How IT Managers Can “Manage” To Get Promoted

by drjim on May 16, 2013

What's it going to take to get your career up these?

What’s it going to take to get your career up these?
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Sure, the job that you have right now is fine. You manage a good team, you are working on challenging tasks, and you seem to get along with everyone reasonably well. However, as we all know, that’s not going to last forever. We all eventually dream of getting a better job one day. Hmm, what are you going to have to do in order to make that happen?

Skills You’ll Need In Order To Climb Your Career Stairs

In the world of IT, nothing ever remains the same. It turns out that this includes your career. Since you know that things are going to change, it sure seems like it would be worth your while to make sure that you were always working to make sure that you had the IT manager skills that were going to be necessary for you next step up the career ladder. Here are 6 management skills that every IT manager needs to get some IT manager training on:

  • Tactical Planning: You are leading an IT team that needs to know what they should be working on right now – and why it matters. Tactical planning reflects what you believe that your team should be working to accomplish in the short term.

  • Strategic Planning: This is almost the opposite of tactical planning. An IT manager needs to be able to look down the road and understand what future tasks his or her team is going to be asked to work on. Once you have mapped this out, you can help your team get ready for what will be in their future.

  • Creative Thinking / Brainstorming: It takes a big IT manager to admit that you need help in coming up with creative solutions to some of the problems that will be facing your team. In order to find these solutions, smart IT managers use brainstorming techniques to get the best ideas out of their teams.

  • Managing For Innovation: We all know that innovation is a good thing and we’d like our teams to do more of it. In order to maximize the innovative output of your team, you need to make sure that you create an environment in which “out of the box” thinking is not only encouraged, but is also rewarded.

  • Managing a Diverse Workforce: The more diversity that exists within your team, the harder it can be to manage. However, at the same time, the better the ideas and solutions that your team will be able to come up with. You can’t get one without the other. This means that as an IT manager you are going to need to find ways to make your team’s differences a strength, not a weakness. Your IT team building skills just might come in handy here.

  • International Marketing: The world in which your team operates has become much larger in just the past few years. This means that everyone on your team needs to be thinking internationally when they are working on a project. This can be as simple as building in support for multiple languages or perhaps including features that will appeal to customers in other countries.

What All Of This Means For You

IT manager can become comfortable with their current jobs. They get used to the routine and they become familiar with the people. However, we need to make sure that we never forget that everything is temporary and we always need to be striding towards the next level in our career.

In order to make that happen, we’ve got some skills that we’re going to need to take the time to develop. These include different types of planning (strategic and tactical) and brainstorming. Add to this the ability to manage your diverse IT team in order to generate innovation and keeping in mind the impact of international marketing, then you truly do have a full plate!

The trick to long-term IT manager career success is not to count on being lucky. Rather it is to plan for what is to come. When your management goes looking to fill that higher-up position, make sure that they see you as having the skills that are going to be required to do it successfully.

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

Question For You: Do you think that it would be worthwhile to practice brainstorming with your team even when you are not trying to solve a problem?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Hopefully by now in your IT manager career you have reached the understanding that in order for your IT team to be successful, they are all going to have to learn how to work together. You know, that teamwork stuff. More often than not your team is not automatically going to know how to do this and that’s when your teamwork IT manager skills are going to have to come into play…

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