10 Tips to Become a Good Manager
- Spend time (and money) developing your people
IT is a constantly changing field, and many IT workers love to learn about new and improving technologies. For many, learning is not just enjoyable, but is necessary to do the best job possible. IT Managers should budget for training and development and encourage staff to participate in events whenever possible.
If your budget is tight, explore free regional presentations and workshops, set up in-house training, and get creative with your development dollars. Don't forget about cross-training exercises as well. Even in a large IT group, there are jobs that only one person does routinely. Make sure others know what to do if that person is suddenly gone for an extended period.
- Get to know what your staff really does
Although you don't need to master every task your staff handles (see the next item), you should understand your staff's normal work routine. Familiarise yourself with each person's responsibilities, if you aren't already. Ask team members to explain and demonstrate important tasks -- such as data backups.
I once had an existing IT employee transferred to my sub-group. Immediately after the transfer, I began working with the individual to learn his job role. One month after the transfer, during a key production period, the employee suffered simultaneous tragedies -- a parent died and the employee developed pneumonia. With no direct backup, I jump in and accomplished the job with the knowledge I had learned during the first month and a great deal of help from others.