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5 Steps to Getting More Done with your IT Teams

October 13, 2016

With scope creep, shifting deadlines and resource reallocation, project managers face many clock-eating obstacles on the way to a successful deployment. Since adding more hours to the day is an impossible task, how about the next best thing: making the most of the hours in your day by getting the most productivity from your team? While that may also sound like an impossible task, it’s not. Effectively using your delegation skills and conducting skills assessment to better assign job responsibilities based on individual skill sets, will get your team working smarter, faster and more affordably. Here are 5 steps to take now to add accountability to your team to help get you across the goal line faster.

1. Establish a Job Responsibility Priority System

Create categories that are based on the effort and the level of skill a job responsibility requires. Those that require the highest level of skill and those that are your core competencies should be delegated to higher-level employees. Those that require lower skills should be assigned to lower-level employees or outsourced through a services provider.To save time and boost productivity, base delegating on degree of effort required. For example, if a responsibility requires a high-level of effort and a low-level skill set, you’ll save a significant amount of time delegating this responsibility to lower-level employees or outsourcing to a service provider— allowing higher-level employees to concentrate on what you do best and what generates revenue.

2. Consider Individual Strengths of Each Member

As a project leader or manager, knowing the strengths and weaknesses of each team member, including both their current skill set and their potential skill range is vital. Job responsibilities should be assigned to team members that have the greatest number of skills required for that particular responsibility. This may sound like stating the obvious, but a mistake that mangers/project leaders often make, is assigning the responsibility to team members that have the lightest workload or are the most convenient.

3. Assess Soft Skills Too!

Soft skills are communication/collaboration skills and technical skills are typically related to a specific field or profession. Since both soft and technical skills are required in the workplace, assessing both is key when assigning job responsibilities. For example, a developer may be highly proficient in developing a certain application, but when it comes to communicating with clients and management for troubleshooting purposes, he/she may be not nearly as competent. To that end, an effective test to assess skills is a simulation, where the employee interacts with a virtual environment. That way you can access body language, emotions and behavior and know what employees are the best suited for a particular task job therefore, the most productive.

4. Focus on Job-Specific Skills and Personalize Skills Assessments

To assign the most qualified individuals job responsibilities and get the best results, do not test generic skills that team members should already know. Rather, make your focus job-specific skill assessments based on both job responsibilities and everyday tasks that actually matter and relate directly to on-the-job performance.Avoid a “one size fits” all approach to assessing skills, by testing skills that are tied to an employee’s specific job responsibilities and position within the company. For example, someone in IT does not have the same job responsibilities of someone in sales. Testing the same skills for each is not only a waste of time, it could lead to poor job performance, as the employee may question how the testing is going to help them active their goals and improve their job performance.

5. Establish a Timeline and Be Sure to Follow-Up Regularly

A timeline is helpful when dealing with larger groups of people. Establishing one keeps team members focused and accountable and is especially useful for projects that do not have a set deadline or those that are complicated and require various steps to complete the overall project.To keep everyone on the same page, send out an email to team members to reiterate deadline dates and follow-up with them on tasks. Be careful not to micromanage, as that often leads to frustration. Rather, follow-up occasionally to check progress and make sure to provide the team member the opportunity to ask questions and provide any feedback.

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