Managing a tech team can be challenging and even more complicated when managing a department if you aren't extremely knowledgeable about tech. In addition, you may have trouble understanding the employees' points of view and their frustrations.
Here are a few tips to help you, whether you have tech employee issues or want to ensure you're running the team to the best of your ability.
1. Build Relationships
Developing solid relationships with your tech team is vital to working smoothly with them. Take time to get to know them, their strengths, and their interests. Showing a genuine interest in them and their work will help to build trust and create a positive work environment.
2. Obtain Details Before Assigning
Most IT people prefer to avoid brainstorming sessions with other departments. They would rather come into the game later because it isn't one of their strengths. Of course, there can always be exceptions, and they want to be asked for their technical input. However, they are much happier when the details are gathered for them. They can't read your mind, nor that of the marketing manager, so have as much information about what is needed as possible when assigning projects.
3. Communicate Clearly
Clear communication is essential when working with a tech team. Be specific about your needs, expectations, and deadlines. Use clear and concise language and avoid technical jargon if possible. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
4. Acquire Access Before Proceeding
Ensure your tech team and other parties can access files, sites, etc., and logins and/or passwords when required. Don't spend time figuring out who needs access to what and why some people can view a file and others can't. It will start the project with aggravated employees on both sides.
5. Provide the Right Tools
Give your tech team the tools and resources to do their job effectively, including hardware, software, and access to training and development opportunities. Providing the right tools will help to increase productivity and job satisfaction.
6. Discuss and Agree on Realistic Timelines
It may be tempting to tell the CEO what he wants to hear when he asks, "When can this be done?" But make sure you truly know the answer before giving it. Whenever possible, discuss timelines with your tech team. You should push them to be realistic as well. If the CEO wants a project done in three months, and your tech team is telling you it will be 12 months, neither of those is probably accurate. Walk your tech team through the steps and let them tell you why; they may realize during the talk that they overestimated. Ask them what they can do to get it done faster. Can you bring in an intern to cover some lower-level items? Can you put off another project or allow your team to work from home without distractions? Work with them, and come to a reasonable and realistic timeline. Once you have that, communicate it with the CEO and other affected parties. Make sure they understand the timeline and why it is as such.
7. Show Appreciation to Your Tech Team
Recognize and appreciate the hard work! A little appreciation goes a long way. Make sure they know you value and respect the work they do.
Looking for more ways to make your tech department run more smoothly? Reach out to our team of tech experts or fill out the form below to learn more.
Phil is Aspirant's Managing Director of the App Development & Integration practice with a focus on providing enterprise-grade solutions. His 30 years of experience have given him the opportunity to work across many markets, industries, and applications. Phil is leading a team of skilled web and mobile developers building strategic solutions for our customers.