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Procedures when IT Manager is leaving

By Annajane ·
When the IT Manager is going to be let go, what are the important things to consider and the information needed? He is 90% of the IT department and very controlling. There are several servers and 40-50 users. He often worked from home. Several consultants are being brought in to help the remaining IT person and C Level management during the transition. We will all be meeting to develop a strategy before the IT Mgr. is notified.

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Are you expecting this to be hostile ?.

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Procedures when IT Manage ...

If you are going to prepare for it and he isn't he will be, if you see what I mean. If it is n't the issues are the same but the presentation is different.

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by Jaqui In reply to Are you expecting this to ...

They wouldn't be planning and trying to get a set of steps prepared if they didn't think it would be hostile.

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Make it an amicable divorce

by Doug_Dame In reply to Are you expecting this to ...

Unless this person is an idiot and/or oblivious, you're not to be able to do much "figuring out everything he knows" without alerting him that something is going on. And since no one told him what's going on, he will know it's anti-him, so to speak.

I would think the best approach might be to strategize on how to make it an amicable divorce from the very beginning.

For example, at the meeting where you present him the fact that he's out, you've "decided to take a new direction on IT management." But you "want to be very very fair to him." Therefore you say there will be a three month transition period where he is expected to transfer his knowledge to a successor or rent-a-manager, etc, and that his severance will include another 3 months of salary beyond that to give him time to find another position. Additionally, if there are no untoward system problems that could be reasonably attributed to his malfeasance on his part, 12 months after the date of this meeeting he will receive a bonus equal to 6-months of his salary for a sucessful transition. And you should suggest that he discuss this severance package with a lawyer.

Under those circumstances, especially if he has the (calming) advice from a lawyer on the fairness and reasonableness of this plan, I think very few people would then turn around and jeopardise their own well-being by plotting to sabotage the system.

Might add in a few days upfront "vacation" to give him time to think it through. (And he would immediately be expected to "hand over the car keys" (system passwords etc.) to someone else. His role thereafter is brain-dump, not hands-on.)

There will be costs involved in this approach, of course ... you'd be paying his salary for extra 9 months.

But bringing in one or more sufficiently talented consultants to figure out all the nooks & crannies of the system, make sure it's bullet-proof against his (potential) insider-insurgency, AND keep it supporting the business every day all the way wouldn't be cheap either. And to my mind would be harder to pull off, and therefore higher-risk.

My $0.02

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Outstanding Advice

by IT & Telecom Guy In reply to Make it an amicable divor ...

Very good advice. Hopefully they would be willing to pay for the decision. They should realize in the long term it will save them time and heartburn.

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company is to blame, I agree with previous

by Joe.Canuck@beer .ca In reply to Make it an amicable divor ...

The company that let 1 person gain so mcuh leverage is responsible for the situation. It's probably their fault that the relationship has deteriorated as well. If you have children you know what I'm talking about. You have to set clear boundaries and expectations with employees, this one had none and has run away to define his own processes and work habits. This also leads to resentment as the employee is not engaged in any structured culture at the company and is left to his own devices. Beleive me, I know of which I speak. I have incredible amounts of leeway where I am and mostly feel disenfranchised. Self managing is very stressful and there is no feedback, postive or otherwise. So this company executive neglected the manager and his department and he went off the rails. Now they want to sack him and figure out the state of IT in the process. It's time for the executive to show maturity (or get some) and engage the manager in a positive dialogue about where they really are, and together draw a map to get where they want to be. Perhaps if the executive actually do this they might find a change in the managers demeanor and find a reason to keep him. He has already shown amazing resourcefulness in running the IT show without the aid or engagment of executive, maybe they can salvage that valuable skill set and help him to become part of the team, but the onus is on the executive to create a team and give him a position in it.

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As the white rabbit said

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to company is to blame, I ag ...

Late, I'm Late
By about 9 years from the sound of it.

From the thankyou post it sounds like he's already started with his defences, it's all he's got really, while he could attack along the lines suggested, he has no anonimity. In fact the first iffy thing that happens, it's going to be a three in the morning call from the suits. I'd certainly be very careful before accusing him of anything though, a mistake could cost an extreme amount in the US.
Before they could salvage him they would have to forgive him, for at most, taking advantage of their ignorance. Even if they pretended to, attitude towards him from then on would clue in a stupid person of his real situation. If he ran an entire IT department for ten years by himself he's far from stupid no matter what his motives.

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Utopian . . .

by Meesha In reply to Make it an amicable divor ...

Would you really keep someone as tight and controlling as this IT Mgr. beyond the moment you've told him he's going, going, gone - no matter how nice you say it? He has obviously shown no inclination to be a team member and he has maintained complete power. Have you every heard of Trojans, worms, bombs and the like? He may have already put them in various scripts, applications, and just about hidden everywhere - all in anticipation of just such an exit event (or if you just **** him off). Keeping him beyond his actual notice is a huge security risk added to the one this firm has already allowed. Am I paranoid? No - just using common sense and due dillegence. The company has set itself up for this crisis, they will need to approach it as if it were a "disaster recover/business continuity plan" - without his involvement. You want him out, get him out now. There will be pain short, medium and long-term no matter what you do. The best you can do now is job-shadow for a week and then show him the exit. This reply is not meant to be so hard nosed but there really is no option for a company if it wishes to continue to be viable. Security not HR is the number one concern.

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Maybe, maybe not

by Doug_Dame In reply to Utopian . . .

You (Meesha) describe this person as "tight and controlling", and say that he has shown no inclination to be a team member and he has retained complete power.

That COULD be true, but as far as I can tell, that's going beyond the facts of what we were told.

What we were told is that this IT Mgr is "90% of IT" and that there is ONE other IT person.

In many small businesses, you don't have / can't afford a lot of IT people, and the owners / top managers either don't have much IT experience or simply concentrate their attention on the other aspects of the business. So it is not unusual that someone ends up as the lynchpin of the IT side, just as described here, and it (I would argue) is at least as much due to the organizational structure as to personality or behaviors of the incumbent. Think of it this way ... there's a "company management system" here, and it's been designed with no backup for the IT guru ... which is now a vulnerable "single point of failure."

(If you are a "systems person", my deliberate use of the term "single point of failure" should have caused an involuntary body twitch.)

The critical issue here is not Security (an IT-centric perspective, perhaps), or HR (let's all feel good about this), it is Business Continuity. How can the owners/top mgmt of this company replace this single individual and retain/re-acquire his knowledge, with the best balance of least risk, cost and time?

Remember too ... the top management's area of expertise isn't (presumably) IT. They have to hire a replacement and/or consultants to replace this guy ... do they truly have the expertise and knowledge to (on an expedited basis) hire the replacement and be 99% sure the person they've picked is capable of stepping in and doing the job from Day One?

(Interviewer to unemployed IT candidate, avaialble to start immediately: "Do you think you have the knowledge to jump in right away and take care of this situation?" Candidate: "Oh yeah, noooo problem." Well, DUH, what else is he/she going to say?)

Not our decision to make, of course ... the people involved will have to make their decisions based on their detailed knowledge of the specifics of the situation and personalities involved.

d.d.

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make him a consultant

by a.amariei In reply to Are you expecting this to ...

He has a good dosis of ego and he likes to... work from home. Looks like the ideal candidate for a consultant to the IT department.

I would discuss with him the "opportunity" for everybody that he becomes a $120/h IT consultant. This might be about twice his current salary. You can argue that due to board's new "vision" the company is outsourcing non-core activities.

It then becomes very natural that: 1) he does an IT inventory + a transfer, 2) during the transfer phase he will be perceived as a consultant, NOT as a punished colleague by the rest of the IT gang, and 3) a consultant contract could be terminated at any time for any reason.

good luck,
adrian

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by Jaqui In reply to Procedures when IT Manage ...

well, number one, you need to be able to log in as the admin, and change every systems admin password.

number 2 have someone go over the entire network for back doors he may have set up

number 3 "He is 90% of the IT department and very controlling"
you have no option but to get rid of him. the rule being:
if someone is indesepnsible fire thier a$$ as soon as possible so that you can stop them from destroying your business.

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