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Having IT work management tools, and practices are the difference between your IT department providing good service or bad. The five things you need for effective IT work management are:

  1. Strategy
  2. People
  3. Process
  4. Infrastructure
  5. Reporting

STRATEGY: You need a strategy to morph your IT Work Management management from an organizational capability into a strategic asset and to then think and act strategically. Service strategy helps clarify the relationships between various services, systems or processes and the business models, strategies or objectives they support.

PEOPLE: You need people, apparently. But you don’t need superstars and heroes, they are too much work, and you can’t plan your organizations’ success around them. You need average people who do a consistent job. That way you can add more ordinary people and grow your team to meet your organizations’ requirements. Make sure that you provide your team with a strategy they can apply to every call, and that can help them provide excellent, above average service.

PROCESS: You need processes that work and IT frameworks to enable them. Frameworks are plentiful so pick one that is easy to adopt. I suggest ITIL®. The real craft is being able to blend your processes and craft your hybrid approach to IT work management, and that takes someone with a good foundation in IT frameworks – this is worth farming out to an expert. You may start out with ITIL®, but you should end up with your own IT Service Framework that is loosely based on the best practices of your business plus formal methodologies.

INFRASTRUCTURE: Of course you need technology. You’ll need to support your strategy, processes, people, and framework. An IT work management solution should contain, at the very least, helpdesk and service queues, projects and task management, resource management and a reporting engine. And, for Pete’s sake don’t go with a best of breed approach and use separate systems. This alone breeds too much chaos. Also, don’t put it in house. Implementing an in house system for IT just makes more work for IT and that won’t make you any money.

REPORTING and MEETING: The most important and certainly not the final components for success are reporting and meeting. Often overlooked during evaluations as you become focused on front-end functionality the reporting should be front and center to the selection of all of your processes, tools, and framework. They must deliver the Key Performance Indicators you require to continuously improve your IT on all fronts – service, cost, delivery, performance, happiness, staff morale.  Using a modified AGILE scrum method will help you to keep your team on task and your department rolling along.

Tips for Effective IT Work Management:

  1. Utilize an ITIL® strategy readiness assessment   to develop your strategy
  2. Develop a simple IT Work Management strategy – if you’re an SMB, make it 1-2 pages max.
  3. Don’t hire heroes for your IT team. Hire regular people and make them shine.
  4. Make your IT Work Management processes simple and easy to follow – don’t over engineer them, it’s a waste of time, and you’ll throw away your valuable time and frustrate your team in the process.
  5. Your IT framework should be simple and cost effective and, if possible, SaaS based.
  6. Define your Work Management reporting before you start looking at software.
  7. Don’t look at software first – it will skew your think/want matrix.

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