13 Bad Practices That Create IT Bottlenecks

Source:-forbes.com

Bottlenecks in any department of a company area are frustrating, but bottlenecks in IT can bring the entire staff to a standstill. Sometimes, issues stem from practices that are ingrained within the IT department’s system or culture. It’s important to find the root cause of delays and correct it.

To help leaders deal with potential IT bottlenecks, 13 members of Forbes Technology Council share some of the bad practices IT teams often engage in that can lead to preventable bottlenecks within the system.

1. Lack Of Communication From Company Leadership

Business line owners often fail to communicate their long-term strategies deep enough into the IT organization. Development teams are unable to prepare for the future and often architect brittle solutions because they are unable to anticipate future requirements. – Steve Hassett, GT Software

2. Starting Quality Assurance Too Late

Continuous integration and continuous delivery are so potent that they lead to the idea of continuous testing. The participation of QA specialists in the early stages of the project helps eliminate a major quality assurance bottleneck prior to release. – Alexey Makarov, Qulix Systems

3. No Plan For Managing Work Peaks

The nature of IT work is dynamic. Workloads have peaks and valleys. Many organizations manage the valleys with no plan for how to address the peaks. What happens when workloads burst? What if several key projects from different business units all converge at once? Such scenarios are where third-party partners come in. They can help with peaks while your IT team focuses on the valleys. – Jeffrey Ton, InterVision

4. Insufficient Automation

Wrong tools, a software as a service stack that is not complete and a lack of the right product integrations will result in manual work. A lot can be automated these days with the right tools, such as employee onboarding and offboarding, preparing for compliance audits, or checking application licenses. Manually clicking buttons is having smart people working on tasks that can be accomplished by machines. – Uri Nativ, Torii

5. Unclear Lines Of Responsibility

Everyone involved in a process needs to know how they fit in and what they are responsible for delivering. Without clear roles and expectations, confusion arises. This can be particularly important when you have similar functions that are within multiple teams, such as business analysis and technical analysis. Ensuring everyone understands their outputs is critical. – Stephanie Roberts, Archer Daniels Midland

6. Waiting For Approvals To Move Forward

Nothing makes work slow to a crawl like waiting on members from other teams to unblock us so we can proceed with our own tasks. Whether these members are trying to do their own part or you need their approval to continue work, this process usually results in countless hours of wasted time. Always ask yourself if there are parts of the project you can do that aren’t dependent on third parties. – Marc Fischer, Dogtown Media LLC

7. Patching At Peak Times

One of the biggest issues that I have dealt with both personally and with companies is patching systems at the wrong time. I made the mistake of patching a Cisco server at midday on a Wednesday, and I brought the entire network down. It was down for hours and created a standstill for the entire organization. I was so anxious to move forward that I failed. Always plan and plot these patches for weekends. – Christopher Carter, Approyo

8. Reliance On Data Integration

Data integration projects are one of the biggest sources of IT bottlenecks—they can easily eat up most of a team’s annual budget as well. Further, they only ever provide temporary solutions—as soon as new technology is introduced, another integration project is needed. More modern solutions, like data fabrics, reduce the need for data integration projects or eliminate them completely. – Dan Demers, Cinchy

9. Bypassing The Chief Information Security Officer And IT Team

One of the worst practices for security is bypassing your CISO and IT team and, without their knowledge, bringing on new vendors to avoid a perceived “bottleneck.” While it might take a minute to engage your CISO and confirm that the vendor does not create an unnecessary business risk, it’s a critical step to ensuring your company’s network and data remain secure. – Fred Kneip, CyberGRX

10. Being Reactive Versus Proactive

A bad practice I see IT teams make is being reactive versus proactive. The different units in the company utilize different tools to conduct their processes. This makes it hard to communicate with one another. To allow smooth production, IT needs to holistically plan a strategy to facilitate constructive communication between various teams rather than play “clean up” when issues arise. – Ashwini Choudhary, Recogni

11. Poor Management Of Test Environments

There’s a huge focus on and a big benefit to automated testing. But the majority of those surveyed by EMA for its DevOps 2021 report indicated that they do not have stable, well-managed test environments. Not only does this negatively impact test results, but it also creates huge delays in the IT development process. – Bob Davis, Plutora

12. Overlooking Workflow

Far too often, the workflow is overlooked in an organization. Following the flow of information from the beginning to the end leads to understanding where complexities are hiding and where bottlenecks in process and access live. IT folks either create bottlenecks in this workflow because of ignorance or reduce bottlenecks because they focus on workflow and how to simplify it for each business unit. – Tom Roberto, Core Technology Solutions

13. Seeking Universal Buy-In

Overly vertically structured organizations often encounter bottlenecks when decisions require sign-off from too many people who are hard to pin down (in terms of both time/location and opinion). It’s better to empower a smaller number of reliable people to make certain time-sensitive decisions than to watch productivity grind to a halt because you can’t find a meeting time that works for everyone. – Ron Cogburn, Exela Technologies

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