What do the best IT managers do that a regular, more general manager cannot? Find the common qualities in this guide to IT management success.
Are you looking for a top IT manager for your company?
Perhaps you’re an IT professional that wants to take your career to the next level.
IT managers are a rare breed. They have an impact on every part of an organization, from accounting to human resources. They are the ones who are responsible for the technology and systems that your business relies on to operate every day.
You want to make sure that you know and possess the top qualities of an IT manager. You can hire the right person or move forward in your career.
Are you ready to know more about what it takes to be a great IT manager?
Let’s get started!
1. Technology Skills
Let’s get the most obvious skill out of the way.
It’s one thing to have technical skills that are useful now. Good IT managers are always improving their skills. Think of someone who didn’t improve over the last 10 years.
They’d still be hanging out with Windows Vista!
The difference between good and great IT managers is that the great ones are always looking to see which technologies can be implemented in an organization and be beneficial. You don’t want to
implement something that the company has no use for.
2. See the Big Picture
An IT manager that has a knack for strategy is as good as gold.
It’s not just about having a strategy for an IT department.
They understand the strategy of your whole organization. When an IT manager gets what the strategy is of your company, they can create the networks and systems to support the strategy.
It’s a much different approach that many IT people take. They tend to focus on a singular issue or problem at a time.
They don’t take a step back and realize how problems and issues are connected, which can create systems and solutions that don’t work.
3. Get to Know the Staff
An IT manager doesn’t have to take their staff out for beers every week to get to know them.
They do need to sit with them and understand what they do and why they do it.
An IT manager that knows the various functions of staff members and how they support the mission of the organization can be a replacement at a moment’s notice.
Taking the time to know the staff shows a level of caring and empathy, too. That can go a long way to build trust and camaraderie in the IT department.
4. Big Believer in Development
Great IT managers invest heavily in their staff.
They know it’s much less expensive to keep an employee than to hire a new one.
IT is always shifting, making it hard to stay up to date on the latest technology. Investing in staff improvements helps IT staff work better together.
It also makes employees happier because they’re being rewarded with more education than they would have to pay out of pocket for. That can help you retain them. That can save any organization a lot of money in the long run.
5. Hire the Right People
Another way great IT managers add value to organizations is that they hire the right people the first time.
A bad IT hire can cost a company thousands of dollars.
IT managers are keenly aware of the duties and requirements of each position in the department. They’re also aware of the company culture, which helps them find candidates who are a good fit for the company.
6. Management (And Delegation) Skills
An efficient IT department needs to be led by someone with outstanding project management skills.
That allows them to deliver major projects on time and under budget.
IT managers can’t effectively manage big projects if they’re always stuck working on the projects themselves. Some managers don’t want to let go of control and try to do all of the work themselves.
That’s poor management because it sends the signal that they don’t trust their staff.
A great IT manager trusts the people that work for them.
They will often delegate projects to their staff, which frees up their time to be a project manager, instead of a worker bee.
7. IT Managers Lead a Team
How would you define a leader?
There are many different definitions and people who embody leadership.
As a leader, you keep a team together and motivated as everyone works toward a goal. That goal might be a major migration or recovering from a security incident.
You can demonstrate leadership by communicating your expectations and giving your team the tools and support they need to be successful.
You might have an IT business management services team working with your organization. An IT manager will be able to integrate this team into the fold and make them part of the company.
They’ll be able to work with them and lead the entire team to achieve company goals.
8. Play Office Politics
Great IT managers don’t just sit in a server room playing with wires all day.
They step up and work with everyone in the office, across all departments.
When you get a bunch of people together in a closed environment, egos are bound to come into play. They may be the start of office politics, where people jockey against each other for more attention, recognition, or resources.
Better Than Your Average
There’s a big difference between IT managers that are just average and outstanding.
The outstanding ones share certain qualities.
They have a mix of personal and technical characteristics that help them be technical experts and empathetic to win people over. On top of that, they have a strategic sense that allows them to understand the big picture of your business.
That unique combination is an outstanding addition to any organization.
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