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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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Manage Expectations & Build your team

by mkanaan In reply to How to spend first month?

If your management thinks that you are there to resolve all of their problems in the first 3 months, you need to do something about their expectations. Put all of the problems on the table and explain the roadmap to resolving them. Don't get tempted to resolve problems yourself, build a team that would do that for you. I have been in my first IT manager's role for the last 6 months; 80% of my time is still spent building the team.

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Gather info and make 90 day plan

by kzin In reply to How to spend first month?

Give your staff a reporters jotter pad and ask them to write down
everything they do for 1 week. Example
08:30 arrived at work
08:40 coffee
09:00 check backup logs
10:00 take support call from ...

etc

Be clear with them that they have to be honest, tell them that
being dishonest will be a bad way to start a new way forward,
explain that by them documenting everything for 1 week it will
help you and them to understand what happens and what you
need to do to help them develop and grow in there careers.

Yes - make them successful and you will be too!

Throughout the week ask them how is the logging going...

At the end of the week sit down with them and ask them to talk
through what there week consisted of, ask them what they
learn't from the excercise and ask them what should we do to
improve, put this goals on your new 90 day plan.

In the mean time you should interview your customers, ask them
how the feel about the service you provide, look for objective
sponsors not moaners as they will always moan..

david

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I **SO** disagree!!

by nancy.frank In reply to Gather info and make 90 d ...

I have been a member of teams that were "studied" and I will say two things:

1. The staff is going to busy doing their JOB!! Time to do this type of monitoring is really nothng more than a PITA.

2. No better way to get the title of MICRO-manager faster than this!

My 2 cents.

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No, No, No

by JamesRL In reply to Gather info and make 90 d ...

This is definately putting the wrong foot forward. I agree with Nancy this is micromanagement and sends the absolute wrong singnal.

I started a couple of jobs where I sat down with each employee, asked them about themsleves, about the job they were doing - what did they like about it, what didn't they like about it. Ask them about the department, what works, what doesn't work. Ask the same thing of your new boss. Pretty soon patterns will emerge and you will find out what you need to work on.

James

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Can't disagree more

by 3kl In reply to Gather info and make 90 d ...

I worked in consulting for a brief time. On one engagement the management required their full time staff to do just what you suggested. Not only did they make it their purpose in life to irritate management (10:05 went to bathroom, 10:06 zipped pants, 10:07 washed hands) but they also got very little accomplished. They (the employees) spent the whole time documenting and no time working. Not only was the information returned useless and management despised but two of the employees left for different jobs. If you can't get an idea of the daily life of your employees by observing them perhaps you don't belong in management.

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I think you go the wrong idea...

by kzin In reply to Can't disagree more

I've done this excercise loads of times, I've grown companies from nothing to multimillion dollar businesses and I've promoted those people i met on day one to leaders and sometimes to be my boss. So I strongly disagree with your understanding,. Its a matter of selling, often organisations are overworked and under appreciated. How can you help them if you have no idea what they do. If the staff don't want to do it then there is no point and I wouldn't thrust it on them but if it is sold from a fun point of view at the end of the week we sit round the table throw the notebooks in the bin (yes i do not even read them and sometimes for fun set fire to them YES!) and ask each other what did we learn. So often people of got issues or need support to get things out in the open. Look I'm not saying you do this every time it depends on the people the atmosphere and the pressures however for sure in a case of a stretched IT support group it can if done correctly be a tool to help the staff take some time out to think about what they are doing rather than runnning round like headless chickens., Sure you can observe all you like but if they don't get it they never will.

And finally, the worst person to perform such a role is a consultant - no wonder they revolted.

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by 3kl In reply to I think you go the wrong ...

First off, I said that I WAS a consultant. That was several years ago. If you notice my profile, I am not a systems engineer. I will not (and never will) argue that consultants are a fix-all. In house management needs to handle their business. Consultants are great for certain roles, however they are overused in technology today.

Now, to the meat of the response. The situation you descibe in the second comment sounds like it makes sense. I was merely relaying my experience. I never claimed to be a management expert. What, in my opinion (from the employee point of view) is important is that it is not forced upon them. Nothing will make we the employee angry more than a new guy forcing his platform upon us.

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excuse me for that

by kzin In reply to

sorry I didn't pick up WAS, your right about consultants being over user.. Anyhow I totally agree with you that you shouldn't force anything on an employee except say dismissal which I hope is the last resort for any employer. I prefer to team up with the staff and see how we can get some fun into the job as difficult as that may seam.

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Well put

by tfitzpatrick In reply to Can't disagree more

The suggestion of having the team document their activities suggests that Management does not trust them. Before making this suggestion, try and put yourself in their shoes. Write down everything you do in a day and then see how useful the information is.

Most employees who are asked to document their day will either a)lie to cover up what they are really doing, b)exagerate their duties to appear more valuable, or c)revolt against the whole idea and start looking for new work.

In my opinion, asking them to 'diarize' their day is a huge mistake.

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Why personal workbooks are good

by The Ref In reply to Well put

First up, I am a Software Development Manager who has worked with teams of two to twenty odd staff. I expect all my staff to have a personal workbook which they use as part of their work - and yes, I do it myself. The workbook is the property of the staff member, and is used to improve the way they work. Look into the PSP (Personal Software Process) by Watts Humphrey.

It also pays off for estimating - just lookup the last time you did a similar task. People always forget and underestimate how long things really take.

Using this has paid off so many times it is not possible to count. I take meeting notes on every ad hoc meeting, record how long it takes me to do things, and use it to improve the way I perform. It is invaluable when issues arise later and I can flick back to my meeting notes and read from them the outcome I recorded. This puts me in a position of strength, where I can justify actions and it diffuses issues that arise through misinterpretation. If I have misinterpreted I can show I did it at the time. If I have my notes and the other person doesn?t, well I am right ;-)

Logging everything such as toilet breaks are a waste of time - however logging interruptions are priceless. When anyone complains they get too many interruptions I ask them to log all disruptions for a week, then we sit together and work out where the disruptions are coming from and a way to prevent them.

When you get in the habit, it does not take any extra time to log what you do, but it does take some getting used to.

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