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New IT manager

By terryd ·
I just recently got promoted to be the IT manager for 5 stores. I also help out in the one store that I'm stationed in by putting stock away, doing receiving on occasion and helping wherever needed.

I was wondering if any of you had any suggestions or ideas on how to do the job effectively.

My biggest problem is that I'm not the greatest in being organized/time management.

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Typical...

by deetee2000 In reply to New IT manager

That you should be given a position like this as an afterthought rather than some sort of rational planning. Looks like IT is treated in most organisations as something akin to janitorial work! The best way to do the job effectively is to be totally focussed on it. I mean, how are you expected to provide a five year plan to develop the IT infrastructure in line with business growth, when you're out stacking shelves?! (By the way, I don't mean to demean the jobs of receiving or shelf-stacking...I'm just going off on a rant!) :)

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lol

by terryd In reply to Typical...

since i was familiar with computers and was already working for the company was a big part of why i got the job.

the way the job is currently setup is that there isn't always enough to keep me busy with the job for the full day so that's why i still have some of my previous jobs to do.

the computer part of the business is something that is still fairly new to the place so it's not exactly given a whole lot of priority

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Gee, THAT sounds familiar

by it.padawan In reply to New IT manager

I, too, struggle with organization/time management. The first thing I did when I started back to school was purchase a planner to aid in this. Of course, the second thing I did was lose the planner ^_^ . I have found, however, that a white board or cork board where you can write or pin up the tasks you need to accomplish right out where you can see them seems to help me. I color code the tasks with sticky notes for prioritizing. (I use the sticky notes because they can be removed and re-arranged if I need to change priorities) This, in combination with the calendar in Outlook and my cell-phone organizer that "calls" me with alerts, seems to help me keep the worst of the fires under control.

This situation is somewhat similar to where I work. We have 15-20 computers on a network and I'm not really sure there's anyone here who knows how the whole thing works. We had an IT specialist for about a year, but there wasn't enough to keep her busy in computers so she was assigned receiving tasks and busy work. Needless to say, she moved on and we are up the proverbial excrement creek without the usual form of locomotion. I'm very interested to see the suggestions on how to handle this situation.

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I'd think

by Dr Dij In reply to Gee, THAT sounds familiar

you'd have a network / pc consulting service on call in this case.

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you would, wouldn't you

by it.padawan In reply to I'd think

unfortunately, that kind of thing costs money
and, as we recycle (as in re-use until they fall completely apart under the duct tape) old file folders, report covers...you get the picture :-)

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What Type of IT?

by peter.wright In reply to you would, wouldn't you

The info is a little vague to come up with solid suggestions, however:
1 - If the IT landscape is too small for full time IT, can you add the phone system, fax machines etc (often these are pushed towards IT).
2 - What is your skill depth? It may be extremely usefull to have a consultant available (familiar with your system) in case of emergencies beyond your depth.
3 - Document your system (called a Configuration Management Database in ITIL) so that you know what you have. This will be very useful for a)any consultant and b)Management (to show them what they have).
4 - Sort out your backup, and document it! Be assured that if the system goes pear shaped, you will be the first in line! Any consultant would also need this in case of emergency.
5 - Log Calls. Keep track of calls and separate into Service (requests) and Incidents (where the system broke).

From these you will be able to:
a) Show Management what you do (1 & 5)
b) show Management that you need training (1, 2 & 5)
c) Arrange for replacement of redundant hardware/software upgrades (1, 3 & 4)
d) Relax a little more as you have the bases covered (2, 3 &4)

I could go on.....

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Retail IT

by wrey In reply to What Type of IT?

I could not agree more on all the suggestions that peter has. In addition to this, I would recommend meeting with your store managers and buying department and see what IT tools would make achieve their sales goals easier/faster, like inventory reports, sku movement, sales per hour, 10/80 report. All of these are retail tools that could help the success of your company and make you look more than a glorify help desk, not offence, but that is what it sounds from your post. One more thing, base in my retail IT experience, in retail there is always things that you can do to save money to your company, like better telephone/broadband rates, better IT supplies rates, and finally work on your IT budget!

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small business with IT

by mmathewson In reply to Gee, THAT sounds familiar

I am the network administrator at our company and, like in any small company, I wear many, many hats. I manage day-to-day tasks and do backups but the IT area is not my main job. We have an arrangement with a local IT support shop that if we have problems, they can manage it from a remote access account. Sometimes they charge and other times, if its a simple fix, they won't. They will also make on site calls if necessary, at a going rate. It's a nice arrangement for us, and one you might look into.

You, or the boss, will have to ask yourselves how much will it cost in lost productivity and income, should a piece, or all of your network fail? If your business relies heavily on your IT assets for the bulk of your revenue, then you have to have a good, fast response, service organization in place when needed, outside of what you can provide inside.

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A couple of things that may help

by Tig2 In reply to New IT manager

I have a desk pad/calendar that allows me to use a colour coded guide to appointment setting.

You need to have your stores set up on a rotation schedule that you manage weekly to just do an "eyes on" check to insure that you are familiar with the setups and do some one on one time with employees to answer questions/concerns. The schedule will help you to keep those tasks on track- If it's Tuesday, I go to store 1 and 2, Wednesday is store 3 on my way in, Thursday is store 4 and 5.

After a couple of weeks of this, you will know what time it takes from your day to do and can then add additional tasks.

I use a PDA to insure that I know where I am supposed to be and what I am supposed to be doing. I find it VERY helpful.

Good luck in your new role!

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Unachievable

by iainbuchanan In reply to New IT manager

Your job may just be undoable. Is your work load realistic? If not then all the time management in the world will not help. You need to sit down and prioritise your work load. Rank order the most important tasks and alocate time frames, remember that it should get easier with practice. If you are constantly being pulled of the job to attend to something else then you need to talk to your boss about what he/she expects from you. If you are in a no win situation then consider whether it is worth it, something's gotta give!

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