Becoming a Manager

Well its that time of year again.  Time for Performance reviews and KPI’s and Objectives for the year ahead.  I have 2 team members this year angling for Management positions in their respective departments.  I started to think about this and how I was going to make the process meaningful rather than just handing out a title each year.

My goal was  to identify the requirements that I would like to see from each of my reports for them to be considered for a ‘manager’ role. I anticipated up front these taking 12-36 months to achieve depending on the individual. These things shouldn’t be considered a short term process, but a strategic goal for the individual to help them progress their careers to the next level.

This in mind I have outlined what I would consider core competencies for a manager below.  My base line would be that if you can do most all of these to a pretty high level you could be an OK  I.T. Manager.  If you could do say 70% of them then you would be an OK Helpdesk or Network Manager.  I was conscious in doing this that there must be something similar in other parts of my business, so while this is what I think they need to be in IT I am  interested in trying to tie this to something more generic that will help the participants identify how they fit into the overall business.

The plan is to  ask each of my reports to score themselves on these items between 1 and 10.  I am also going score them and then based on the group average come up with an expected score for each area to be considered a suitable manager.

This would then allow for the delta between the self-score and my score to be discussed, or the score between the self-score & expected minimum. From this we can agree where priorities lie and identify internal opportunities to develop those, or external/internal opportunities for training or skill swaps.

1.       Budget Management

This includes identifying a budget for a project. Consideration of unexpected amounts and tracking of budget spend against a project.

2.       Business Case Development

This covers the physical development of a business case to support a proposed course of action.  The ability to present several alternate courses of action and identify an appropriate course of action that should be followed

3.       Staff Mentoring & Motivation

This covers the way that the employee engages with and develops team members.  Application & observation of OHS principles.  Consideration of employee long term career goals and recognition of work being performed. Encouraging the team to ensure a positive work place.  Addressing short falls in performance in a constructive way

4.       Project management

Delivery of a project on time. Ensuring that adequate planning is available. Each member understands their part. Preparation of project planning documents and Change Requests.  Ability to formally brief project members for a desired outcome and to maintain an overall view of project scheduling

5.       Business knowledge

Able to understand our wider business and articulate it to a layman.  Able to describe the impact of specific events in industry on the success of our business.

6.       Relationship management

The way the employee deals with other departments, their ability to form relationships and influence people towards a desired outcome.

7.       Technical Knowledge

Knowledge of the employees own technical specialty and that of their peer groups.

8.        Conflict Resolution

How does the employee deal with conflict, how do they identify an acceptable outcome

9.       Innovation

How does the employee deal with the unexpected.  This would also cover competing priorities



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