IT Management Tool Kit

Doing the Job

This site is intended to share my knowledge, expertise and best practices with others as they apply to IT management. Like any other craft there are tools that are needed to make something.  In this site I will define some tools that are common in IT management and some that change depending on industry and technology.

The What – What are we making?

What is IT Management? Information Technology Management is the effective implementation of computer and software systems to assist the business in the achievement of its goal. Once implemented these systems need to function efficiently, reliably and profitably. I acknowledge that the previous statement is the ideal.  There is a difference between what something should be and the reality of day to day operations.  In this section we will explore what is archetypical and what is commonly achievable in an IT department based on company size, staff and outsourcers.

The How – The toolkit

My tool kit for running an IT Organization is as follows:

  • Service Management. ITIL (Information Management Infrastructure Library). This framework allows for IT projects to flow into production and support. Defining along the way service ownership, critical information and workflows needed to successful implementation.  If you ever wondered how you know something is going right or wrong then the faithful application of ITIL structure will give you those road signs. This section will take a deeper dive into ITIL components and discuss case studies concerning Project Management realities.
  • Continuous Education – Often the path to IT Management comes via a technical career.  The career path diverts away from technical to one of managing people and resources. Yet not knowing the technology around the corner will impair your ability to position your company for the next technology.  Another problem is the threat of irrelevance and becoming outsourced.  This section will discuss key resources and habits that are required to stay current with IT news on a daily basis.
  • Talent Management – Regardless of the size of your staff, knowing what you don’t know is important. Like a coach of a sports team you need to be able to honestly and sometime ruthlessly access what you got, recruit or train for what you need and sometime trade out what you can’t use. This section will discuss some techniques and tools that I found useful.  We’ll discuss personnel development, reviews and what is fair to the company and the employee.
  • Vendor Management – In today’s IT environment outsourcing is a reality that every business needs to consider.  There are roles that Internal IT staff is better suited to accomplish for a business than an outsourced vendor. That being said the outsourced vendor is a tool that all IT managers should have to be effective. Defining what attributes a good IT vendor exhibits is key to not wasting time.  Making an outsource vendor successful for your company takes time and relationship.  This section will discuss some general philosophical points concerning this issue and how to make an outsourcer fit in your organization.
  • Business Continuity – Beyond just backup and recovery Business Continuity (BC) is a key part of IT Management today.  You can have a good copy of your data but if you can’t get that data back to your users in a manner that they can accomplish the business needs then you have a huge problem.  BC is expensive depending on how much risk the business is willing to take and always gets blamed on IT management. If you’re going to get the blame anyway might as well own it.  In this section we’ll discuss the current concepts in BC, some cost estimates and techniques for project management of what you can and can’t anticipate.