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IT Manager: five skills for success

14 Jun
Published by gruti
IT Manager: five skills for success

IT Manager: five skills for success

While looking at the TNA (training need analysis) for my team of campaign managers at Helios , I have come across to an extremely interesting research conducted by PMI (Project Management Institute) , which is one of the largest non-profit organization operating globally to support and develop the function of project manager with a wealth of educational resources, about the essential skill set for a successful project manager.

By looking at the research I have identified key areas on which I would like to centre the training for my team. Those areas lead mainly to five topics, which I will share with you in a moment, which I have suddenly realised being those skills observed in very successful IT Managers met in my career. It was amazing to realise that the ideal skill set needed for my team of Marketing Campaign Managers was exactly the same to the set demonstrated by many IT Managers. Hence my decision to share this with you!

Here are the skills:

  1. Listen — No, Really Listen,  it seems obvious as we all consider ourselves to be good listeners, but actually we are not always “really listen” to what we get told. Don’t we always think while listening to what we are going to say/ask next? Don’t we always think at something clever to say which will make look us sharp? It is almost like we are constantly scanning into our brains the information received in order to find flaws or inputs to allow our Egos to come out stronger than ever. “Really listen” is actually deeply understanding and appreciating what the individual in front of us wants to say. To fully understand and appreciate the words spoken, our mind should be clear and available to receive information without any other objective but the one to listen. Then our questions will flow naturally and the conversation will definitively be natural and productive (even more if the topic of the conversation is either technical or commercial or both).
  2. Build Relationships, yes but what relationships? Nowadays everybody has absorbed very deeply the behavioural dictatorship of “politically correctness” which is making all of us acting the same and frankly looking fake and cold. On surface we all are kind, smiling and polite. Depending on the level of training received we could even be empathetic but effectively we don’t build true relationship with anybody anymore. True relationship can only be built on old fashion principles: Trust, Honesty and Loyalty. Can we base our relations on those principles while interacting with our clients, teams and bosses?
  3. Set Clear Priorities which unfortunately has become another way to refer to Profit… Of course the ultimate goal for a commercial company is to make profit, but the priorities should be identified in the key stages of the project and not with the project’s goal. Set a clear path highlighting areas of concerns as well as areas of excellence is an art known only by the best Leaders and cannot be improvised. This is for me a massive key point for training.
  4. Facilitate Collaboration which commonly is identified with the ability to work together with colleagues or other departments or functions of the same organization. The Collaboration that I am aiming for is not the one just described that could also be called synergy, but is the collaboration between the seller and the client. Apart from the price, the objectives of the two parties involved are equal: they both want to exchange cash for a product and/or service which directly or indirectly will enable them to generate more profit. Is this not a robust base for collaboration?
  5. Convey the Organization’s Vision, not the one on paper which any organization on the planet has…. But the one that will make team member have a sense of belonging. Again Trust, Honesty and Loyalty written in a statement and not lived by men and women every day at work are meaningless. Customers will notice that and sooner or later will walk away.
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