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What I would do if I was IT manager?

arrow 5/30/08 Friday AM

I think I have a lot of good reflections about things going on in the world and in my industry. But often I have the thought, and then it just fades away, so I decided to start this blog to put these thoughts in an always available place where only I can access them at anytime I want. Part of this personal blog is here in order to help me stay focused on my career. I don't know that I want to go anywhere, I like being a pencil-neck geek and no other options I've taken a look at appeal to me more. But even if I choose to stay right where I am, I still think I can grow as both a person and a tech by broadening my horizons so to speak. It could lead to other good things like maybe I'll have better ideas and suggestions to make to improve our service as an IT dept. Maybe people will actually listen and care when I make suggestions, or at least pay attention to my suggestions more. That is one of my goals. Anyway, I think I could only benefit from doing this, so here goes.

I also want to specify in case anyone else ever sees this blog (but I hope you don't!), this is a very general sort of blog created for my self growth, and it's not here for me to rip on other people at work. Obviously I will observe what other people at work do and have either good or negative comments about it, but that is different than ripping on them. I will apologize now to Angelo, because he is the main person I am watching and trying to learn from, so it may seem I pick on him the most or am most critical of him. Take it as a compliment Angelo, because you are are the one I chose to watch the closest and model my advancement after.

I also think this is an excellent tool for people like me who are introverted and get most of their 'creative energy' internally from themselves.

So today at work is the day our branch is hosting the FEC members. It makes it feel distinctly like the 1950's sci-fi flick War of the Worlds, because we have one of the women staff here scrambling to look for matching coffee mugs, making pot after pot of coffee to fill carafes, and ready to walk into the front confrence room with a tray of coffee mugs for all of the MEN in there. Because the Commercial electrical contractor industry is such a male dominated industry, I bet those men, the visiting members of the FEC would feel they were suddenly thrust into the twilight zone if a male walked into the conf. room with the platter of coffee cups! (snigger!)

OK, down to business! What would I do if I was the IT Manager? Well, I read an interesting article today on aligning IT with the goals of the business. It also brought to mind some other good thoughts I had regarding this line of thought. I would be more customer oriented, internal and external. What I mean by that is I would listen to the managers about our vendors, partners, and customers. What technologies do they find valuable to our industry and why? One of the most important things for me to learn and skill to develop is that of the Business Analyst. By that I mean, I need to get much better at translating between the technology end and the business end. I would also take a more team focused approach with my IT staff. We would have some kind of a regular team meeting where clear goals and projects are defined, assigned, and people are required to own the goals and projects we work on and show concrete progress towards the resolution and successful completion of those goals and projects. We would do this on little to no budget. This means that alot of the work we would be doing would be focusing on existing systems and problems and improving/eliminating them, and also implementing value added features of products we already have in house that we do not yet take advantage of. Handling personnel and projects this way would not only get alot done, but would produce better output from employees, and it would give them a far better vehicle to achieve with! I might be able to consider using this also as a cross-training tool, and to empower the members of my dept. to step up and assist on IT projects that maybe they don't know much about, but would like to learn more on the subject.

arrow 5/30/08 Friday PM

I was wrong about the whole FEC hosting thing. The president carried the tray of coffee mugs into the conf. room I'm happy to report! Yes, the pres is a man. This makes me feel better about the whole thing. This industry is still too male dominated though, just like the IT industry. Thank goodness for my boss! He only treats the women in the dept. with the utmost professional respect. It's like we are genderless to him. He is also an equal opportunity arsehole when he is an arsehole. I have heard him make some somewhat sexist comments in regards to his wife, but I think he is kidding when he does that, and I think he does it just to tweak Amanda, LOL.

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