Out-task On-Demand & Recurring Work
Take the basic On Demand & recurring work away from your core team. This will remove “bad multi-tasking”. Hand these tasks off to a 3rd party. There is nothing worse than a high valued core member having to stop what they are doing to execute a task like adding a new user. These constant interruptions have a negative impact on their ability to complete work error free never mind completing it by the due date. By taking these kinds of tasks off their plate, you will gain capacity to innovate, increase the quality of the innovation and increase your core team’s quality of life.
Out-task Maintenance Tasks & Pre-Business Checks
Out-task maintenance tasks & pre-business checks. If you don’t have any in place, have one of your vendors implement them and be sure to add pre-business checks for all your core products. If in fact your maintenance tasks are actively being done by your team, the chances are all of the tasks required to keep the products properly maintained are not being done and the ones that are identified are probably not being done consistently. Don’t be fooled, these systems are very complex and require tasks to be done at certain intervals throughout the year with a heavy emphasis of needing to be done during nights and weekends. So having to do these tasks in addition to full time responsibilities opens the systems to failure because tasks will get missed. In addition, if executed internally, any urgent work will supersede the execution of these lower level tasks thereby leaving systems exposed.
Out-task pre-business checks for your core applications. This is a no brainer. There is nothing worse than having users arriving at work to systems that are not available. Talk about lost productivity. And how about you as the IT Director losing credibility with the business because you did not know about it in advance. By implementing these checks with an escalation plan, you gain the opportunity to work on the outage before the users even know there is something wrong. Maybe you won’t be able to resolved it by the start of their day but at least you can proactively notify the business that you discovered it, are actively working to fix it and can provide estimated time the incident will be resolved. This instills confidence.
Out-task Leadership of Planned Outages
Stop having senior members lead maintenance outages in addition to doing their full-time job. It is not necessary. Just because they have been there a long time does not mean they need to be the flight coordinator for outages. We often find because these people are typically taxed with having to get the job done, planning for the actual outage is not really a high priority. It is often done last minute. Communication suffers and tasks get missed. In addition, b/c this is not their primary role, they do not use centralized tool sets. We once saw a team emailing an excel spreadsheet to the team after each time they completed their tasks - a total head shaker.
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