“8 IT management productivity killers” on CIO; April 2, 2018
1. Neglecting to prioritize strategic projects
“The biggest productivity killing mistake that most IT managers and leaders make is failing to prioritize. Many IT organizations are overwhelmed with important things that need to be done, from maintaining their applications and infrastructure to responding to outages and problems, to responding to changing business needs,” says Alan Zucker, founding principal at Project Management Essentials. “Rather than prioritizing the work, the organization keeps on taking on more and more projects. By continually expanding the number of projects being worked on, the number of things getting completed declines. Quality suffers. Highly-skilled and motivated professionals become frustrated.”
5. Failing to set an example of weekly wins
In technology, we ship projects that often take weeks or months to develop. The timeline is even longer when working with legacy systems. These large projects can be demotivating in the short term because the finish line is far away. Part of the answer would lie in defining parameters for a productive week, even if a significant project has not yet been completed.
“I keep a Kanban board in my office,” says Project Management Essentials’ Zucker. “I measure the number of items that I complete each week and measure my productivity based on the number of items that end the week in the done column. By using the Kanban and limiting the number of items that I work on, I am more productive. By visualizing the work and the items that are blocked or pending input from someone else, I keep track of everything that is in progress.”
The key to Zucker’s approach is “limiting the number of items that I work on.” That is easier said than done because you will have to say no to people. The key lies in having a portfolio of short-term and long-term wins.