5 Ways to Improve Your IT Department's Productivity

Daniel Groves
August 28, 2023
min read
September 19, 2023
Photo credit
Here are the four key areas to focus on when implementing change in your IT department to improve productivity.
Create Step-by-Step Guides in Seconds


Like every IT leader, you want to run a highly efficient department with a standard of performance you can be proud of.

Unfortunately, though, IT teams face several multifacted responsibilities that can keep you running from one spot-check to another, with little time to optimize processes for productivity management.

But increased productivity and streamlined processes not only increase team morale — they can turn your team into a rapid engine.

In this guide, we'll cover four key areas to focus on and understand when you’re working to improve an IT department’s productivity.

Productivity management: measure effectively, but don’t micromanage

Though most IT departments set key performance indicators (KPIs), they tend to focus on just IT work.

But IT teams don't work in a siloh. For effective IT team productivity management, set KPIs that fall within the remit of IT professionals but also serve the wider needs of the business. 

Instead of looking exclusively at system uptime, for example, IT managers should be trying to contextualize this variable within targets that affect the whole business, for example how IT support has helped other employees stay productive and hit demanding quotas. 

Often, reframing KPIs and making sure your staff can see the wider impact of their work is all you need to keep IT workers well-motivated and using their time efficiently.

After reviewing KPIs, it can be tempting for a lot of IT managers to hover over their staff and grab at the reins as soon as the smallest thing goes wrong. Make sure you’re able to strike a balance between giving support and keeping a close eye on performance, and giving your team room to work with confidence and independence. 

Research by the Harvard Business Review showed that while “pervasive helping in an organization correlates with better performance," people will still “have strong negative emotional and physiological reactions to unnecessary or unwanted help."

Move your team towards a proactive mindset

Some of the biggest time-drains in IT are caused by avoidable issues that because the IT team is being reactive, rather than proactive.

While reactive IT support is characterized by tackling problems as and when they arise, proactive IT work takes a more pre-emptive approach to squash (or at least mitigate) IT problems before they get any worse.

Obviously, there are going to be times when resource-intensive issues slip through your diagnostic nets and force your team to spring into action. 

However, if you find yourself dealing with IT issues that you should have seen coming, training your team to be more proactive about IT support can be a great way to improve resource allocation and overall productivity. 

In the words of managed IT services provider Counterpoint, proactive IT management “helps organizations save money, improve their overall IT security, and make data-driven decisions about their technology investments."

It can be hard to break old habits if your department is already permeated by a culture of reactive IT support. In the long run, however, ingraining a more proactive approach to your work will relieve the strain on your team, and free up time for a more productive IT department.

Audit for processes that could be automated

IT departments, more than other branches of a typical organization, tend to be better at embracing automation when the opportunity arises. Having said that, without a proactive attitude to automation and an eye for emerging opportunities, many IT departments will operate with a cap on their productivity.

Auditing processes for automation opportunities can sink to the bottom of the pile among all the department’s other responsibilities, but if you’re able to make time for it, the return in terms of productivity can be huge.

Automation is a huge topic right now, so make sure you’re leaving no stone unturned when you’re looking for manual, time-consuming tasks that could be automated.

IT departments can use Scribe to instantly turn any process into a step-by-step guide. 

Whether you’re looking to Scribe can help your IT department:
  • Create step-by-step training materials.
  • Quickly troubleshoot problems for the department.
  • Easily adopt a tool that employees can use to help streamline their workflow.

From routine jobs like software deployment and license management to less common processes like employee onboarding, automation can revolutionize productivity management for your team.

Onboarding new hires, building training docs, and creating and updating SOPs can be a major drain on your IT team’s bandwidth. Check out this overview to find out how Scribe can help you automate these processes and unlock a new level of productivity.

Keep an eye out for employee burnout

Seeing as you’re reading this, you and your team may be regularly running into difficulties when trying to satisfy the demands of your wider organization. In this kind of set-up, it can be encouraging for IT managers to see members of their team consistently putting out hard work.

However, when hard work morphs into excessive work, your team can quickly become burnt-out, leading to frustration, avoidable mistakes and an overall decline in your productivity.

As with anything else you do as an IT leader, it’s important to have a proactive, rather than a reactive approach to employee burnout. For starters, most managers could benefit by taking a look at how their department’s workload is currently being distributed among individuals and making sure that each staff member is given easier weeks to take the edge off.

In every team, it’s natural for certain people to actively take on more than their share of work, and instilling this kind of balance can be a bit of a culture shock for the department. However, if you’re transparent about why you’re making these changes, introduce them gradually, and try to accommodate old habits within the new delegation structure, you’ll have no problem bringing your staff into a happier, more productive way of working.

Start thinking about your productivity management

Effective productivity management can be a challenge for any IT department, but taking a proactive approach to measuring what’s important, keeping your team well-equipped, and avoiding overworking your staff, can work miracles for efficiency.

As you work to optimize processes that are exclusive to your department and fine-tune your team’s performance, we hope this post has given you a great headstart in improving your IT department's productivity.

Ready to try Scribe?

Scribe automatically generates how-to guides and serves them to your team when they need them most. Save time, stay focused, help others.