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Anyone who has any project management experience will know that one of the biggest weaknesses in most companies and projects is communication. I.T. departments are frequently at the centre of a company’s operations and are often under pressure with work load.
With companies being very technology based and with everything being produced on computers, the speed at which work can be achieved is phenomenal. A company’s ability to communicate internally and externally can be the difference between success and failure.
Let's take a look at some of the ways communication methods in IT support can and cannot work.
It is strange but communication is often the driving force that causes people to start companies. Companies often need to communicate a new idea or tell about a new product. The heart at the centre of the start- up company is often lost as they become bigger. The relaxed communication styles such as popping round to see the I.T team when something goes wrong is often frowned upon in modern business.
The high pressure of modern business means that most communication is done by email. Sometimes people are so busy they only address people by the initial of their name because it takes too much time to write out their full name and by the same accord sign off with an initial.
The internal communication style is directly reflected to the outside world if you have a cold officious style that is what you customers will see. A relaxed style inside the company is reflected out as well.
Companies should have a standard way of communicating information that is sound business practice. There may be different ways that certain information is conveyed. However all information should be conveyed in line with the heart of the company and this is true of the I.T department.
Our main issue is the fact that we have all become too busy to talk and so we hide behind emails and auto responders. Sure it is nice to know that your issue is being dealt with by the I.T. team via an auto responder or email. If this however is the only means of communication then there is a chance that the human element has been removed from the communication.
Remember what happens in internal communications reflects directly to your customers. Do we really want to say we are a company devoid of the human touch? It seems very unlikely!
Often when things have gone appallingly wrong someone comes up with the idea of sitting down around the table and talking, often as the last resort.
People in difficult situations want to be heard at least in the first instant. I.T may have a valid case that they are busy trying to fix the problem. Would you rather they talk and explain the problem, or get on and fix the problem. Perhaps a balance between the two is the best communication method. Adding the heart back not just to I.T but company wide.
Sitting everybody round the table may be the best place to start when it comes to effective communication methods in IT support. Having a system that works not only with your IT department, but with the whole of the company, will ensure that productivity is at its maximum and employees remain happy.
Tom Andrews is a blogger working with the IT support firm Cheeky Munkey helping them to present methods and ideas regarding cloud services, network security and other topics.