IT’s Biggest Time Wasters (and How to Fix Them)

A generally quoted statistic on worker productiveness is that the common US employee is productive for two hours and 48 minutes every day, and the common UK employee is productive for two hours and 58 minutes day by day.

That’s not a lot “bang for the buck” for corporations, and for these of us in IT, the place the hours are lengthy and the duties demanding, I’d should argue in opposition to that statistic.

Nevertheless, there are historic “sink holes” that IT falls into the place time will get wasted. This ought to concern CIOs, and anybody who works in IT.

Here are 5 frequent areas by which IT loses effectivity and workers time, together with some solutions on the right way to cut back them:

1. Software upkeep

IT departments proceed to spend at the very least 50% of their improvement time on software program upkeep. This is upkeep on outdated programs that proceed to get patched in order that they keep operating, however it can be newer programs that haven’t been totally debugged and examined earlier than they’re deployed.


Look on the IT Help Desk log. Which functions are breaking most frequently and why? Is there a technique to completely restore them, or is it higher to do a “rip and exchange?” Second, how sturdy is your QA course of? Do new functions are inclined to get thrown over the wall into QA after which forgotten by the developer? And in the event that they should be mounted in manufacturing, do the upkeep programmers have the entire documentation on these applications wanted to make the repair? A evaluate (and revision) of app improvement, QA, deployment, and upkeep procedures is likely to be so as.

2. Poor collaboration between finish customers and IT

A consumer needed a system that might rapidly calculate ration formulation for a herd of cattle — however he by no means dreamed he must drill down by 4 layers of menus to enter herd parameters. The algorithms performing the calculations have been flawless — however the general app was not consumer pleasant. Consequently, the complete software needed to be redone, and it took six months as a substitute of six weeks to implement it.


Use software prototyping that reveals the appear and feel of an software in addition to its performance –and actively interact your customers from the beginning of software improvement by deployment so there aren’t any surprises.

3. Unproductive Meetings

Atlassian, a software program improvement firm, reported that a mean of 62 conferences have been attended by most workers on a month-to-month foundation and that half of this assembly time was deemed by workers to be wasted.


Organize conferences rigorously and problem an agenda prior to every assembly so members come ready to debate the agenda speaking factors and to make selections. If you get into a gathering the place a subset of the members enters into an prolonged debate with everybody else sitting on the sidelines, desk that dialogue for later evaluate exterior of the assembly and proceed with different assembly agenda objects. If the assembly itself devolves into an unproductive session, instantly finish it.

4. Burnout and absenteeism

In October 2020, 70% of Silicon valley’s work-at-home workforce stated they have been experiencing burnout. What shocked me wasn’t the proportion of know-how staff who stated they have been getting burned out — however what number of got here ahead.

IT is a 24/7 self-discipline If a venture deadline should be met, or if one thing goes improper in manufacturing, workers members work 80-hour weeks. This “iron particular person” mentality is deeply rooted within the IT career and is a supply {of professional} satisfaction — however it exacts a toll within the type of worker absenteeism and well being points when the stress piles on, and it contributes to mood flares and workers morale points.


CIOs and IT venture managers ought to spend extra time “managing by strolling round.” Observe workforce and worker behaviors, search for extreme absenteeism or tip-offs like when a star worker begins lacking key deadlines or loses motivation. Then, sit down with the worker. If she or he wants a while off, organize for it. If counseling is required, organize for that, too. Be supportive of the worker, and supportive of his or her work group, which can even have been impacted by the worker’s burnout conduct.

5. Interruptions and useful resource bottlenecks

Every IT group has a handful of workers who do the heavy lifting in the case of establishing programs and networks, designing and sustaining databases, writing sophisticated functions, and so forth.

Your workers members know who these individuals are, so once they need assistance or help with their work, they go to those folks. Unfortunately, each particular person solely has a specific amount of bandwidth by which she or he can deal with issues and points. If extra calls for are available than they’ll deal with, they turn out to be useful resource bottlenecks that may impression venture work. Also, when these key useful resource folks get overloaded with steady interruptions, it takes them away from their crucial work.


Look for alternatives to automate a number of the workers help processes. One alternative is to automate the deployment of check areas for functions, as there are nonetheless many IT organizations that procedurally require software builders to take a seat with the DBA or a system programmer when an app wants a check space. An various is to make use of software program instruments that may auto-deploy these check area programs with the enter of some key parameters that the developer is more likely to know.

Second, develop some bench energy behind your workers consultants. Initially, you could possibly rent a consultant-expert to deal with a number of the help load, however over time you will have a extra junior particular person to be taught the abilities and take over a number of the day by day workers help load.

Finally organize some “alone time” on your key contributors and on your common workers. If there’s a time (say two hours per day) the place an individual is assured uninterrupted work time, she or he might be extra productive.

Related Content:

The Pandemic Has Changed How IT Teams Collaborate, Permanently

Why Work-From-Home IT Teams May Be at a Greater Risk for Burnout

Don’t Lose IT Employees During the Great Resignation

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