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IT Management Interview

By DelMonte ·
I'm taking an online class. One of the assignments for the next week is to interview a manager and present the responses to the following questions:

What is your view of IT (Information Technology)?

What percentage of the company's (or division's) budget is spent on IT issues?

How has the role of IT changed over the past decade?

How will, or how must, the role of IT change in the future?

How does the company (or division) manage knowledge?

How do you use risk management?

How does the company use risk management?

I'm hoping someone here can help me out so I don't have to take time away from work for school stuff.

**Edited to add: I'm winding up this assignment this evening 10/19/06**

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One Response

by Wayne M. In reply to IT Management Interview

Before my response, one suggestion. Try sitting down with your supervisor or some other approachable manager, perhaps at a coffee break or across lunch. This would help you complete your assignment, give you an excuse to spend some time with someone with promotional authority (i.e., network), and advertise that you are looking to advance your career. Taking 15 - 20 minutes out or your work day to advance your career is a good trade-off for both you and your company.

Q: What is your view of IT (Information Technology)?

A: Most companies are failing to take advantage of advances in IT and IT departments are largely following rather than leading adoption. Web sites are rarely used internally and e-mail remains the most popular document sharing tool.

Q: What percentage of the company's (or division's) budget is spent on IT issues?

A: I can't really answer that. I'm not hiding anything, I just do not know that level of budgeting.

Q: How has the role of IT changed over the past decade?

A: In the late 1980s to early 1990s, there was a growth in IT tools as computers were placed on every desk top. From the late 1990s to early 2000s, IT departments have slowly adjusted to managing this vast amount of hardware and software that is not in a centrally controlled room and may be distributed throughout a building, an office park, a city, or nation-wide.

Q: How will, or how must, the role of IT change in the future?

A: IT must learn how to manage laptops and other mobile equipment, work with non-corporate assets such as personal laptops and PDAs, enhance sharing of information within the company and between companies, and lastly take on more of a training role - many non-IT staff cannot take full advantage of word processors, calendar programs, VPNs, and other corporate tools.

Q: How does the company (or division) manage knowledge?

A: Most information sharing is still done by e-mail and copy and paste between systems. IT services are usually limited to restricting access to information.

Q: How do you use risk management?

A: We largely do risk management by the book. We have Excel spreadsheets that take risk impact and risk liklihood and calculate risk level. There is a lack of confidence in the system and we still tend to react only when problems occur.

Q: How does the company use risk management?

A: Each project reports level of risk as a green, yellow, or red indicator. Reporting a red risk status usually requires writing additional status reports, so most project managers avoid reporting anything besides green or yellow status. I am not sure how upper level management uses risk reporting, but the only response I have ever seen is increased requests for status.

I hope this does not give too cynical an impression and I urge others to respond to help paint a more rounded picture. I still think this assignment would be a good excuse to strike up a conversation with one of your bosses at work.

Good luck!

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Thank You

by DelMonte In reply to One Response

Thank you for your response. I find it very helpful.

I do interact with most of our managers on a daily basis. Unfortunately, this assignment came at a time when they are very busy and I'd prefer not to distract them. I'm sure they'd be responsive even though it would mean a longer day for them. I'd just prefer not to put them in that position during this particularly busy time.

My other option is/was to take vacation time to interview a manager at another business.

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Recall

by NOW LEFT TR In reply to IT Management Interview

Post Recall

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Thank You

by DelMonte In reply to Recall

Thank you for your concern and for taking the time to post your thoughts.

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Recall

by NOW LEFT TR In reply to Thank You

Post Recall

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Uncalled for.

by lastchip In reply to Recall

That's because your response was uncalled for.

Del Monte is using resources at his/her disposal and trying to get as wider range of opinions as is possible.

It's a perfectly valid question and I applaud the restraint shown in the reply you received.

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Out of Control

by DigAPony1969 In reply to Recall

If you are going to flame someone make it a valid criticism. Del Monte is using technology to gain information from a wide audience to expand is perspective. Frankly I would have flamed you right back; I commend Del Monte for his nice reply. You are simply slamming him instead of contributing a valuable kernel of wisdom. Moreover if you wish to slap people around for goodness sake use a spell checker. If you can't say something nice...

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Recall

by NOW LEFT TR In reply to Out of Control

There is no spell checker on TR.

Perhaps you should follow your own advice in future. If you can't say something nice...

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Interview Questions

by Tig2 In reply to IT Management Interview

I agree with Wayne that you should interview one of your managers. I understand your rationale for not doing so at this time, but it would be a good step to take- even after this assignment is over. Contrast their answers with the ones you receive here. You are more likely to get answers that you can relate to- as well as a new understanding of your manager.

What is your view of IT (Information Technology)?

I think that we are still trying to understand IT as a service to promote business objectives. Business, I think, still tends to exclude IT from the strategy table and that is not good. IT can support business more effectively when they have a clear understanding of strategic goals.

What percentage of the company's (or division's) budget is spent on IT issues?

I do not know. This is not information I am privy to. Also, IT issues is a very broad question- it implies that it encompasses active projects in addition to day to day maintenance.

How has the role of IT changed over the past decade?

We have moved from a position in which we were regarded as THE solution to being a service provider. Business is no longer willing to see us beyond the place we should take as SMEs for the purpose of facilitating business objectives.

How will, or how must, the role of IT change in the future?

We must not forget that we exist to facilitate business strategy. To that end we must take a more active place at the planning table. We need to help business understand what technology is capable of delivering to further strategic goals.

It is also to us to help business understand peripheral issues- safeguarding data, disaster recovery... things that can be solved through appropriate technology but not as readily apparent to business strategy. We need to create holistic systems that provide the protections that business needs and enable business to meet goals.

How does the company (or division) manage knowledge?

This is an area that needs work. Too many data repositiories and insufficient indexing for retreival are some of the stumbling stones.

How do you use risk management?

Risk management pertaining to? On projects, we use a red/yellow/green risk scorecard. There are other types of risk in the enterprise and are managed differently.

How does the company use risk management?

See above. Risk scoring provides a tool by which the executive level can see status. When a project goes yellow, it generally will be assigned a "mentor" in an effort to bring the project back to a controlled state.

Good luck with your project. I hope that James is able to weigh in- as management professionals go, he is one that I highly respect.

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Appreciate it

by DelMonte In reply to Interview Questions

"Risk management pertaining to?"

It's very generally defined in the instructions for the interview. The interview questions are for any manager so the types of risk and methods for managing those risks would be varied depending on the nature of the business. Your answers are very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to answer the interview questions.

I do meet with a team of managers twice a year (unfortunately, not before this assignment is due!) to discuss technology planning/goals. We have explored most of this in the past but there are a couple of items that I'd like to discuss further.

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