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Managing a new IT Dept.

By cyke690 ·
Hi, I just landed a job to manage an IT department which gives support for several networking products to external clients. The department is quite new and there is no work flow or solid structure yet. This is my 1st mgt. job so I really do not know where to start. Any inputs from people who had the same experience would be appreciated. thank you.

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by TomSal In reply to Managing a new IT Dept.

First, congratulations and welcome to the hellish world of being an IT Manager... oh I mean the FUN AND EXCITING world of IT management.

Seriously. congrats. I'm assuming since you landed the job you must of impressed the brass with educational background (management degree perhaps?) or at the very least you demonstrated good people skills in the interview.

Either one of those are good starters to have.

My first advice for your PERSONAL benefit is make your personality shine with your co-workers from day one, especially other managers and the top brass. Meaning - smile, be positive, introduce yourself as needed and participate in meetings, discussions, etc. at every opportunity you get.

You have a GREAT benefit most IT managers would love to have had (including myself) - you are at the beginning stages building a new IT department. Many of us inherit the problems of an old/existing IT department.

Making yourself likeable now will reap dividends in the future. Establish your rep now (just make sure its a good, because like it or not IT departments often have LOVE/HATE relationships with all the other departments. (They love you when you get them a new system or help them finish their work, but they also won't think twice as using you as a scapegoat either. )

On the system end....

DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT....Have a document of all equipment, the entire LAN, etc.

SECURE SECURE SECURE .... after you document everything, make sure you IMMEDIATELY implement security...securing the network is one of the main benefits for a company to have an IT manager.

Test your equipment if installing all new gear and plan your network to meet the needs and expectations of the company....then EXCEED those expectations.

Good luck.

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Don't forget...

by TomSal In reply to Congratulations...

Don't forget to make sure you establish a corporate purchasing account with a few top vendors...I have one for Dell Computer, Micro Warehouse and Office Max - among others. Establish corporate accounts early on and then buy as much supplies as you can through your corporate contacts - it builds relationships and will save your company money.

Software wise...

Get anti-virus scanning of your network set up ASAP.

I also recommend IT management software. I use Track-IT!, its about $1000 for a 5 user license, but its worth it. I track all my purchases and trouble shooting work orders in there and at the end of each quarter I can print pretty looking reports to get to Accounting to track the company's IT spending. The work order reports I use to analyze how much time I spend troubleshooting each user, a specific software package or particular machine. That helps me greatly to make decisions and give advice at monthly manager meetings.

Be **** about licensing your software, and keep all receipts of license purchases and also (of course) keep the license certificates themselves. Allow no one to use un-licensed software on any machine you are responsible for. Trust me on this one.

Set IT policies now, right off the bat. Propose them to the top brass, tell why you need them and explain its important that they back the policies or else they are worthless.

You want policies governing email and Internet usage as well as the one about no illegal or unlicensed use of software as your most basic policies.

My last advice is get your company on track with disaster recovery/business continuity planning ASAP. It would stink if a hurricane hit your location and the infrastructure is ripped apart - you as the new IT manager would catch **** if you were like "oh um....ok so now what do we do."

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Here's a few more things....

by TTate In reply to Managing a new IT Dept.

1. Learn to be effective.... doing the right things.

2. Learn to be efficient.... doing things right!

3. Maintain absolute integrity.

4. Know your stuff!

5. Declare your expectations.

6. Show uncommon commitment.

7. Expect positiveresults.

8. Take care of your people or customers.

9. Put duty before self.

10. Get out in front & lead.

11. Consolidate. Standardize. Automate. Negotiate. Delegate.

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#3 is SO important!

by kathleen In reply to Here's a few more things. ...

Integrity is so important. People don't always have to agree with you, but as long as you are true to your beliefs people will know what to expect from you.

Also, don't be afraid to say, "I don't know the answer to that, but I'll find out and get back to you."

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You sit under the wheel, now what?

by e-Fellow In reply to Managing a new IT Dept.

Now you must lead. Yes you must turn the key, change the gears, steer the wheel and handle the maintenance, however, if you never lead whats the use?

#1. If you do not have one alreay or have a bad one, then implement a helpdesk that also managesvia priorities and time and also tracks time and efficiency.

#2. Work on and Implement a knowledgde base to take the busy work away. So your staff can work on the top priorities.

3. Begin today looking at ways to improve your service level, your integrity and your customer relationships. Do not fish for them, teach them to fish and when that's not feasible be courteous, on-time and efficient.

4. Also begin to look at cost savings, yes its funny now, but think way outside the box.

5. Set goals for service, monitor that service and poll your customers. Feedback can make you good or, if you really listen and respond accordingly, it can make you GREAT!

Yes there is much more but hey we are all busy!

Let's roll

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Newbie as well

by jdlongmire In reply to Managing a new IT Dept.

I am also a new IT manager and am VERY interested in the information everybody has given. All of it has been very helpful. Thanks, to you more experienced folks!

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IT Management

by hadg In reply to Newbie as well

Having taken over a municipality's IT department I am overwhelmed (I say this positively) because I look at it as an opportunity to finally steer my ship (I just had to add another analogy).

In addition to the other suggestions is get to know whoyour customers are, both external and internal. And ask them what it is they expect from you - often their expectations are much different than yours. And when you know their expectations you need to give them above what they expect. At least that is the way I manage my department here.

best of luck to you

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by dennis_custer In reply to Managing a new IT Dept.

Congratulations. Like the previous email stated it is not going to be all that difficult starting from the ground floor. You should immediately gather information of total remote connectivity, destination and origin of this data connection. From there you may consider outsourcing this activity to a secure VPN facility provider. These says it has become more cost effective and less of a support nightmare to go this route.
This happens to my area of expertise and also why I am now in management.
Feel free to contact me off-line should you need any more info or even help with finding possible in-house employees!

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Mix proj management / quality leadership

by rgrimsha In reply to Managing a new IT Dept.

Mix equal parts project management methodology with high quality character leadership

Systems Project Management { : How to Deliver Function and Value in Information Technology Projects by Jolyon E. Hallows (Hardcover - August 1997)

The 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership Follow Them And People Will Follow You -- by John C. Maxwell; Hardcover

The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person that People Want to Follow -- by John C. Maxwell; Hardcover

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by bmdm1 In reply to Managing a new IT Dept.

1. Listen to your people. They have good ideas, not always but a lot of the time.

2. Policy is not always the best. Always ask, is there a better way to do this? Then change the policy.

3. Talk TO not AT your people.

4. Have an open door policy where anyone can discuss anything (within reason) without the fear of being fired.

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