TechRepublic member terryd recently asked for advice in the forums:
"I just recently got promoted to be the IT manager for 5 stores... 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."
There have already been several excellent responses.
"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."
TiggerTwo works in a similar environment and recommended:
"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."
rbarton added three good bread-and-butter tips:
"1. Document and organize everything: equipment, OS types, the network, etc. Even if you are not good with organization and documentation, work at it. You will get better. These are not items you are taught in school, you have to learn them. Both will save you some day.
2. Listen first, talk second.
3. Knowing where to find that answer is more important than knowing the answer."
What advice would you add?
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Jason Hiner is Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.