At Digiant Group, we commonly work with a team of IT consultants depending on the nature of a specific practice or a project. Here is a list of a few practical tips to get the ball rolling better.
Even if you are not the manager-by-role, in the information technology world knowing how things should work in general or where to find and figure the things out will make you manager-by-act, and possibly manager-by-promotion when the opportunity arises.
Never say No to impossible!
If you are assigned to do something that seems impossible, consider the task as a chance to schedule a few minutes of googling to see if it actually has been done before or to come up with ideas by searching for viable commercial software solutions that may actually make it possible.
Use deadlines effectively!
Pick two of the “cheap, fast, and good” dimensions before setting a deadline or prioritizing a task, where you can only have two of the three. Perceive deadlines as a motivational aid and not a planning obligation. Primary reason to use a deadline is that human nature is more productive and creative when one has been set. If you are about to miss a deadline, always give an advance notice with a valid reason.
Optimize efforts cleverly!
Pareto Principle says that 20% of the input creates 80% of the value. Simply apply this rule to the projects to find and focus on that critical 20% first, and fill out the remaining 80% if you have time.
Stop apologizing for mistakes!
Well… unless it is to a customer. In the information technology world, almost everybody understands that mistakes can happen. Explain what happened without allocating any blame. People are tired of being apologized to, instead focus on how to allow open discussion and learn for the future.
Never lose your temper!
There is never a good reason for behaving in an inappropriate manner at the customer side. Anger is a natural human response when stuff happens, but control your anger and choose your own reaction. Best solution can be found in an intelligent back-and-forth discussion. Be smart, and always keep calm.
Remove the obstacles for the team!
If you happen to be in a position to lead the practice; maintain the project assignment tools such as service desks, book meetings for the team, help them write an email or prepare a presentation, be there to discuss their insurance problems, and if needed empty their wastebaskets.
Let the team have freedom!
At some level, of course. Let the team find their way of working together. Encourage them to have lunch together, let them arrange their workspaces and desks their way, and provide them the flexibility to adjust their workloads.
Don’t let certifications mislead you!
This may actually be the case if you are about to hire. Some folks are good at certification exams, but cheesy at seeing the big picture. These folks deliver a great implementation of a wrong solution. Certifications should still have their places in the resumes, but the ability to understand the problem is more critical than the proficiency to use any platform.
Bonus tip – Start the day as early as possible!
Getting up early feels easier when doing it as part of a tactic to get more done. One advantage is being able to focus on your agenda for the day before the rest of the family awakens. Another is getting more work done before the noon which puts the afternoons in a more positive perspective. The charge you get from that kind of satisfaction is priceless.