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How to spend first month?

By bonjovin ·
I am about to start my new job as IT manager in logistics company, with 2 members of my team.
What would be the best way to spend first month (or three?) on new job?

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How do others view your dept.?

by Sys-arch In reply to Find the low-hanging frui ...

When looking for things to improve, I'd look for two winners: one that will help your department's standing in the company and one that will help your staff. As mentioned elsewhere, it's VERY important to spend time with folks outside your department learning who the players are and who has upper management's ear. After all, YOUR job depends upon meeting management's expectations. So.. you better ferret out what those are AND whose expectations count most! It does no good to satisfy someone that isn't listened to up the chain.

An example: in a previous job our department reported to the CFO, but the V.P. of sales had the greatest pull with the CEO and budget. (Took a little while to figure this out.) So... we worked hard on a project to improve sales and improve the company's relationships with its distributors. CFO saw the benefit, sales got the reward, and we shined because the CEO was pleased with the results. Made it much easier to go after projects later since we had already proved that we could deliver.

Gaining good graces with the department, we also worked to automate some system reporting that was driving the IT dept. crazy. We'd generate literally boxes of paper a day worth of prinout for a certain department that only used one or two pieces of information off each page. When we found out what the customer really was using, we were able to generate a file with this information that we could import into a spreadsheet for the user. Again, good brownie points for the department AND good morale booster within the dept. Department learned that manager was willing to go to bat for the employees, fighting the "always done it that way" mentality. That gave manager credibility within dept.; made it easier the next time he asked for something that required a little stretch on the employees' part.

I'd also add that your honeymoon period is often up to six months. But you better make it clear around month three that you have identified some areas for improvement and will be presenting an assessment in the next few weeks.

This is also a time to ask about setting up a round table / off-site discussion with other executives to discuss how they feel IT is supporting the company and their departments. (Is IT aligned with business need???) However, if only one or two executives carry most weight, better to meet just with them. Off-site meetings/events/golf outings/etc. are usually best, somewhere that people can speak a little more freely. Then you can begin discussing road maps and budgets.

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First 30 days

by volp14 In reply to How to spend first month?

I've been an IT manager for about 8 years My advice to you would be to establish yourself and your leadership/management style with your team. You will learn that there is nothing you will need more than their support and confidence. Credibility is also important, and communicating with the team in the first month is crucial. Let them know your role and how you will support them. Make sure you understand their jobs and what they do on a daily basis, and help them come up with ideas that may make their lives easier. At the same time, you now have reporting responsibilities to upper management, so the things you do to enhance the operations and efficiencies of your staff should be regularly communicated to the folks you report to.

Remember one thing, you are not successful without the folks that report to you. If they do not perform well, then that is upper managements perception of your team.

Good luck to you.

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2 Favorites

by dbolte In reply to How to spend first month?

Here's two of my favorites:
Seek first to understand and then to be understood.

People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.

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Great advice!

by rmarkel In reply to 2 Favorites

I couldn't agree more with you - on both of these statements!

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Farther out

by rita-eileen In reply to How to spend first month?

A long term vision -- take the first 3-6 months to thoroughly learn what is expected of you and your team - intuitively, and then, the next 3-6 months to learn who impacts you, your team and your objectives. The first three months are traditionally the honeymoon. If you can successfully connect new faces with names and jobs... you're good. (Of course, that all depends on the size of the organization, I realize.)

Congratulations and good luck.
Enjoy it.

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Honeymoon...

by f-4076287 In reply to How to spend first month?

The honymoon period gives you margin for error, and time to think. Use it to find out how IT is percieved, who dislikes it the most, what your crew is able to do, what the company needs by priority.

priority 1. basic infrastructure...networks, desktops, backroom systems. keep them running. plan to fix holes after honeymoon.

priority 2. improve.

priority 3. add new capability.

If you are missing skills for priority 1. fix that right away, if not, be glad and plan to train and mentor for pri 2 and 3 after honeymoon.

Alway keep an eye on the "whiners", those who dislike IT, and will give you little slack. Those are the ones you have to give the "extra" attention too, when you least want to. If you dont, you will suffer.

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Learn what they expect from you

by afranquesa In reply to How to spend first month?

To me, the first thing is to know the mission of the company and then, how your job will contribute to achieve it. You have to align your effort to your objectives. Write down the objetives, politics and plan to perform them. Check which company resources are availabe to you to easy your tasks.

And then, as said by other members, learn and listen. Write down questions it may appear and ask them in a face2face meetings.

Good luck.

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Baby Steps

by IT-Why Me? In reply to Learn what they expect fr ...

What about Bob "Baby Steps"
Take it slow, learn the environment and the lay of the land. Understand your people. Support them and they will support you.
Take the time to learn from them and they will learn from you.
Understand your expectations from upper management and try to ascertain any pre-conceived notions about the people you have working for you. They may think they need to go and you are the one to do it. On the other hand, get to know your people and their side of the story, learn them both before you get caught in the middle of something you don't want to be in.

Good Luck!

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by wongfreeman In reply to How to spend first month?

I am in the same situation where i am about to start my new job in a similar role for a small company in the medical imaging sector.
My plan is to spend the inital week or so to get my ahead around the products we provide and support and how IS sits within the company. Then I am going to spend some time with all the staff and understand each of their roles and functionalities with the organisation.
By then I am hoping to have a clear view of the goals and objectives of the IS department and its involvment at the business strategy level. And should be able to start making plans and new objectives in the area that needs improvement.

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know your new environment

by wongfreeman In reply to How to spend first month?

I am in the same situation where i am about to start my new job in a similar role for a small company in the medical imaging sector.
My plan is to spend the inital week or so to get my ahead around the products we provide and support and how IS sits within the company. Then I am going to spend some time with all the staff and understand each of their roles and functionalities with the organisation.
By then I am hoping to have a clear view of the goals and objectives of the IS department and its involvment at the business strategy level. And should be able to start making plans and new objectives in the area that needs improvement.
This process should take upto about first 3-6 months. Changes should only be introduced after careful consideration and all their assoiciated implications have been covered.

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