Stepping into your first IT management role can feel like walking into another world. The position comes with a new set of roles and responsibilities that are well removed from the day-to-day tasks of an IT professional. If you want to prepare to take your seat at the management table, here are some management essentials every new IT manager should possess.
Be Technically Competent
If you are going to lead a team of IT professionals, it is critical that you have a working understanding of their various skill sets and areas of expertise. While you may not need to be able to perform every task that is assigned to each team member, you should have a fundamental understanding of every key piece of software, primary operating platforms, and other critical technology-based solutions that are being created, used, or supported by your team.
Be Able Take Charge and Lead Well
Whether you are taking a promotion within your current leadership structure or are beginning with a new company, be prepared to assert yourself in the role. This includes effectively communicating your expectations to your new team, as well as serving as their representative in larger leadership gatherings.
As an IT manager, you function as a go-between in regards to your team and other nontechnical areas of the business. You have to make sure other business areas understand what it takes to meet certain technical expectations, as well as be realistic about what is or is not possible based on your current resources. At times, this requires being able to express highly technical information in a way that is easily understood by those without an IT background, as this helps ensure business-wide comprehension.
Be a Problem Solver and Negotiator
Regardless of the skills brought by your and the members of your team, issues will inevitably arise. Whether it is based on a technical error or unexpected incompatibility, or a project goal that cannot be realistically met, you will need to work with both the members of your team as well as members of management in order to craft realistic solutions to problems as they come to pass, or before they are fully realized.
Functioning as a problem solver requires being informed of the current progress of any projects, as well as keeping abreast of any barriers your team may be concerned about when it comes to a project’s success. As a negotiator, you have to work with the business as a whole to keep expectations reasonable, especially if changes are being requested on a project that is already in progress.
As an IT leader, it will be your responsibility to make sure project information is accurate when it is gathered, and you will also be the primary voice to stand up against unnecessary scope creep. You will need to assess any changes in costs, both financial as well as those associated with the anticipated shifts to deadlines, in order to articulate how seemingly simple requests can have large-scale implications.
Looking to Advance Your Career in the IT field?
While taking your first IT management position can seem overwhelming, by focusing on the key areas above, you can begin by presenting your best self. If you are looking for additional information on working as a leader within your workplace, or would like assistance acquiring your first hire, contact Resolution Technologies today.