Skills IT Managers Need In Order To Get Promoted

by drjim on May 9, 2013

What management skills does an IT manager need in order to have your career take off?

What management skills does an IT manager need in order to have your career take off?

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Sure, your job is fine for today. However, what about tomorrow? Where do you want to go to next? What IT manager training do you need? Perhaps more importantly, what is it going to take in order for you to get promoted?

5 Management Skills An IT Manager Needs In Order To Get Promoted

In order be recognized as a candidate to move to the next level in your firm, you are going to have to be able to show your senior management that you know how to successfully lead your team. What this means is that you’re going to have to develop the management skills that will be required to make this happen. Here are 5 of these skills that you are going to be needing:

  • Ability To Solve Business Problems: As an IT manager, you are probably quite comfortable when it comes to solving technical problems – I mean, you’ve done that before, right? However, in order to move your career up to the next level you are going to have to develop the skill to both identify and then solve business problems. These are problems that don’t have a clear technical need associated with them – that’s what you are going to have to solve.

  • Business Analysis / Critical Thinking: : Everything is not as it always looks. When you encounter an issue that is blocking the company’s forward progress, you are going to have to have the business analysis / critical thinking skills that will be needed to get to the heart of the issue. There are always multiple ways to solve a problem, you need to be able to pick the best one.

  • Internal Consulting & Networking: : Just how big is your job? When you get promoted, it’s going to be even bigger. What that means is that you need to start thinking bigger right now. Offer your skills to other teams and help them to solve problems that they are facing. Use this as an opportunity to meet more people and to build your professional network. You’re going to need that network later on when you move up. Consider this to be part of that IT team building that we’re always supposed to be doing.

  • Vendor Management: : The days of any IT department or company for that matter doing it all by themselves are long over. Now we all rely on other firms to carry part of the load. The ability to work with these vendors to make sure that they do the work that needs to be done, on schedule and under budget are skills that you are going to need both today and tomorrow.

  • Strategic Planning: The ability to make sure that your team is working on the tasks that need to be done today is a critical IT manager skill. However, you also need to have the ability to guide your team into the future and make sure that everyone is headed in the right direction. This type of strategic planning is what your senior management is going to be looking to make sure that you can do when they are considering you for promotion.

What All Of This Means For You

No matter how much you enjoy your IT manager job today, you always have to realize that it’s really just a stepping stone on your way to your next assignment. In order to prepare yourself for that gig, you need to make sure that you are developing the management skills that you’ll need to succeed.

IT managers need to be able to solve business problems, analyze business situations, and work with internal teams all the while making new contacts that will be able to help them down the road. Additionally, realizing that no IT department is an island means that you’re going to need to learn how to manage vendors and plan for the future.

It’s not easy being an IT manager. The additional responsibility of developing these 5 IT manager skills means that you’ve got even more work to be doing. The good news is that once you master these skills you’ll be set to have your career really take off!

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

Question For You: Who in the company do you think could act as a mentor and teach you how to analyze business problems?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

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?

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