Core Skills Needed to be an IT Manager: What you Need to Know

The 10 Most Valuable Questions to Ask Your Interviewers 11


So you want to be an IT Manager?

You’ve been in the industry for a couple of years, you know your stuff and your all clued up. Good; it’s time to make the next leap.

Management is a whole new ball game compared to a more junior roll. Not only do you need to master your own job, but you must be able to provide support and knowledge to those you manage. Now that really is a challenge. 

What is interesting with IT management, is the blend of hard skills (technical know-how) and softer skills (people management) which with the nature of IT can be a tough blend.

Psychologist Richard Hagberg, president of the Hagberg Consulting Group, believes technical managers have much to learn when it comes to managing people. In particular, he believes they fall down in three key areas:

  • Building alignment, consensus and teams
  • Being a visionary evangelist
  • Management execution

Hagberg said “They really get into trouble when it comes to building alignment,” he explains. “They are often promoted, because they are analytical and independent.” Essentially, IT Managers tend to be great at their actual job, but struggle when it comes to the management side – of course this is a huge generalisation.

But rest assured, Hagberg didn’t just like dishing out the dirt, he also had some great tips to help you on your journey.

“First, carefully define your role. Then audit your time so you’re spending time on building relationships and improving communication with everyone around you. Schedule appointments with subordinates and listen to their ideas. Initiate group problem-solving, particularly on real issues, rather than trying to solve everything yourself. Deal with substandard performance by coaching and holding people accountable.”

The key to great IT management is having the ability to split your time between carrying out your own tasks, and having time for your team. One of the pitfalls IT managers fall into is focusing too much on themselves.
“Leadership is based on motivating people to achieve goals by themselves,” says Hagberg. “When you get into it, it can be pretty exciting and inspiring.”

I am sure if you have been recently promoted into an IT managerial role you would have got their because you are more the suitable to fulfil the position, just bear in mind the common pitfalls and take steps to avoid.

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