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IT managers vs managers

By ericsaddress ·
Just curious as to how many people work with IT managers and how many work with people who manage IT (basically those managers who literally non-technical, but have the responsibiliy of IT resources). Also how has the experience been and/or which do you prefer?

Thanks!

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I have worked many times for

by w2ktechman In reply to IT managers vs managers

managers who had a background in IT but since becoming managers, they have lost even the skills to run a defrag on the HDD.
I have had few problems with them, and they have always supported me and the department in general. But, we often dont get a lot of the things that we want without a definitive need for it...

I have also worked for a manager who had no IT background, but tried to constantly be a part of everything. It was more than annoying, and we clashed always (I usually backed down from confrontations). That job lasted 2 months, as I could not handle it well at all.

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IT Mgmnt Needs Some Tech Background

by vsstaples In reply to I have worked many times ...

Having been a techie and now being in mgmnt for too many years, it's clear that IT management (middle mgmnt atleast) must have some technical background. I worked for several nontechnical managers and in every case the results were chaos. Non technical managers most times made commitements that were unrealistic in terms of functionality, cost or delivery time and most frustrating, becuase they couldn't understand what the technical staff were saying they didn't respect them. Instead, they viewed techies as barriers rather than trying to understand what was being said. In one example this lack of willingness to listen cost the company over $500k in a failed project. IT depts need middle manaagement who has IT experience and yes, I'm sad to say after years of mgmnt I have lost some of my skills but have, however, retained my ability to know who is good technically and listen to their thoughts and opinions!

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Some time tough with non IT managers

by keesari In reply to I have worked many times ...

Working under non IT managers is really tough, to convey any related technical issues really hard to convince them.

Some time they want us to not follow the process and move fw, they not even realize that it may effect in long run

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I am an IT manager

by Tig2 In reply to IT managers vs managers

And answer to non IT managers. It can be a struggle sometimes as I have to manage my team in one manner and manage to my seniors in a completely different manner.

I get frustrated sometimes trying to validate IT requirements in a way that Finance and others understand. I think that the trick is to learn to translate "technese" into "busnese". That can be a challenge sometimes.

I worked for one though who was completely non technical but strongly valued and supported his team. You had to be able to clearly validate your position with him but he would support you.

I think that at some point, it comes down to the value of the manager- if you are a good manager, you manage.

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You mean they lead

by j.lupo In reply to I am an IT manager

Good managers do good short-term managment, but Great managers are leaders first and see the long-term to completion. Yes? or is that too simplistic a statement?

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the anomoly

by computerwatch In reply to You mean they lead

I come to your company without any knowledge of Finance outside of a rudimentary knowledge of my chequeing account, and say "I want to head up your Finance team"....think baout the answer a CEO will give (without the expletives)!

Yet I go to a company with anything other than basic knowledge of IT and get offered the role as Head of IT???

No, it requires a LOT more than just "good management", and implying anything els downgrades the work and effort professional IT people put into their careers.


Paul

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IT managers need

by mjwx In reply to I am an IT manager

to serve as a layer of separation between upper management and the IT department. A NAT of sorts.

IT managers need to communicate the needs of the business to the IT workers whist keeping the management informed of the IT depts capabilities and advised of the IT depts limits.

This means that an IT manager must have a good understanding of both business practices and technology but need not be an expert in either.

From a guy at the bottom rung who has their fair share of unrealistic expectations from upper management, fortunatly for me the CIO was an admin for over 8 years before moving to management and generally kept most projects achievable.

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nice!

by Gooder In reply to IT managers need

What a fantastic way of putting it!

I've had some frustrating discussions with friends of mine, including programmers, network techies, etc. who delight in winding me up because I manage these days instead of "getting my hands dirty". Questions include "but managers don't DO anything", and "how can you manage an IT department if you don't know how to <insert current technobabble here>?".

I've long since decided they're just winding me up (it worked), but if the subject comes up again I'll use your explanation - it just might be technical enough for them to understand.

Cheers!

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It is hard today to classify so simply

by j.lupo In reply to IT managers vs managers

into these categories. Today regardless of the industry you work in - everyone has some level of IT knowledge. That is what happened with the explosion of IT into the home or personal arena.

I have however worked with both types and though never officially an IT manager, have done the work. I find that it doesn't matter whether you come from IT or come from business as long as you have very good communication skills, know your strengths and weaknesses and know how to work with teams.

Now that is a pretty short list and I could add a lot more to it, but those are the primary things to being a manager in any area. I have found both technical and non-technical managers to be both good and bad. Again the difference was how they worked with people and communicated not how much they knew.

I do believe that to be a manager at any level, you need a strong enough foundation of the organization, its core business, and the technology that supports that core business. But that is what I believe and what my research is starting to show.

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Non-technical, definately

by waity85 In reply to IT managers vs managers

Just to make things worse though. He thinks he is technical, keeps using big phrases when clients ring and get to him before a techie answers the phone, phrases like

"So, have you tried a traceroute to see if that helps your routing issues?".

When what the client asked for was to have a DNS entry changed.

oh well.....

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