less.
- Flatten your IT group. Take the Kaizen model of IT management and organize your expertise units. This takes you away from an isolated grid of silos towards functional teams that work together to solve issues quickly.