3 Mistakes That IT Managers Need To Avoid Making

by drjim on August 10, 2017

IT managers need to know what kind of mistakes they need to avoid

IT managers need to know what kind of mistakes they need to avoid
Image Credit: Chris & Karen Highland

As we work towards trying to become better IT managers, we tend to focus on our IT manager skills in order to determine either what we are not currently doing or what we could be doing better. However, it turns out that there is something else that we need to be doing: making sure that we don’t do things that we should not be doing. The first step in making this happen is to ensure that we understand what we must not be doing.

Don’t Transition To The Team

One of the biggest mistakes that an IT manager can make occurs as we transition from being individual contributors to becoming IT managers. There’s no doubt that this is a big transition for all of us. We may have been a very good worker who rose to the top of our team and this is why we’ve been selected to now lead the team. However, if we don’t have the skills that it’s going to take to lead a team and if the company doesn’t know enough to invest in our IT manager training, then we’re going to find ourselves in a situation where we’re not sure what we should be doing next.

Things can also get tricky depending on where you came from. If you were hired into a company to be an IT manager, then this is going to put you at a disadvantage. Every company has their own way of doing things. What this means for you is that in order to be a successful IT manager, you are going to have to take the time to learn the unique aspects of managing at your company.

Lack A Consistent Approach

When it comes to helping the members of your team manage their careers or evaluating their current performance, what everyone is wants is for you to be consistent. What this means is that if they can then figure out the rules of the game, they’ll understand what it’s going to take to be successful as a part of your team. This won’t happen if you don’t take the time to help the members of your team to understand how things work at your company or coach them on what they need to do if they want to develop and stretch themselves.

You may have a lot of great suggestions for how the members of your team can better themselves. However, if you don’t make the effort to go out and talk to them about the things that they need to be doing, then it’s just not going to happen. Waiting for the members of your team to seek you out will never produce the results that you are looking for.

Time Management

As IT managers the one thing that we all realize is that there is precious little time in each of our days. Both the company and our own teams demand a lot of our time and this leaves us with very little in which to get the things that we are expected to get done done. We actually have to manage our time so that we’ll have enough time to manage our team!

The key to success for any IT manager is to make sure that we are doing a good job of communicating with our team. It can be all too easy to get caught up in focusing on the tasks that need to be accomplished and coordinating with the people who make up the rest of the company and forget that we have a responsibility towards our team. You need to be constantly evaluating how well you are interacting with the members of your team and adjusting your communications efforts based on how you are doing.

What All Of This Means For You

Becoming a good IT manager means that we need to spend our time doing the things that really matter (like IT team building). It turns out that there is a flip side to this task. It also means that we need to be careful to not spending our time doing things that we really should not be doing. This means that we need to be aware of three things that no IT manager should be doing.

One of the biggest challenges that an IT manager can face can show up when we first become IT managers. Transitioning from being an individual contributor to being an IT manager requires us to change our thinking. Now we have to think in terms of what is best for the team, not just what’s best for us. Consistency is also something that an IT manager needs to bring to the table. Our teams need to be able to understand what we want them to do in both their careers and their job performance. It’s not easy being an IT manager and so this means that we need to make sure that we allocate time to both manage our teams and communicate with them.

In our quest to become better IT managers, it can be all too easy to focus on the things that we need to be doing. However, we also have to be aware that good IT managers get that way by not doing certain things. If we can avoid doing the things that will distance us from our teams then we can be successful. Take the time to evaluate how you are doing you job and make sure that you are not doing any of these three things.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: If you find that you don’t have enough time to manage your team, what steps can you take to find the needed time?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As an IT manager you are responsible for using your IT manager skills to make sure that your team is able to accomplish the tasks that have been assigned to them. What this means for you is that you need to use your IT manager training to create a workplace atmosphere that is going to be conducive to getting work done. In the past this was relatively easy to do. We could limit what people brought to the office, we could limit the number of breaks that they took and how long those breaks lasted, etc. However, in our modern digital age there is a new distraction that we now need to start worrying about: Facebook.

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