The Indusa Blog

Three Tips for CIOs to Manage Communication More Effectively

Posted by Indusa Admin on April 1, 2015 12:57 pm

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When you were appointed to the position of CIO or IT Director, I’m sure you’d never imagined that you’d be stopped in the halls and asked about Level 1 break-fix issues.  However, out of my 25 years in business, I hear the same complaint from CIOs over and over again – “I’m managing a department and I still keep getting harassed in the halls about small break fix issues by my peers.”  Through Indusa’s various projects and interactions with leading CIOs, here are helpful hints that we’ve discovered to help get those issues out of your hair and manage more effectively through communication and your staff.

1. FAQs

Create a FAQs microsite or page that can empower your users to address small issues. Have your tech team compile a list of 3-4 common steps that your user community can do on their own to try to resolve the issue before they call your help desk. This is a more efficient way to address Level 1 and Level 2 issues, and saves your tech team the time of going out to just reboot a computer or a printer, so they are just called out for more complicated issues, where their expertise is needed.

2. Everybody Wants To Be A VIP

Let’s face it, sometimes senior staff approaches you because they feel you’ll address their Level 1 issue more quickly than calling the help desk, and honestly, they don’t want to call the help desk – they want VIP service, even if they have to get it from you. When a firm is working on an account, there is always an account manager who checks on the status and makes sure everything is running smoothly with a client. Similarly, to address the VIP syndrome, appoint a senior management point person from your staff – someone who is highly organized and with personality to boot. Have them proactively check in with the C-suite and senior managers to make sure they are happy and taken care of. They should also be the senior staff communication point person in case of emergencies, like an outage. This will go a long way to allow you to focus on management concerns, implementations, and running your department with minimal interruptions on smaller scale issues.

3. What’s Your Plan?

I’m sure you have plans for when things go wrong, maybe even an SLA . Make sure you have a well thought-out departmental communication plan, too. The technical team is far too engrossed in fixing the problem to think of all the communication concerns during this time. You should have downtime communication workflows for organization and department impacting technologies. Then drill that down even further within the IT department, specifying your point person, their backup, channels, and frequency of communication. This person shouldn’t be you, but someone who can monitor status, transform the language into non-technical jargon, and update as necessary or according to the agreed upon times.

These are three simple steps to implement to start managing communication to your end users more effectively. 

Do you have any processes or steps that you implemented that helped you manage communication in your organization more effectively, so you wouldn’t be harassed about break-fix issues?