If it feels like you’ve never had more IT deployment projects to juggle than you have right now, you’re not alone. The industry has rebounded aggressively after COVID-related shutdowns and slowdowns; not only are you supposed to catch up on the projects that went on hold during COVID, there are the projects that were already scheduled for right now to worry about—not to mention additional IT needs brought on by the pandemic’s effect on consumer behavior and attitudes.
Given the moment we’re in, service delivery professionals are looking for any gains in efficiency or strategies for prioritization they can find. Here are five adjustments you can make right now.
1. Don’t Swat Flies; Engage in Strategic Planning Instead
One of the biggest pitfalls to efficient IT deployment is what we call swatting flies: this is when service delivery professionals or project managers just swing for whatever’s closest, loudest, or most annoying. It’s a high-stress way to live, and it’s rarely the most efficient way to get work done.
The best way to prioritize is to do something else first: strategic planning. This is the art of gathering necessary information and laying out a medium-term and long-term master plan. Strategic planning looks at the big-picture goals of a company and works backward from those goals, identifying the steps and resources needed to get to those goals.
Once you have a basic strategic plan in place, you’re in a much better position to make informed decisions on IT deployment prioritization and realize associated efficiency gains.
2. Know What Problem You’re Solving for the Customer
The previous tip was at the 30,000-foot level, but now it’s time to zoom in quite a bit.
At the individual deployment level, service delivery companies can lose quite a bit of efficiency when field services technicians don’t have a clear understanding of what problem they’re solving for a customer.
Sure, the deployment tech always rolls out with instructions in some form: install device X at location Y. And sometimes that’s enough.
But when something goes wrong, those minimal instructions aren’t going to cut it. Your techs (and the project management and office staff that support them) need to know more if they’re going to problem-solve. Specifically, they need to know exactly what problem they’re solving for the customer.
In the world of IT deployment, sometimes the root problem is obvious. But it isn’t always. And making poor assumptions about that root problem can lead to a lot of wasted time and effort, not to mention client frustration.
All of this can be bypassed if you know what problem you’re solving for the customer (and you communicate that message to everyone in the service delivery chain).
3. Identify Priority Clients
It doesn’t sound great to talk about priority clients, and of course, this isn’t the sort of thing that clients need to know. But if you’re in a situation where you have to prioritize, it’s worth knowing who the high-value clients are.
Ideally, you’ll implement other solutions to increase efficiency so that you don’t have to choose who to please. But if you’re ever in the uncomfortable position of having to prioritize one client over another, you want to make sure the person making that decision knows who to prioritize.
4. Better Allocate Resources for Greater Efficiency
IT deployment isn’t an exact science. Things can and do go wrong during deployments, and the best estimates for resource allocation aren’t always going to hold up in the real world.
Still, there’s plenty of progress to be made here. Not unlike the road construction crew where seven people in work boots are standing around while one poor soul digs a hole, some IT deployments over-allocate personnel. Not only does this run up costs, it lowers your overall operational efficiency. If you could’ve gotten the job done with half the personnel, then you could’ve done two jobs in the time that team did one.
The other end of the spectrum is equally problematic: habitually sending too few resources to complete installs will lead to schedule overruns and frustrated customers.
So, what’s the solution? Obviously, service delivery organizations don’t want or intend to over- or under-allocate. They just don’t have the data they need to make better decisions
One solution is better field services management software. These solutions will give you better data and feedback so you can better allocate your resources for greater efficiency, allowing you to do more with your existing teams.
5. Get the Job Done on the First Trip
Multiple trips can also get in the way of efficient IT deployment completions. Again, sometimes multiple trips are unavoidable. But when an on-site technician makes avoidable additional trips to a site, that’s measurable time that could have been allocated elsewhere.
With the right field services management software tools, you can take complete inventory of an install before ever rolling trucks. These tools make it easy to see what you need, empowering your techs to make sure every last part and piece is loaded on the truck before the truck rolls out.
If you’re ready to implement an FSM platform and are looking for assistance, contact us. Kinettix has years of experience helping service delivery professionals not only source qualified local technicians but also leverage their field service management platforms to their fullest potential.