16 Dec Project Management | How to Increase Efficiency of Your Current and Future IT Operations
With COVID-19 and other changes in today’s landscape, there has been an unparalleled shift.
that provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to implement a more evolved IT operational management and service provisioning model.
Optimizing your IT service model not only brings cost reduction and efficiency, but the process also helps identify under-looked areas that can be cut or strategically leveraged elsewhere to gain productivity and speed. With budget constraints, IT teams now have the opportunity to reduce non-strategic IT services and resources that will enable the organization to thrive and just not survive during these challenging times. When reviewing how to optimize your IT operations, it’s best to breakdown your outcomes into steps, as well as understand that processes, methods, metrics and hardware can all take different forms.
Remote workforces and other new operational requirements are key drivers to changes in how IT can provision new services and streamline IT operational models. Wondering where your company should start to begin the process of increasing efficiencies in IT operations? Here are three important considerations to keep in mind:
Reinvent Your IT Operational Model
- Eliminate high cost, legacy IT services: Overall, this will reduce the costs of your operational model. The legacy items will include both IT and customer-facing services that were previously ‘untouchable’ and provide questionable value for the organization and your customers now. By starting with IT in this process, you will be seen as an organizational leader and lend more credibility to your proposals to reduce or eliminate customer-facing programs and services.
- Focus on retention and development of strategic IT assets: In an IT operational model, a focus on these assets and staff resources will help architect and lead the effort in transitioning your current IT functional silos into a more integrated, IT services provisioning model. In addition to this, you must re-evaluate your IT service providers and select those that will champion and support the effort to effectively collaborate with other partners. Lastly, elevate existing resources and find new IT staff assets that will effectively partner with your customers to create an enabling IT services foundation that can be leveraged across organizational units. Architecting and building this common foundation will improve time to market, reduce implementation efforts and reduce ongoing maintenance costs.
- Transparency is key: A critical success factor for optimization is transparency. Create an efficient, clear communications process that utilizes measurable deliverables and metrics for operational performance, project management and alignment with financial objectives. Start with a simple, well thought out core of basic measurements to get started, gain momentum and refine your model as appropriate.
Design The Roadmap
- Engage executive leadership: As we all know, an executive steering committee is essential in establishing and managing IT priorities. This must be an organizational focused, transparent process that includes communications that are actionable, quantified and focused only on items that impact project scope, cost and timeline.
- Ensure visibility: Data and metrics that measure the operational and strategic impact of a proposed IT initiative must be developed upfront. Data must be presented that establishes the baseline and measures progress against the expected outcome. In concept, this metrics-based process will be the same that you built for your IT organization. In this case, the metrics will measure growth, financial performance and quality metrics that are easily understandable across the executive team.
- Implement a project management methodology: Both technical and operational inputs are required to build your project plan. This will enable the necessary alignment with reimagined operational workflow processes and deliverables. An iterative project management process should track project progress and provide early visibility to project deliverables and any required scope changes in this rapidly changing business environment.
- Align your technical and operational deliverables: Project and IT operational resource management need to be managed and tracked as a single integrated process so that operations are not sacrificed for projects. Knowing the time and cost going into the process can ensure better outcomes through strategically gathered datasets.
- Focus on IT program management: Projects should be grouped into programs with related objectives, technical/operational resources and stakeholders. This helps avoid silos and enable the proper timeline, deliverable and resource allocation management to implement these projects in coordination with one another.
With the remote workforce ever-changing, IT operations are at an exciting turning point. There has been an unparalleled shift and opportunity to implement the more evolved IT operational management and service provisioning models to eliminate risks and bring cost reduction and efficiency. With many companies experiencing chaos by not having the right tools or modifications in place for a remote workforce, now is the perfect time to optimize IT operations. Of course, any effort to simplify and streamline your IT operations and project execution model is challenging. It requires one to step back with their teams and colleagues to rethink their existing models and processes, and then engage with clear communications, planning and execution. The most important factor is to get started and learn to be agile from there.