As with any profession, it behooves new personnel in the Information Technology (IT) career field to critically analyze what new roles, responsibilities, and challenges they will face. Lacking a clear understanding of what a manager is required to accomplish, and what tools he or she has available to that end, leaves him or her without direction, and at a severe disadvantage. This essay outlines some major points that, if considered by aspiring IT managers, can contribute to their efforts and make them more effective in their jobs. The two major items that the successful leaders should focus on in all their professional endeavors are the mission and the people. Without a clear mission a team will flounder about ineffectively; without a cohesive, motivated team, the mission has a degraded chance of success. Careful consideration of these two major facets will enhance leadership in the IT arena.
IT as a Management Enabler
First and foremost, IT managers must remember that IT capabilities are support tool, a means to an end. In fact, “The new maxim in IT…is that technology projects that don’t support strategic goals have declining value for the institution” (Chester, 2006). Stated simply, IT for the sake of IT is not a viable mission. Therefore, a mission example might be to install a robust communications infrastructure to establish and sustain operations in a recently acquired building. The actual end-state users should be involved with the venture from the beginning, and remain involved after the initial requirements are established. After all, without users, there is no mission for IT teams.
Success in any venture requires an understanding of what the end state is. How can someone declare mission success if unsure of what the mission was? Additionally, IT managers often meet the difficult task of defining the end state. While requirements are generally driven by the user, they might not specifically set a distinct line at which IT... [continues]
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