10 soft skills needed by IT managers

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6. Delegation: In short, if you can’t delegate, you can’t manage effectively. As a manager, it’s your job to orchestrate the work done within your department. This orchestration includes assigning tasks to those on your team. If you try to do it all yourself your team will be underutilized and you will be overworked.

7. Leading without authority: The IT function, by its nature, tends to have many dotted-line reporting relationships. As an example, your team may include a software tester who is on long term assignment to your group but administratively reports to the Manager of Software Testing. As the team leader, it’s your job to be able to motivate your team members, even if they don’t directly report to you.

8. Time management: As a manager, the discipline of time management is best divided into two categories; personal time management for you, and second, executive time management which are time management techniques designed to make your staff, rather than you, more efficient.

9. Effective writing: Whether it’s in emails, status reports, research papers, business case justifications, technical specification, budget requests, or any other written correspondence, how well it’s written is a reflection of your abilities, professionalism, mental organization, and managerial competence. Additionally, the better something is written the better chance that it will serve your purpose of getting the project approved, etc.

10. Problem solving and decision making: I have included these two topics together because they are two sides of the same coin. Namely, you make decisions because there is a problem or issue that must be solved. Management, by its nature, requires the ability to recognize that a problem exists, analysis capabilities to identify the problem’s root cause, the problem solving skills to define a plan of correction, and lastly the decision making skills to make the decision to move forward on implementing the solution.

If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at
eric@ManagerMechanics.com
or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.

Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to build your professional brand.

Read more of Eric Bloom's Your IT Career blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @EricPBloom. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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