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SNHU - IT-485 Software Development in Distributed Systems
Written by: Chris Bell - August, 2014

Role of an IT Manager



Introduction


The main role of an IT manager during the systems software procurement and development process is to facilitate, control and stay on budget. IT managers maintain decision making authority throughout the entire process because they facilitate multiple tasks simultaneously. They manage the systems engineers, designers and programmers and revisit the budget after each milestone is complete. IT managers also build consensus within each task group manager by explaining the entire project plan and layout. Essentially, the IT manager leads a few more managers that each have teams to complete more specific tasks.

Decision Making Authority


The IT manager should maintain decision making authority throughout the entire project because it would be difficult for someone to jump in and take control of their vision. Systems can be built in many ways, many languages and in many formats which make it difficult to replace the person that had the initial vision. It would also be difficult to give more decision making authority to the second tier managers of individual tasks because they're more focused on their task instead of the entire system. Each second tier manager should report to the IT manager with any questions or concerns, especially if the concerns affect the final budget.

Build Consensus


Building consensus and comradery within a team is important to IT managers because the project will be complete faster and more efficient. The initial meeting can allow for everyone to include their thoughts and comments so that each person feels they contributed to the idea of the project. That will give the engineers, designers and programmers the feeling of a group effort instead of a dictatorship. However, once the suggestion box is pulled of the table, the IT manager needs to be clear about who's in charge and where all questions should be directed.

Conclusion


The main role of an IT manager is to control and facilitate the other managers of individual tasks. There are budgets in place for each portion of the system. Even though the systems engineer wants to include additional functionality beyond the initial budget, the IT manager will step in and tell them it's not able to happen. In fact, the opposite may happen where the system engineer will actually have to pull something from the project to meet the labor requirements of the budget. IT managers, like CEO's, need to where multiple hats each day. They don't have to know about every semi-colon within the code, but they have to know the main goal of each task manager of the project for it to come together as planned in the end.

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References:


Brown, C. (et al) (2012). Managing Information Technology. 7th ed. Pearson. Saddle River, N.J.

IT Manager Job Description. Retrieved from:
http://www.cwjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/profiles/it-manager