4 Scary Mistakes Technology Departments are Making

By October 30, 2014How To, Project Management
4 Mistakes Technology Departments are Making

Halloween is a great reminder for everyone to take some time and enjoy their favorite spooky activities, but what about the really scary stuff? In honor of Halloween we are breaking down the top four truly scary mistakes that technology departments are making today. If you see a frightening mistake that sounds familiar, take a look at our tips for getting back on track.

1. Allowing Miscommunication Between Business and IT

Business and IT units understand projects in inherently different ways. Business and IT professionals are trained differently, understand processes with contrasting views and ultimately communicate in a way that best suits their own team. Lack of communication and understanding between the two units can lead to problems like unrealistic deadlines, confusion on project scope and general lack of clarity. These types of issues can delay or halt projects altogether, creating an inefficient work environment for both types of business units.

How to Improve Communication Between Business and IT Units

  • Get both sides involved in development.
  • Be realistic about workload management.
  • Strategize reworks and changes together.

2. Ignoring Infrastructure and Storage Resources

Too many technology departments are putting focus on building out internal solutions and infrastructure when there are readily-available resources they can take advantage of that are much more cost and time efficient. By using existing commercial options, IT teams can spend less time focused on infrastructure and maintenance, and more time focusing on other projects. Choosing to partner with a Data Center Technology Integrator and Cloud Service Provider, such as IDS, allows IT teams to access best-of-breed infrastructure and offload some of the day-to-day management so they can spend time focusing in more strategic areas.

How to Use Commercial Infrastructure and Storage Resources

  • Realize department limits and prioritize time.
  • Research cost effective commercial solutions.
  • Contact IDS for a custom assessment.

3. Always Saying “Yes”

Technology departments need to have realistic expectations about bandwidth. Agreeing to take on every project and meet every deadline will undoubtedly create a lot of stress and less than impressive outcomes. Maryfran Johnson who wrote “A CIO Survival Guide to Saying No” for CIO.com suggested that it’s getting even harder for IT departments to say no because of their increased involvement in business activities that can directly impact revenue. Johnson suggests leaving emotions behind and discussing the matter at hand using fact-based reasoning as often as possible.

How to Strategically Say “No”

  • Leave emotions off the table.
  • Explain project scopes in a universal way.
  • Use fact-based reasoning.

4. Forgetting About the Users

Technology teams should always have the end user in mind. No matter what the project or end deliverable, the user needs to be successful at whatever it is they are doing. Often times IT departments are so overloaded with completing projects, they don’t have time to collect and implement user feedback in the development process. Taking the extra time to strategically analyze feedback from the users can drastically change the success of technology outcomes.

How to Keep Users on the Radar

  • Schedule regular user feedback collections.
  • Create action plans from reliable feedback.
  • Test products and updates aggressively.

Have other mistakes you think technology departments should avoid? Comment below and tell us about them!