New IT Manager/Guy Check/ToDo List

Should be done ASAP, definitely by end of year one:

  1. Meet with your boss to establish the expectations of you. Also communicate your needs as a new manager (training?).
  2. Meet with anyone that might report to you now or in the future. Listen to them.
  3. Ensure you are on the right distribution lists and weekly meeting invites.
  4. Come up with a 30-60-90 day plan to tackle emerging projects/problems, as well as a long term one to handle strategy.
  5. Identify skills needed and justify hiring/training/contractors. See if you can acquire dotted lines, even an admin assistant.
  6. Get your applications and systems documented.
  7. Find out how you purchase equipment/software/licenses/renew maintenance contracts. Find out the need for such based off the document you put together earlier. Start putting together 2013 budget.
  8. Look at your BCM/DR plans, and make them if you don’t have any. Test them.
  9. Ensure backups are happening. Keep ensuring this.
  10. Check what regulations you have to keep in compliance with (SOX/PCI/HIPAA/etc).
  11. Prove to someone that your security is in place. This includes patches, antivirus, VPNs, firewalls, encryption, password strength, physical security, datacenter security, Active Directory/Group Policy. Restrict access to systems from others on a need-to-have basis.
  12. Set up monitoring and alerting if you don’t have it.
  13. List out all of your vendors, contact info etc.
  14. Document everything and have someone be able to be your backup so you can take a vacation.
  15. Pick a change management solution. Pick a helpdesk/ticketing solution.
  16. Set policies and procedures.
  17. Keep communicating and show progress/results.
  18. Stay healthy, keep regular hours. When at home thinking about work, write those things down and then forget about them until the next day. Don’t let it consume you.
  19. Build a relationship with HR. Visit them often – they are not the enemy (as much). You are a company man now, and they are pro-company. Your interests are more aligned (insert groans here about mgmt lingo).
  20. Set goals for yourself and your team and for IT.
  21. Have at least an annual review.
  22. Learn to delegate, set deadlines. This can be SO hard. I remember running into my bosses’ office and saying “I set a deadline… but what if they don’t meet it!!?”
  23. Inspect what you expect. Don’t fire (emails) and expect things to get done. Follow up. But don’t micromanage.
  24. Set up regular meetings with anyone that may report to you, or that you work with closely. Have an agenda.
  25. Set up a calendar to record events such as vacations, business closings, blackout periods, upgrade/patch cycles, application changes, etc.
  26. Decide your management style.
  27. Meet with other managers to ask them their viewpoint of IT and the company. See where you can help out. Give them hints on some of your plans to improve IT. (ie build relationships).
  28. Get a company credit card to make ad hoc small purchases.
  29. Set policies on what you will and won’t support – justify it.
  30. Pick a password management tool for all of your web and system accounts, and guard it.
  31. Pick a project management solution and start populating it. Prioritize.
  32. Check for salaries. Post your own.


Obligatory Welcome

ITDepends will strive to be a definitive source for anyone that is attempting to manage or run a company’s IT department, from the new startup CEO, to the volun-told office manager, all the way to the lone network administrator. This site will provide the basis and foundation to successful IT operations.

The name of the blog “ITDepends” comes from many years of IT consulting in which someone asks question X of their IT infrastructure and receives the eye rolling answer well it depends.

ITDepends will provide the structure to answer the “it depends” response, by educating and clarifying what IT is, and what it should be by drawing on knowledge obtained through my experience with providing consulting to single owner businesses struggling with maintaining an operating laptop all the way up to my work in a multi-national corporation with 100,000+ employees, and every other shop in between.

The bottom line is IT can elevate your business to new heights, but it can also quickly become the necessary evil if it’s not managed and maintained appropriately. So let’s get you and your business organized, and structured for growth.