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Teamwork can be referred to as collaborative efforts of independent individuals aiming at achieving some common goals (McInnes et al. 2015). It is applicable in many areas such as industrial organization and project development. Besides, it consists of different stages such as forming and performing. Moreover, it has many benefits such as the development of individual qualities (Ku, Tseng and Akarasriworn 2013). On the other hand, effective communication involves the process of sending and receiving messages successfully, therefore; information is understood clearly by both parties involved. It’s important as it improves relationship between management and employees (Austin and Pinkleton 2015). Many organizations have IT department alongside others such as finance, production and marketing. Configuration and maintenance are some of the roles associated with IT department. However, IT has some challenges such as data security (Winley 2015). The aim of this paper is to discuss concepts related to teamwork, effective communication, benefit of having IT department and challenges involving IT.
A team is a group of people working together to complete a specific task. Therefore, teamwork can be defined as collaborative efforts of independent individuals aiming at achieving a common goal (Endersby, Phelps and Jenkins 2017, p. 75). Teamwork is vital as it can enable any organization to achieve its objectives, thus contributing vastly towards overall success. Apart from enabling management to achieve its objectives, it is also vital in ICT project management, hence implementing Information Technology (IT) technologies successfully (Endersby, Phelps and Jenkins 2017). There are some characteristics that can be used to identify effective teamwork, for example:
1. Clear direction - For instance, a team must state its goals in advance prior to starting other activities. Each member of a team must understand listed goals, thus enhancing performance as all members will be working towards achieving a common goal.
2. Honest communication - Communication can be defined as the process of exchanging ideas between people. It is very essential in teamwork as it can enhance understanding between members. Open communication reduces conflicts, therefore; members of a team can be allowed to give out their suggestions freely without unnecessary restrictions.
3. Defined roles - Responsibilities and duties of each team member must be stated explicitly. This reduces conflicts as well as enhancing commitment, thus enabling a team to achieve its goals.
4. Mutually accountable- For instance, team members must accept responsibility incase of any problem rather than blaming others, which can result in poor working relationships, therefore; reducing performance.
5. Common goal-. Team members must work towards achieving some specific goals regardless of their individual interests. Therefore; members should understand team objectives even though they are assigned different duties and responsibilities (Endersby, Phelps and Jenkins 2017).
Advantages and Disadvantages of Teamwork
The following are benefits of teamwork; building trust and fostering creativity. Besides, teamwork also results in better decision making. Therefore, problems encountered can be solved easily. Moreover, teamwork increases sense of ownership of a product as it is owned by members of a team rather than a specific individual (Endersby, Phelps and Jenkins 2017). Other benefits include; sharing information and reduced time for completing tasks. However, there are several disadvantages that are associated with teamwork, for example; team incompatibility, increased time for making decisions, blaming-game resulting in conflicts, difficult for leaders to determine strengths and weaknesses of team members and communication breakdowns thus reducing trust (Endersby, Phelps and Jenkins 2017).
Communication can be defined as a process of exchanging information between people through a medium (Yildiz 2017). Effective communication involves the process of sending and receiving messages successfully, therefore; information is understood clearly by both parties involved. Effective communication is essential in any company as it plays vital roles in reducing conflicts between employees (Yildiz 2017). Currently, several media are used to facilitate communication, for example, online platforms such as Facebook and twitter. Apart from online platforms, communication is also facilitated through physical means such face-to-face. However, online platforms are commonly used in many organizations to reduce travelling costs. Apart from travelling costs, culturally diverse teams have also encouraged the use of online platforms. The following are some of the skills that are required for effective communication:
1. Listening skills - Listening involves paying attention to the other people while communicating aiming at understanding their messages clearly. It is one of the important skills for effective communication as it enhances appropriate responses to the questions asked by other employees. Thus, enhancing smooth running of business operations (Kalidindi 2018).
2. Respect - For instance, respecting other people is also vial in facilitating effective communication. It is not only expressed in face-to-face communication, but also in virtual communication through the type of information that is sent to the recipient. Therefore, employees of a company should interrupt each other politely while communicating especially in video conferencing as well as phone calls (Kalidindi 2018).
3. Open-mindedness- This enables a person to express his/her ideas freely. Similarly, a person can also understand other people’s ideas without bias. Therefore, leading to some productive conversations (Kalidindi 2018).
4. Non-verbal communication- This includes; eye contact and facial expressions. It enables other people to understand a message that has been conveyed clearly. Also, it encourages other parties to express their ideas openly, therefore; building trust. However, it can impact negatively on communication, for instance, staring on the other person reduces comfort, therefore; unable to express their message clearly (Kalidindi 2018).
Recent Tools for Effective Communication
Like any other fields, communication has undergone several changes. Therefore, new technologies have been implemented for facilitating effective communications, for example, social media sites (Khanna 2017). For instance, sites such as Facebook and YouTube facilitate communications between management and customers. Apart from social media, new technologies in collaboration such as video conferencing are also important in online communications. However, there is a challenge of choosing the best communication tool among several alternatives even though companies are advised to make decisions depending on their needs (Khanna 2017).
Benefit of Having IT Department
A department can be defined as a subdivision of a company or an organization. IT department deals specifically with IT solutions. Currently, there is a transformation of entire business processes ranging from manufacturing to marketing. For instance, data storage has undergone great changes (Luftman, Lyytinen and Zvi 2017). For example, data is stored in cloud rather than books and disks. The need for easy accessibility to data is one of the reasons that facilitated this change. Apart from data storage, globalization has also impacted positively on adoption of IT technologies. For instance, IT technologies are used to facilitate communications between virtual teams (Hashem et al. 2015). Therefore, IT department has many benefits since most companies have incorporated IT technologies. The following are some of its benefits:
1. Management of data and information- There are different data within a company, for example, employees and financial. Data is very important in any company, therefore; proper management is not an option. IT department manages data properly by implementing IT solutions such as ERP systems that manages all types of information (Wagner, Beimborn and Weitzel 2014).
2. Big data analysis- Currently, most companies deal with big data. Therefore, IT personnel has a responsibility of analyzing data aiming at determining some trends. This can be achieved through data mining, which involves extraction of useful information from unstructured data. Thus, helping management to predict some business changes as well as making better decisions (Hashem et al. 2015).
3. Maintenance of IT infrastructure- IT infrastructure includes both hardware and software. Hardware are vulnerable to malfunctions, therefore; replacing of defective parts can be done by computer engineers within IT department. Apart from hardware maintenance, IT department is also plays vital roles in implementing security features in computers and networks. Security is the most important factor that is considered by companies before deploying IT solutions. Therefore, software and systems need to be updated regularly (Peltier 2016).
4. Advising management onlatestIT technologies - IT field is dynamic in nature, therefore; likely to undergo changes as new technologies are invented and implemented from time to time. Therefore, IT department plays some vital roles in conducting research methodology on recent technologies. Thus, deployment of recent technologies enables a company to have a competitive advantage, hence competing effectively with its competitors (Hashem et al. 2015).
Challenges Involving IT
Apart from benefits, there are also challenges involving IT, for example:
1. Difficulty in protecting IT solutions against attacks - Security is the major problem encountered by IT professionals. There are some factors that have contributed greatly to security problems. For example, development of sophisticated systems has impacted negatively on security. Therefore, increasing cases of data breaches. Apart from sophisticated systems, availability of hacking tools has also jeopardized security of IT solutions. Hence, increasing vulnerabilities in IT systems (Chang 2016).
2. Rapid changes in IT technologies - For instance, this is a great challenge especially to system developers as they need to predict upcoming changes. There are many advancements in IT, for example, cloud storage, Bring Your Own Device, emerging of big data and Internet of Things (IoT). Rapid changes not only affect developers and programmer, but also management of companies as it’s difficult to choose best IT solutions to incorporate into their activities (Galliers and Leidner 2014).
3. Increased costs - Successful implementation and running of IT solutions rely on resources that are available. These resources include IT infrastructure. Therefore, these resources can be costly, hence resulting in financial constraints. Apart from high cost of infrastructure, salaries for IT personnel is also very high, therefore; increasing costs. Moreover, maintaining IT infrastructure is very expensive (Galliers and Leidner 2014).
4. Intangible nature of IT solutions - Hence, it is difficult for companies to evaluate effectiveness of IT solutions. Other than effectiveness, it’s also difficult for product development team to measure progress when designing IT solutions (Galliers and Leidner 2014).
To conclude, this paper has discussed concepts related to teamwork, effective communication, IT department and challenges involving IT. Teamwork and effective communication are vital in any company as evidenced throughout the paper. For instance, the following are some of the importance of team work; solving problems, better decision making, building trust, enhancing unity and improved productivity. On the other hand, the following are some of the roles played by effective communication; improving working relationships and enhancing mutual understanding. Moreover, IT department is vital in any organization. For instance, the following are some of its benefits; advising management on latest IT technologies and management of data and information. Apart from benefits, there are also challenges involving IT, for example, increased costs and intangible nature of IT solutions.
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