Seven Bad Habits IT Managers Should Avoid

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Monkey on BackAn IT manager’s work is never done. From developing and implementing information systems to supervising server maintenance to researching methods to ensure the security of information that passes through the information server, a workday in the life of an IT manager is seldom a dull one. Even the best IT manager is guilty of a few management bad habits, however, and these habits could prove detrimental to a smooth-running work environment.

  1. Overloading on new technology. It’s good to keep abreast of the latest advances in technology, but unless what you already have is no longer effective, there’s no need to “upgrade” every time a new operating system or software comes out on the market.
  2. Hoarding. Hoarding expertise or projects will eventually come back to bite you. You might feel a sense of job security if only you’re the only one in the IT department who has the expertise and knowledge required for maintaining your company’s network infrastructure, but what happens when the network goes down and you’re on vacation? Or sick? Since you’re the only who knows what to do, you have to suck it up and come in on your day off.  Taking on too many projects may win you a well-deserved pat on the back from management and clients, but it also means your staff may be too busy to handle emergency situations should they arise.
  3. Being greedy. Not to be confused with hoarding projects, IT managers who are guilty of being greedy are those with clients who write up requests for proposals (RFPs) with unrealistic demands or clients who refuse to spend what is necessary to complete the project yet insist on getting it done–and the IT managers go on to promise a deliverable that is not realistically possible. The IT manager is faced with the decision to either refuse the project because the client’s request is unrealistic–and lose a potential future client in the process, or try to complete the project and risk failure–and also the loss of a potential future client. An IT manager can negotiate with the client an early completion incentive into the RFP and/or a penalty for projects that run over-budget or late.
  4. Being lazy. You’d be hard pressed to find an IT manager who isn’t working hard, but many get comfortable in their roles and don’t go the extra mile to ensure peak network monitoring, compliance auditing and data security measures are in place. It’s better to put in a little extra effort to catch glitches now before they turn into costly problems later on.
  5. Envying what other companies have. Just because another company, or divisions within your own company, has a larger budget or better software to work with is no excuse to not effectively work with what you have. Instead of focusing on what others have, focus on ways you can improve operations within your own department.
  6. Management by intimidation. You won’t motivate your staff with constant verbal outbursts every time something goes wrong. It is demoralizing to your staff, and it fosters a mindset that results in a lack of collaboration and finger pointing.
  7. Pride. IT managers are very knowledgeable about their jobs, but some are too proud to acknowledge when they don’t know about a certain topic, or they think they can do everything themselves when they really can’t or shouldn’t. An IT manager who can admit when he has made a mistake or bad judgment call is viewed more favorably than those who insist they’re perfect.

By Marie Larsen