Mistakes often happen while managing, planning or developing an app and they’re part of a process. Leaders should learn a lot from everyday fallouts but bigger managing or strategic gaffes can have very negative outcomes and may result in putting any company in danger. In this article, we cover 6 biggest IT management mistakes that you would like to avoid.
Managers in charge of an IT company, like CTOs, risk a lot by making mistakes in these specific, fast-paced and developing business.
The management gaffes we present are ranked from:
- embarrassing and forgivable,
- recoverable but with a lot of work and struggle,
- extremely serious errors that you would never like to make.
The most common IT management mistakes are sloppy recruitment, promoting the wrong employees, hiding or ignoring serious problems (eg. with team communication), or reaching the final deadline. Let’s have a closer look at them.
#1 Reluctance to delegate tasks
There are still IT leaders who don’t want to share their work with anybody. They believe that someone else would destroy a project and ruin their reputation as managers. Well, that’s one of the biggest IT management mistakes you can make.
Being afraid of delegating tasks can create problems with overwhelming workload, stress and burning out. The process may require a lot of effort and trust from a leader at the beginning, but think about the results: after delegating some tasks to others, you can focus on doing your job and take care of your core responsibilities.
Find people who can help you and let them develop skills. Don’t be afraid of asking for support.
#2 Neglecting business cases
CIOs and other IT heads have heard it several times but it’s worth revisiting. First, build a clear and solid business case and then ask for an IT spend.
Beware! According to Gartner, worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.7 trillion in 2018, an increase of 4.5 percent from 2017.
Having a great business case is not the end. An IT manager has to find and persuade a leader who’s going to support him. Any kind of financial IT initiative requires an advocate on the business part.
If you want to become a better IT leader, you have to earn the trust of your future partners in business, cooperate with other teams in the company, support them and help to improve their tasks as well. Such teamwork and your initiative won’t be overlooked by the higher decisive person when it comes to strategic spend.
Earn the trust from other executives and their willingness to support you when it comes to presenting business cases and asking for spending.
#3 Hurrying Recruitment
Every manager knows how important it is to have enough members in an IT team to build, develop and cope with many other urgent requests. However, when you need another man to support your people, don’t hurry when recruiting. It can lead to simply choosing and hiring the wrong people for your team.
They can be hard to communicate and cooperate with, unproductive or unprofessional. The outcome of it would be additional training, delay, team frustration and the need to recruit again. That, consequently, would lead to wasting resources and time.
If you need additional human resources immediately and don’t have time to conduct an extensive hiring process you may want to consider temporary IT team augmentation.
#4 Promoting the wrong employee
Well, as hiring the right person is crucial, so is promoting. Generally, giving a promotion is a vital and stimulative thing to do in an IT company, but you have to deeply analyze the reasons standing behind every advancement.
The wrong reasons to give promotion to somebody include:
- rewarding somebody just for being loyal,
- opening a career path to those who are not ready for it,
- promoting just to feel good as a leader.
You have to talk to your team and catch their readiness to be promoted. Remember that not every developer is ready to become a tech lead.
A good practice to avoid making the mistake of promoting the wrong person would be to control the progress and initiative of an individual dev and after promoting the chosen one, provide him with feedback and support and supervise them as well.
#5 Application of agile methodology to core systems
Today cloud services are developing and the demands of the fast-paced business world are growing. Managers and CTOs feel that some parts of the organization are beyond their control.
It happens that some mechanisms of agile delivery, such as spinning up microservices in the cloud, can impact those systems that a CIO is responsible for: e-mails, ERP or back-office apps. Agile methodologies’ change control differs strongly from core systems.
A remedy for this problem is to draw a line between agile and business systems and increase control over the process. The agile delivery system cannot put your main service at risk. It would be a rather difficult process as the business today is fast but it’s imperative that it be controlled by a manager.
#6 Burying problems by managers
When a project is collapsing and you know that it’s going to be a hard nut to crack, inform your boss about such issues. Don’t try to hide some vulnerabilities until someone notices it. You’ll lose trust, credibility and, probably, your position too.
Inform your manager about problematic issues at the time of their appearance.
The moment you and your team start dealing with a problem is crucial. The probability of recovering a project and finishing a task will grow when you signalize a problem soon enough. Deliver bad news (someone has to do it), however embarrassing, hard, and stressful it is. When the disastrous situation is taken care of by your devs, then you will be worrying about informing your boss about it.
Remember to have a good relationship with everybody from the company, even if it is difficult for you. Communication is the most important thing in maintaining the information flow between every part of an IT company. It will pay off when something goes wrong and support is at a premium.
This article is a part of Handbook:Leading a Software Development Team: Guidebook for CTOs and Team Leaders
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