Keys to a Good IT Boss


1. Stay the course - Leadership, vision and planning are important to give the department an overall direction for the future. After you have chosen a path, sick to it. You cannot shift your priorities to address whoever screams the loudest. Set challenging, reasonable goals and devise a plan to achieve them.

2. Understand the business plan - Make sure the IT department understands what the business plan is for the company. Establish an open line of communication between IT and other departments.

3. Act as a buffer - Workers need to be shielded from office politics. Make sure that other departments go through you, and only you, with complaints about IT.

4. Be an advocate - Offer yourself as a mentor and resource for your employees, and use each employee for tasks that take advantage of his or her strengths. Be proactive in addressing tangible benefits such as salary, training, hardware and software. In addition to intangible factors such as time for working at home, input in decisions and communications.

5. Personal interaction - Be approachable to your staff. Make yourself visible by walking around and visiting their desks. Create a culture in the office that is conductive to brainstorming and problem-solving. When problems do arise, quickly clear up tensions face-to-face.


Anita Cassidy, President and CEO of Strategic Computing Planning, Prior Lake Minn.