To successfully manage an IT department, it is imperative to understand the anticipated roles of your team, as well as how they actually spend their time between tasks, projects and operational duties.
Many companies have developed piecemeal systems to provide this insight, using multiple tools and systems to keep track of daily tasks, responsibilities and major projects. For example, you may use shared calendars for assignments and due dates, email to manage incident requests, company time sheets for time recording, and spreadsheets to manage major project milestones and tasks.
When Piecing Things Together Isn’t Enough
As organizations grow and new technologies become available, some IT departments have taken management a step further by implementing software tools to help them do their jobs better and more efficiently. Systems that can alleviate some of IT’s common pains include:
- Time management solutions, like Timefox, let users track time, pull reports on time spent on projects and tasks, set estimates for projects and pull personnel reports.
- Help desk solutions, such as HEAT, aid in the ticketing process from reception through resolution. Users can accept, assign and manage tickets all in one location.
- Project management solutions, like Basecamp, allow users to manage multiple projects, to-do lists and milestones across the whole team. In addition, individuals can share files and messages, centralizing communication about assignments.
While each of these systems can be useful on their own, the unique needs of IT departments often require a combination of all three — a solution found in work management software.
With a single interface for time tracking, ticket management and project management, work management software includes all of the features mentioned in the solutions above, without the need for multiple platforms.
The unique toolset included in work management software gives you, the IT manager, one place to look for keen insight into your team’s performance. This enables you to keep projects and tasks on track, better assign workflow and keep your department working together as a cohesive, efficient unit. For example:
- Know where your employees’ time is going. Are higher-level employees being burdened with menial tasks? Are employees using their time effectively?
- Keep the right work with the right people based on strengths, experience and availability.
- Assign tasks, run reports and have clear views of all projects and their statuses.
- Identify weak links and top performers, and reward those employees whose productivity and efficiency stand out among the crowd.
- Use knowledge-sharing tools and insight from timesheets to improve overall efficiency.
The key is to choose a system that works best for you and your team. If you’re currently struggling with managerial oversight of your IT department, a time-tracking, ticket-management, project-management or work-management solution may be a worthwhile investment.
IT managers, how do you keep track of your team?