So just exactly what is being an IT manager all about? When we all of sudden find ourselves in this position, the question of just exactly what the company wants us to be doing has to come up. Well I’ve got some good news for you, it turns out that there are 8 different tasks that go into being an effective IT manager. Let’s take a look at what they are…
The 8 Things That Every IT Manager Has To Do
Being an IT manager means that you need to be able to do multiple things at the same time. The following 8 skills all have to be done successfully on a daily basis:
- Hiring: Each IT manager is only going to be as good as their team is. Finding, attracting, evaluating, and hiring the right people with the right skills (or potential skills) who can work with the rest of the team is a critical IT manager skill. The people who get hired must have the commitment and confidence that will be needed to get the job done.
- Communication: Hopefully you understand what you and your IT team need to accomplish for the company. It is now up to you to share the team’s goals and vision with everyone on the team. In order to do this, you’re going to have to pass on information about what is going on with the market, the company, your department, and the team.
- Planning: In order to accomplish a project, a plan needs to be created that shows how the team is going to get from where they are to where you want them to be. The ability to create a plan and then execute it in order to meet the goals of the company is a key IT manager skill.
- Organization: IT managers are given responsibility for many different tools and resources in order to accomplish their jobs. Keeping track of these resources and assigning team members to carry out specific tasks is an important part of the IT manager job.
- Training: No person on your team has all of the skills that they are going to need in order to remain useful to the team and the company over time. This means that as the IT manager you are going to be responsible for assessing the current skill level of each of your team’s members and then identifying ways that these skill gaps can be closed.
- Monitoring: Assigning work to the members of your team to perform is not enough. IT managers need to go to the effort to monitor the activities of everyone on their team in order to ensure that each member of the team is succeeding with the projects and assignments assigned to them. If work is not being accomplished, then the IT manager will need to step in to fix the situation.
- Evaluating: Providing your team members with feedback on their job performance is a critical IT manager skill. The goal is to determine what level of skill is needed and then to compare the team member’s performance to that level. The goal is to ensure that the contributions of each member of the team will allow the team to be successful.
- Firing: As a last resort, team members who are not living up to your expectations will need to be let go. The goal is to identify those members of your team who after being offered any coaching that they may require, still cannot make the level of contribution that is going to be needed in order for them to compete their tasks and who will be preventing the overall team from being successful.
What All Of This Means For You
When you are an IT manager, every day is different. What the company may be asking you to do one day may be very different from what they asked you to do the day before. However, it turns out that there are 8 different tasks that every company expects their IT managers to be able to do.
The list of things that a company expects its IT managers to be able to do includes hiring, communicating, planning, and organizing. Rounding out the list are training, monitoring, evaluating, and firing.
None of these tasks is easy to do by itself. Once you put them all together, you start to understand why being an IT manager is such a challenging job. The good news is that we’ve all seen examples of high quality IT managers who are able to do all 8 of these tasks. This means that you can. Now that you know what you have to do, go do it!
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: In order to be a successful IT manager, you need to be able to perform 8 different sets of tasks well.
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
As an IT manager, you are responsible for having the IT manager skills needed to build the IT teams that will be able to solve your company’s toughest problems. However, do you know where to look for the people that you’ll want to add to your team? None of us have ever had any IT manager training in how to do this. For that matter, do you even know what you are looking for? Here’s a hint: they are not going to look like you! Let’s have a chat about where today’s IT workers are coming from and what they look like…