Submitted by NickA on
Howdy! Or... umm... g'day ;)
I had the mixed blessing of IT management training in my undergraduate degree, and was a royal pain in the ass to my managers while simultaneously delivering great results for several years. The tech wreck came, and I found myself working outside of IT for a while, which was a great way of broadening my horizons. The difference between the project management you have to do in software development and normal operational management is much greater than I had realised.
I got pointed at Manager Tools a couple of years ago, and have been practicing one-on-ones since then. Unfortunately, most of the rest of the content wasn't well suited to my needs at the time - as the first ever middle manager in my new organization, I faced some challenges that are relatively unusual, but by no means unique. Managing up was my biggest priority until recently, when I finally worked out how to do it effectively. I can see why the guys don't like the term, and I can see why they don't advise on advanced topics in that area - it's difficult to do, and even harder to explain.
But, now that I've sorted out those issues, the population in my department is expanding rapidly, and I'm facing more meaningful challenges in managing my reports. I'm very strong on management theory, and I'm pretty good in a number of practical situations too. I'm posting like mad right now, reassuring myself that I know what I'm talking about in some areas, hoping to participate in some interesting debates in others.
Welcome to the forums. You're right: posting and participation in these conversations is a really good way to hone your management thinking, and contribute to the improvement of managerial behavior (in however small a way).
Looking forward to "seeing" you around
Wellcome onboad NickA. There
Wellcome onboad NickA. There seems to be a growing quantity of Australias finest joining the group.
G'day back Nick
Nick - your story is very familiar. I am now "retired" but around five years ago I was managing an in-house software shop in a federal government department (60 developers). I just completed an MBA at the AGSM and had been, what I thought, a fairly experienced manager. I came across manager tools really by error but I found it to be one of the most useful resources in my management career. I'm now engaged in management consulting and coaching (more to give back than to earn a living) and one of my most common recommendations to my clients is to sign up to manager tools. Not only are the recommendations practical but they are very effective. I think you hit on the head when you say that even if you are good at management theory it may not be enough - what is needed is some good clear practical advice and that is at the core of the manager tools podcasts. It is really good to see an IT professional looking at the “soft skills of people management", when we know this is the real core of giving teams to work.