Building a High Performing IT Team

IT teams are a core component of most modern businesses. Computers and the Internet are simply too important for any business to neglect them without running into serious problems. Unfortunately, building an effective IT team is often easier said than done. Managers often have trouble working with the technicians because they lack the technical skills to communicate about technical issues, while many technicians are solitary creatures that have trouble communicating with each other. It is possible to resolve those issues with a little bit of work, and the benefits of having a good IT team are more than enough to justify that extra effort.

Support Communication and Debate

All teams thrive on communication, but communicating can be difficult in a technical environment. Workers often need to take time to research solutions to technical problems, which disrupts the flow of conversation. The work can also involve transferring files or diagrams to a large number of people and waiting for them to work with those files before continuing the original task. Even technicians who have good communication skills can easily get overwhelmed.

Fixing that problem will encourage collaboration and even debate among the workers. That offers several benefits, including an increased likelihood of finding solutions to problems and increased efficiency due to easier coordination. In most cases, collaborative technology is the best way to solve this problem. It can archive conversations for later reference, cut through social barriers that inhibit discussion, and help to alleviate scheduling difficulties for those discussions. In some cases, communication training classes can also help workers to collaborate.

Provide Clear Objectives

A team that doesn't have a clear goal can easily find itself wasting time on unproductive tasks. That is a common problem for IT teams because their managers often have a poor understanding of the field, which prevents them from setting reasonable and useful goals. There are two ways to resolve this problem. Picking managers with a solid background in technology, often by promoting hem from within the IT department, will ensure that they can direct the IT team towards productive tasks. Alternatively, management can explain the company's broad goals to the IT team and allow the workers to come up with plans to support those goals. This only works if the team has members who can take initiative, but it can lead to wonderful results when that is the case.

Cultivate Skills

Technology changes quickly. Workers who don't stay up to date on the latest innovations will find that their skills are outdated within a few years. Fortunately, training and development programs can easily keep workers on the cutting edge. Most of these programs focus on teaching experienced IT workers the skills that they need to adapt to recent innovations. A few are also aimed at teaching the basics of cybersecurity to novices, and those can be useful for support staff. Not only will it help them to communicate with the technicians, it also ensures that they can practice basic security techniques on their own to support the rest of the team.

This training can come from a variety of areas. Governments generally provide some support, but private companies can also provide a great deal of training. In most cases, they will offer that training along with their own software to ensure that the team can use the new programs properly. Since many IT professionals are good at independent learning, some companies have even found success by encouraging them to study new developments on their own.

Try Team Building Exercises

A cohesive team is a successful team, especially in the world of IT. Team building exercises can be a vital tool for building bonds between workers and helping them learn to work together. Managers should choose the exercises carefully to make sure that the team can enjoy the experience and bond, which often means tailoring them to the workers. That can be a challenge, but there is no faster way to bring a team together. This is especially important after periods of expansion or after replacing a large number of workers, since there will be a lot of new people who need to find their place on the team. Managers that focus their efforts of the times when their team lacks social connections will get the most bang for their buck on these exercises.

 

Brigg Patten

Brig Patten writes in the business and tech spaces. He's a fan of podcasts, bokeh and smooth jazz. His time is mostly spent learning the piano and watching his Golden Retriever Julian chase a stick.

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