Quick Tips for Jumpstarting your IT Department in 2012
As you look ahead to 2012, what is it that you want your IT department to accomplish? What would you like for your IT department to do better in 2012 than in twenty-eleven?
It is a good idea to capture your thoughts on paper or on a whiteboard. Writing down your ideas for improvement makes them appear more obtainable and is a visual reminder of your goals. Be sure to include projects that:
1. you currently do, but want to do better
2. will improve your overall productivity
3. will build your business or expand its brand
In addition to adding new projects to 2012, consider projects and processes from 2011 that you need to get rid of. These projects are easy to detect in most cases. Think of times when your workday was inefficient or when your network went down. Choose projects that distract you or your IT team from accomplishing business impacting initiatives.
How do you know which project goals to set?
Determine what you want to accomplish this year by considering the following:
- What everyday practices could you improve upon from 2011? Have you noticed any trends in workload that could be minimized this year by hiring someone to handle them or outsourcing it to a service-specific business?
- What projects will have the greatest return on investment? This is a good time to implementation of new technologies that improve processes. Do you have the staff to support a new technology or will you need to hire new employees to ensure the greatest return? Some businesses choose to outsource a portion of their current IT workload in an effort to maximize efforts on new project implementation.
- How can I save my department and my company time? You all know this but I’ll say it again, time is money. Start by looking carefully at signs of operational inefficiency. If your CIO spends time working on projects that are below his level of capability, you might want to consider hiring someone to take on these tasks so that your CIO can spend more of their day focusing on initiatives that have a greater impact on your business’s bottom line.
- How can I positively impact my company’s brand? Is there a new technology out there that can improve the way your customers use your business offerings? Is there a service partner that you could team up with that will work with you to improve your customer service? If so, these projects should certainly make the cut to your 2012 project calendar.
- How can I reduce risk? Reducing risk haunts the mind of a CIO as much as cutting cost. Risk reduction includes projects that build a stronger network and improves customer service. Reliable networks keep your business productive and help you retain satisfied customers.
Finally, put these projects on a real timeline. I use a large whiteboard divided into four sections, one section for each business quarter of the 2012 year. Under each quarter I write down my project goals for that time frame. I leave this board displayed as a reminder for myself and my staff of the projects and goals that I want to accomplish.
Best wishes for a productive new year!