How to Improve Your Team’s Technology Quotient

How to Improve Your Team's Technology QuotientTable of content

The COVID-19 pandemic tested all industries and sectors to their limits. But these industries reported varied impact and response. Businesses that were obstinate and unyielding collapsed while organizations that were more flexible survived and even thrived. One of the differences between the two groups is that companies that adapted new strategies using technology fared better. Experts would describe these companies as having a high technology quotient (TQ).

What is technology quotient (TQ)?

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Intelligence quotient (IQ) describes the score or measure an individual gets after taking tests that assess human intelligence. Proponents of IQ state that persons with higher IQ scores exhibit high intelligence with the potential to perform tasks better than others. Similarly, experts define technology quotient (TQ) as the capability of an individual, team, or organization to use technology to make a difference. A higher TQ represents a higher ability to adapt and integrate technology than what others consider as normal or average. Teams with high TQ can develop and employ strategies successfully using technology because they have the right attitude, capabilities, and decision-making strategies.

Why is high TQ important for today’s business environment?

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Before 2020, businesses were actively adopting technology to take advantage of new digital opportunities while doing their best not to become obsolete. The 2020 pandemic kicked businesses into overdrive, and experts predict recovery pace will continue to be frantic. Industry reports showed how a team’s high technology quotient made a difference:

  • Employees working in information and telecommunication companies that were able to work remotely retained their employment compared to employees in education and manufacturing companies where working remotely was not as easy as an option.
  • Companies that were quicker to move their business process and workforce online responded more successfully to lock-downs and restrictions with fewer work interruptions.
  • Industries with higher digital channel adoption, use case, or customer management, such as retail and entertainment performed better in 2020 than those with lower to none, such as travel and insurance.

Read also: Top 5 Threats to Team Productivity and How to Avoid Them

Why will high TQ be important in the future business environment?

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Businesses will continue with their digital transformation, remote working, and technology adoption. As companies initiate highly technical projects, teams will face challenges not only requiring solid technology knowledge and skills, but also requiring agility and flexibility in their attitude and culture. Technology quotient within a team will help address the sources of these challenges that can include:

  • Cyber threats – Teams need to secure their information assets and structures. Attacks are increasing in volume, severity, and scope.
  • Cloud computing environment – Cloud application or services usage is significantly higher, and teams have to address scalability, accessibility, and cost issues as well as privacy concerns.
  • Legacy systems – Existing systems that are aging and hinder businesses to adapt faster need innovative solutions. Teams need to look at upgrading the system at the soonest time and at the lowest cost. They should explore integration as a simple but enduring solution.
  • Inefficient processes – Teams have to investigate how modern automation, robots, AI, and machine learning can improve manual and other inefficient methods and processes.

Read also: 10 Ways Technology Has Changed Project Management

What is project management technology quotient (PMTQ)?

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As a leading association in project management, the Project Management Institute (PMI) forwarded the idea of project management technology quotient (PMTQ) as a variation of TQ. For the PMI, it is the ability to adapt, manage, and integrate technology based on the needs of the organization or the project at hand. In short, a PMTQ is the ability of a team to manage a project and have a high TQ. So, project managers need to understand the technology their project will implement as well as lead the tech-savvy team members properly.

Read also: 10 Project Management Tips Every Technology Company Should Follow

How can project managers improve TQ for teams?

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The PMI lists three characteristics of a team with a high PMTQ:

  • Always-on curiosity – The team possess a willingness to experiment, to test new approaches, and assess outcomes critically.
  • All-inclusive leadership – The project manager should have the ability to manage a diverse team in terms of age, skills, culture, and how they interact with technology.
  • A future-proof talent pool – The project leader should take advantage of all opportunities to help the team develop their current skills and acquire new ones useful in the future.

One way to improve the team’s technology quotient is to assess the skills and methods a project team has and will need in future projects. Find the gap between the team’s current skills and what they need. Look for specific trainings or design your own. Justify the need for training by comparing and contrasting it to the disruption, project failure, and other lost opportunities if training will not happen. And make this training process an integral part of the organization’s project and operation process to make sure the team’s technology quotient continuously develops.

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Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.