Information technology is a rapidly changing world, and it requires a team that works well together under stressful circumstances. Consider the following tips for a successful IT team.
1. Strong leadership: A company is not a democracy and neither is its information technology department. A strong team requires strong leadership and a face to follow during difficult projects and tight deadlines. A manager must not only hold himself accountable for his own actions, but he must take responsibility for his team’s behavior. Getting the best performance out of team members requires a firm and effective leadership style.
2. Delegate properly: There are many managers who try to do everything because they feel that the job just won’t get done right without direct oversight. For many projects, like office relocation or moving servers, it’s best to let professionals take care of it. Using a professional server moving company rather than trying to handle such a delicate operation in-house takes less time and is safer for the equipment.
3. Create a team atmosphere: An information technology team may suffer from the introverted nature of those who regularly work in computers, but this isn’t an excuse to have a team that barely knows each other’s first names. Even if a team member would rather sit at his desk with his head buried in work, it’s essential that everyone comes together regularly to interact and build camaraderie.
4. Define responsibilities: One of the biggest complaints information technology employees have is that their job description is so vague that their eventual responsibilities have nothing to do with the work for which they were hired. Ensure that each employee knows the scope of his or her job and each responsibility therein. Although job descriptions may change over time, such modifications should only occur with ample notice. Get help when you need it too, that’s very important. For things like office relocations, hire a data center moving company instead of doing it yourself. Make sure the job gets done right, and that you equip yourself with the tools you need to succeed.
5. Communicate regularly: It’s essential that a team leader doesn’t wait until a problem occurs to speak with employees. It’s up to the manager or leader to understand the dynamics of each group and determine how often to give (and receive) feedback on current projects. However, ensure that such communication is worthwhile and isn’t just an opportunity for people to talk to hear their own voices during a group-wide meeting.
6. Focus on diversity: A team where each member is trained in the same methods or where everyone brings the same philosophy to the table may stifle creativity. Although an IT team might seem quite tech-oriented, even technology groups must create solutions and solve problems. This is best handled through the convergence of different or diverse minds.
7. Regularly establish goals: Most companies will set general, large-scale goals at the beginning of the year; however, such goals may become less important over time. Regularly defining new goals offers team members a sense of accomplishment and also creates a renewed commitment to a project each time a goal is attained.
8. Recognize benchmarks and success: Even the most well-oiled machines require recognition of their achievements, and it’s essential to recognize when projects are a success, even when those projects are accomplished in the regular course of business. For example, a bug-free launch of a new proprietary software system might be business as usual, but it’s essential that such events are recognized for their success.
It’s essential that an IT department possesses strong leadership with clearly defined goals. A leader can only succeed if his team is a success, and this requires constant supervision of current projects and attention to detail.