Promoting someone to a manager is a tough decision. It sets the tone of the team and projects for the next few years. But what makes a good manager, and from a tech standpoint, what makes a good IT manager?
Technical knowledge isn’t the only thing an IT manager needs; in fact, a good candidate can pick up most of the technical skills quickly if they seem like a good fit for the team.
We’ve looked at some of the most excellent IT managers across Canada and North America and analyzed their practices to see what the difference is between a good IT manager and a great one.
What Makes A Good Manager?
A good manager isn’t just someone that reached the top of their career. There is a particular skill set needed to be able to manage people and projects effectively.
A good manager will oversee multiple projects at a time, keep their cool in high-stress situations and give their team advice where needed without biting their head off.
Knowledge of the field is necessary but understanding their teams’ goals and helping them achieve them is more important. Using people skills, they have attained over years of building good working relationships to assist their team with their projects, a good manager gives advice, resolves conflicts, encourages critical thinking, listens, and shares tips on time management.
Many of these soft skills can be learned through management training courses, though if you’re a natural, it’s much easier to progress into management.
IT Manager Skillset
Good management skills are critical for an IT manager, but what are the technical skills that an IT manager needs to have?
An IT manager needs to meet with technical account managers and assess software for its suitability and security at their company. A solid technical understanding of projects undertaken by their team is absolutely essential. The experience will help them see projects from start to finish, ensuring their team performs as they should.
The manager of an IT department needs to keep up to date on current trends and whether they can push forward on a cloud migration or if they need to be frugal for this quarter.
To have authority within the business and their team, they must show they’re great at troubleshooting problems under pressure and delegate tasks to strong team members.
Knowing when to nurture specific skills within their team and ensure the training offered allows them to advance in their career—the strengths and weaknesses of their team and crucial to team success.
A good manager also knows when to get external help for projects they can’t handle and assesses the security position of those external workers to protect their company from harm.
So, What One Skill Makes An Awesome IT Manager?
All these skills we’ve discussed lead to one quality in a manager that can be learned but is natural to some.
An awesome IT manager knows their skillset and uses this knowledge to encourage their team to be better. That’s it.