IT issues can be a major drain on small and medium businesses. Service requests, asset management, and other technology needs can make it difficult to stay on task and accomplish more important goals. Below are five hacks that will help IT departments streamline processes so they can focus on projects that really matter to the bottom line.

Hack 1: Standardize Service Requests

The IT department often spends a lot of time addressing service requests. And if the requests are not standardized or streamlined, they can inundate the IT team or even fall through the cracks.

Use an online IT service request form to create a standard workflow for service requests. This type of form lets other departments in your organization quickly submit requests, and it helps your IT team gather pertinent details so they can easily prioritize and address the most pressing issues.

Hack 2: Use Templates Whenever Possible

Why waste time writing the same information again and again? Create templates for commonly used forms and documents. That way, you can make minor updates when necessary instead of starting from scratch every time.

For example, most IT departments deal with countless help tickets. Instead of starting from a blank page with every incident, build templated responses to the most common issues. Templates will streamline your approach to help tickets and give your team a head start on every maintenance request.

Hack 3: Eliminate Unnecessary Meetings

No one likes to waste time in a meeting that could have been avoided—and doing this too often can seriously hinder productivity. Luckily, keeping meetings to a minimum is actually easier than you might think. You just need to adopt some intuitive information-gathering tools. Internal communication platforms such as HipChat or a form builder can be a great way to share information and make sure everyone is on the same page.

For instance, you can use a project proposal form to gather details on proposed projects before ever sitting down for a meeting. You can also equip forms with an approval workflow tool that notifies appropriate managers—via a standard and consistent email—when their approval is needed. These tools will help your team streamline priorities and cut down on time-consuming meetings.

Hack 4: Implement a Project Management Tool

Using a task-management tool like Jell or Basecamp can also help you eliminate unnecessary meetings. Both platforms allow your team to share status updates, such as project progress, which can keep everyone on the same page without meeting to discuss to-dos.

This can be especially helpful for IT departments since they often have a slew of projects to tackle at any given point. Instead of emailing your manager to provide a status update, use a project management platform that automatically includes stages or to-do tasks.

Hack 5: Keep Important Information Organized and Accessible

IT departments are typically responsible for tracking company assets and providing necessary access if employees forget the password to their computers or other tools. This means IT team members must be able to easily find asset information, such as serial numbers, passwords, network information, and more.

To keep this information organized and accessible, consider having new employees fill out a standard IT information form during the onboarding process. This will allow the IT team to collect and manage asset information with little effort so they can spend their time on projects that can impact business initiatives.

IT teams often work on tasks that effectively keep the business’s lights on, but that’s not the best use of their time. Use these five hacks to help your IT team members quickly streamline projects, save time and keep requests organized, so they can focus their attention on more pressing issues.