Regardless of where you move and store your company’s data, a few things ring true for effective and high-performing IT teams. Other high-impact teams and departments throughout the organization can easily leverage these strategies. Here are some strategies I have learned from high performing IT teams.
- Understand how projects impact the bottom line — to help prioritize projects, budgets and resources.
Look at any team in any company. There are always projects in-flight. Many have strict deadlines. Teams may often lose track of how each project directly or indirectly impacts business value.
Many projects are managed on a first-in, first-out basis. Others are prioritized on who demanded the project and not on how it may impact the business. Weekly meetings and status reports that encourage teams to align their project/work to business value empower employees to make better time, resource and budget decisions.
- Invest in enablement and product support — to help minimize support costs, employee dissatisfaction and missed deadlines.
Almost every industry relies on technology-related solutions to operate. Some solutions are homegrown, but many invest in pricey off-the-shelf solutions.
After spending a few years selling software, I was amazed on how many companies spend millions of dollars on the “right” solutions — and then only a few thousand dollars to enable and develop their key resources (employees) responsible for making these investments valuable to their company.
This lopsided investment often results in fractional deployments, increased support issues, unsatisfied employees and missed opportunities.
- Create diverse working groups with key stakeholders — to streamline value, avoid unexpected pitfalls and increase executive buy-in.
Although it is often quicker to make decisions within your team on a solution or project direction, it often saves time to engage key stakeholders outside your team in the initial project stages. Too often I have seen projects go south or budgets disappear just as the team is ready to sign the PO because key stakeholders had just learned of the project and related demands (people, budget and other dependencies).
Take the time upfront to create working groups with key stakeholders to better align business value based on a wide array of knowledge and perspective.
- Create mutually beneficial working relationships with your strategic vendors — to communally advance your business initiatives.
From being on both sides of the negotiation table, as an IT director and a vendor, I can confidently say that most companies do not realize or leverage the resources vendors can contribute to your project.
If you are respectful and amicable to your vendors, they often can be an untapped resource in your project tool chest. Many come equipped with industry data, thought leaders, relevant resources and leasing options to help with budget constraints. This may require you to reciprocate but it is usually well worth your time.
Knowing the corporate pressures IT teams face today, these are just a few of the many effective strategies IT teams leverage to meet their aggressive deadlines.