NVTC is inviting members and industry leaders to serve as guest bloggers, sharing insights and information on trends or business issues relevant to other members. In his latest post on the NVTC blog, Marc Berman of member company Vector Technical Resources provides tips on how strategic staffing decisions can lead to greater project success.
In our post-recession economy, doing more with less has become the norm for organizations of all sizes, across all industries. Nowhere is this struggle felt more than among IT departments. As companies become more dependent on technology, IT staff must balance an increasing workload among a host of budgetary constraints.
Understaffing is one of the biggest problems facing IT departments across the country, and it’s a problem that often finds managers stuck in a vicious cycle. When there is not enough staff on hand to complete a project on time, overtime is often mandated. That means an increase in stress, workload, and in payroll budget. Staff morale and productivity can suffer when they find themselves forced to take on too much work.
Even Out the Workload
Most companies have ebbs and flows when it comes to productivity and workloads. During some months, staff may be slammed with work. Other months, you may find your team sneaking a game of Candy Crush to pass the time. By taking on temporary, contract workers during the busy times, work can be spread out among IT staff. This reduces overtime pay, and eliminates the problems that come from overworking a team. When the busy time ends, the contractors move on and you’re left with your core staff. Often, you can develop relationships with contractors so that they will want to come back during the next busy cycle. Working with repeat contractors means you spend less time training and onboarding your temporary team members, saving your department even more time and money in the long run.
Work With Subject Matter Experts
Many times projects require workers who have a highly specialized skill set. Rather than forking over money to pay a specialist full time (typically far more than you’d pay a full time generalist), utilize experts who will work on a temporary, contract basis. Specialists often like this type of arrangement because they can always be working in their area of expertise. Organizations benefit from their skills, but when the project is complete, the contract relationship ends.
Avoid Bad Hires
Making a bad hire can be extremely costly. If you make the wrong choice and have to start all over again, not only does it cut into the budget, but it also cuts into the overall productivity of the IT team. Choose wisely when adding a new member to your IT team.