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Technical Management

By Brian C ·
I have recently been taken on by a small company (< 30 staff) as a Technical Manager. The Technical department consists of three high calibre developers. My role is completely new to the company and I am sensing an attitude that "It all worked fine before you came along..."
Does anyone have any ideas how to proceed?

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What's the Goal?

by dwatts In reply to Technical Management

This is not unlike my story. However, while the employees thought ?everything was going reasonably well? ? the fact of the matter was ? they weren?t. My question to you is ?Why were you hired?? What were you told? One of the first questions I asked (even during my interview) was ?What do you perceive are the biggest issues with this department??

Fact is ? the current management team (in my case mainly the company owner) did indeed have some idea of issues. Staff retention was one of them ? and future direction was a second. I was brought in to solve those problems. I don?t think you are on your own with this one, the person that hired you should be able to give guidance.

I?ve been in my job now for almost 18 months. I have solved most of the initial problems. My task now is mainly as an advocate and facilitator. I support my people, help them with problems, help them plan for the things they are going to need and then make sure they get them. We now have a plan going out 12 months. They appreciate knowing how things are going to improve as we move forward.

To summarize ? I?d go to the source. Don?t struggle with this question alone. While your employees may have a ?who is this?? attitude, you simply have to earn their respect and illustrate how you can help them.

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by jimhesson In reply to Technical Management

Step 1 - Learn what the folks in your department really do. Spend time with them and thier users. Ask them to teach you. Listen to the issues that they raise. (You do not have to agree with them all but listening helps build trust and helps you understand their world. If a crisis arises sit with them through, even if you cannot help, moral support and communications with affected areas can be as important as solving the particular crisis.

Step 2 - Learn where your company or division isgoing. What are the technology needs today and what will they do tomorrow.

Step 3 - With your managements help or buy-in put together a plan to address the current shortfalls. Then move on to address the future shortfalls.

I know this is brief but this is the direction in which to move...



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Been there, done that

by round_up In reply to Technical Management

Include them. Don't try to become their friend, but be friendly. Assume they know what they are doing unless proven otherwise and let them know you value their input. It's difficult because of all the psychology involved in working with the different personalities. Just be easy going, but not to the point of them forgetting you are the manager. Whatever you do, do not ever lord your position over them or you will not be there long. The old school management style died in the 50's. Total inclusivness is the only way to survive among a professional staff.

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by Brian C In reply to Technical Management

Thanks to you all for replying - Things are starting to improve already...


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