Four Tips for First Time IT Managers
As an IT professional, you understand how to analyze systems, troubleshoot complex problems, and get the most out of today’s technologies. But now that you have been promoted to a management position, you will need to rely on a whole new set of skills. Your IT background will help, but it’s time to start thinking and acting like the person in charge.
Managing this transition is rarely easy, but it is also integral for your long-term success. If you hope to lead your team forward, impress your superiors, and leverage your accomplishments into another promotion, you need to manage effectively from day one. Use these four tips to help you hit the ground running.
Manage Your Time Effectively
Effective managers have to juggle a number of different responsibilities at once. You must deal with day to day issues while also staying focused on the big picture and the long-term. That requires careful time management. Set daily priorities for yourself, keep lists and calendars, avoid multitasking, and create deadlines for yourself and others. Even the best managers struggle to manage their time, but if you approach your duties in a systematic way, you can make the most of the time you have
Study the Business Side
The hardest transition for many new IT managers to make is to go from focusing on technical topics to suddenly being responsible for financial management, strategic planning, and corporate benchmarks. In your first few months, study your specific company, and your industry at large, as closely as possible. Seek out professional advice, keep copious notes, and never be afraid to ask questions. It can even help to get management training, whether formally or informally, to help you align your past with your future.
Understand Your Position in the Corporate Structure
As a standout IT employee, you probably enjoyed a certain degree of freedom and autonomy. But now that you are a manager, you may not have as much authority as you once enjoyed, or expected to receive with your promotion. You now have a new set of responsibilities, different superiors to answer to, and different benchmarks you must meet. Knowing the boundaries and expectations of your new position can help you keep stakeholders, both above and below you on the corporate ladder, satisfied with your performance.
Respect Your Subordinates
You may not think that new powers will go to your head, but many new IT managers have failed because they have abused members of their team, some of whom may have been former coworkers. As a manger, your job is to motivate and coordinate your team while keeping them accountable. Your job is not to rule with an iron fist. Respect the people you manage, and remember that it is their labors, not yours, that ultimately get projects done.
The final and perhaps most important thing for first time IT managers to remember is to be conscientious. Don’t assume that because you have been promoted you suddenly know everything. Approach your duties with patience, humility, and endless curiosity, and you have a much better shot at at succeeding. If you are moving up the corporate ladder and want to continue your march up, use the employment resources available from TekPartners to help you realize your goals.