7 ways to optimize IT team productivity during difficult times

Even in today's challenging environment, inspiring staff members to function effectively isn't as hard as many IT leaders believe. The secret lies in smart, adaptable management.

Optimizing IT team productivity is always a challenge, yet in today's extraordinary business environment ensuring that IT is meeting or exceeding defined goals is a very tall order indeed.

These are the times that test an IT leader's mettle. On the bright side, anyone who can expertly steer their department through today's troubled waters will emerge from the current crisis with a solid reputation for achieving success under extreme duress.

Here are 7 ways to optimize IT team productivity, even when it seems like the whole world is falling apart.

1. Be open and available

Now is not the time to hide behind a closed office door. "The softer side of leadership has a bigger influence on productivity than anything else right now," observes Jay Upchurch, CIO of analytics software firm SAS. Upchurch advises communicating with team members early and frequently, being empathetic, and taking time daily to express appreciation for hard work. "If we dedicate ourselves to that model, our IT productivity should remain high throughout this difficult time," he states.

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