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Build a Better Manager

Support IT success with a solid management foundation.

  • Management skills training is needed, but organizations are struggling to provide training that makes a long-term difference in the skills managers actually use in their day to day.
  • Many training programs are ineffective because they offer the wrong content, deliver it in a way that is not memorable, and are not aligned with the IT department’s business objectives.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • More of the typical manager training is not enough to solve the problem of underprepared first-time IT managers.
  • You must overcome the key pitfalls of ineffective training to deliver training that is better than the norm.
  • Offer tailored training that focuses on skill building and is aligned with measurable business goals to make your manager training a tangible success.

Impact and Result

Use Info-Tech’s tactical, practical training materials to deliver training that is:

  • Specifically tailored to first-time IT managers.
  • Designed around practical application of new skills.
  • Aligned with your department’s business goals.

Build a Better Manager Research & Tools

1. Build a Better Manager Capstone Deck – This deck will guide you through identifying the critical skills your managers need to succeed and planning out a training program tailored to your team and organization.

This deck presents a behind-the-scenes explanation for the training materials, enabling a facilitator to deliver the training.

2. Facilitation Guides – These ready-to-deliver presentation decks span 8 modules. Each module covers a key management skill. The modules can be delivered independently or as a series.

The modules are complete with presentation slides, speaker’s notes, and accompanying participant workbooks and provide everything you need to deliver the training to your team.

3. Participant Workbooks and Supporting Materials – Each training module comes with a corresponding participant workbook to help trainees record insights and formulate individual skill development plans.

Each workbook is tailored to the presentation slides in its corresponding facilitation guide. Some workbooks have additional materials, such as role play scenarios, to aid in practice. Every workbook comes with example entries to help participants make the most of their training.


Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

8.5/10


Overall Impact

$9,000


Average $ Saved

10


Average Days Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Ricoh New Zealand Limited

Guided Implementation

8/10

$9,000

10

the worst part is this survey. no timeline defined for benefit measurement. have assume first year

State of New Mexico - New Mexico Department of Public Safety

Guided Implementation

9/10

N/A

N/A

Nick took the time to ask excellent questions, listen, and understand the specific situation for which I was seeking guidance. We then went through... Read More


Workshop: Build a Better Manager

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Build a Better Manager

The Purpose

Attend training on the specific topics necessary for each individual management team.

Each workshop consists of four days, one 3-hour training session per day. One module is delivered per day, selecting from the following pool of topics:

  • Master Time
  • Accountability
  • Your Role in the Organization
  • Your Role in Decision Making
  • Manage Conflict Constructively
  • Effective Communication
  • Performance Management
  • Coaching & Feedback

Key Benefits Achieved

Managers learn about best practices, practice their application, and formulate individual skill development plans.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Training on one topic per day, for four days (selected from a pool of eight possible topics)

  • Completed workbook and action plan

Build a Better Manager

Support IT success with a solid management foundation.

Analyst Perspective

Training that delivers results.

Jane Koupstova.

Ninety-eight percent of managers say they need more training, but 93% of managers already receive some level of manager training. Unfortunately, the training typically provided, although copious, is not working. More of the same will never get you better outcomes.

How many times have you sat through training that was so long, you had no hope of implementing half of it?

How many times have you been taught best practices, with zero guidance on how to apply them?

To truly support our managers, we need to rethink manager training. Move from fulfilling an HR mandate to providing truly trainee-centric instruction. Teach only the right skills – no fluff – and encourage and enable their application in the day to day.

Jane Kouptsova
Research Director, People & Leadership
Info-Tech Research Group

Executive Summary

Your Challenge

Common Obstacles

Info-Tech’s Approach

IT departments often promote staff based on technical skill, resulting in new managers feeling unprepared for their new responsibilities in leading people.

The success of your organization hinges on managers’ ability to lead their staff; by failing to equip new managers adequately, you are risking the productivity of your entire department.

Despite the fact that $14 billion is spent annually on leadership training in the US alone (Freedman, 2016), only one in ten CIOs believe their department is very effective at leadership, culture, and values (Info-Tech, 2019).

Training programs do not deliver results due to trainee overwhelm, ineffective skill development, and a lack of business alignment.

Use Info-Tech’s tactical, practical approach to management training to deliver training that:

  • Is specifically tailored to first-time IT managers.
  • Is designed around practical application of new skills.
  • Is aligned with your department’s business goals.
  • Equips your new managers with essential skills and foundational competencies

Info-Tech Insight

When it comes to manager training, more is not more. Attending training is not equal to being trained. Even good information is useless when it doesn’t get applied. If your role hasn’t required you to use your training within 48 hours, you were not trained on the most relevant skills.

Effective managers drive effective departments by engaging their teams

The image contains a screenshot to demonstrate effective managers.

Engaged teams are:

  • 52% more willing to innovate*
  • 70% more likely to be at the organization a year from now**
  • 57% more likely to exceed their role’s expectations**

Engaged teams are driven by managers:

  • 70% of team-level engagement is accounted for by managers***
*McLean & Company; N=3,395; **McLean & Company; N=5,902; ***Gallup, 2018

Despite the criticality of their role, IT organizations are failing at supporting new managers

87% of middle managers wish they had more training when they were first promoted

98% of managers say they need more training

Source: Grovo, 2016

IT must take notice:

IT as an industry tends to promote staff on the basis of technical skill. As a result, new managers find themselves suddenly out of their comfort zone, tasked with leading teams using management skills they have not been trained in and, more often than not, having to learn on the job. This is further complicated because many new IT managers must go from a position of team member to leader, which can be a very complex transition.

The truth is, many organizations do try and provide some degree of manager training, it just is not effective

99% of companies offer management training*

93% of managers attend it*

$14 billion spent annually in the US on leadership training**

Fewer than one in ten CIOs believe their IT department is highly effective at leadership, culture, and values.

The image contains a screenshot of a pie chart that demonstrates the effectiveness of the IT department at leadership, culture, and values.

*Grovo, 2016; **Chief Executive, 2016
Info-Tech’s Management & Governance Diagnostic, N=337 CIOs

There are three key reasons why manager training fails

1. Information Overload

Seventy-five percent of managers report that their training was too long to remember or to apply in their day to day (Grovo, 2016). Trying to cover too much useful information results in overwhelm and does not deliver on key training objectives.

2. Limited Implementation

Thirty-three percent of managers find that their training had insufficient follow-up to help them apply it on the job (Grovo, 2016). Learning is only the beginning. The real results are obtained when learning is followed by practice, which turns new knowledge into reliable habits.

3. Lack of departmental alignment

Implementing training without a clear link to departmental and organizational objectives leaves you unable to clearly communicate its value, undermines your ability to secure buy-in from attendees and executives, and leaves you unable to verify that the training is actually improving departmental effectiveness.

Overcome those common training pitfalls with tactical solutions

MOVE FROM

TO

1. Information Overload

Timely, tailored topics

The more training managers attend, the less likely they are to apply any particular element of it. Combat trainee overwhelm by offering highly tactical, practical training that presents only the essential skills needed at the managers’ current stage of development.

2. Limited Implementation

Skills-focused framework

Many training programs end when the last manager walks out of the last training session. Ensure managers apply their new knowledge in the months and years after the training by relying on a research-based framework that supports long-term skill building.

3. Lack of Departmental Alignment

Outcome-based measurement

Setting organizational goals and accompanying metrics ahead of time enables you to communicate the value of the training to attendees and stakeholders, track whether the training is delivering a return on your investment, and course correct if necessary.

This research combats common training challenges by focusing on building habits, not just learning ideas

Manager training is only useful if the skills it builds are implemented in the day-to-day.

Research supports three drivers of successful skill building from training:

Habits

Organizational Support

The training modules include committing to implementing new skills on the job and scheduling opportunities for feedback.

Learning Structure

Training activities are customizable, flexible, and accompanied by continuous learning self-evaluation.

Personal Commitment

Info-Tech’s methodology builds in activities that foster accountability and an attitude of continuous improvement.

Learning

Info-Tech Insight

When it comes to manager training, stop thinking about learning, and start thinking about practice. In difficult situations, we fall back on habits, not theoretical knowledge. If a manager is only as good as their habits, we need to support them in translating knowledge into practice.

This research focuses on building good management habits to drive enterprise success

Set up your first-time managers for success by leveraging Info-Tech’s training to focus on three key areas of management:

  • Managing people as a team
  • Managing people as individuals
  • Managing yourself as a developing leader

Each of these areas:

  • Is immediately important for a first-time manager
  • Includes practical, tactical skills that can be implemented quickly
  • Translates to departmental and organizational benefits

Info-Tech Insight

There is no such thing as “effective management training.” Various topics will be effective at different times for different roles. Delivering only the highest-impact learning at strategic points in your leadership development program will ensure the learning is retained and translates to results.

Build a Better Manager preview picture

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

MEMBER RATING

8.5/10
Overall Impact

$9,000
Average $ Saved

10
Average Days Saved

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve.

Read what our members are saying

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 1-phase advisory process. You'll receive 3 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

  • Call 1: Scope requirements, objectives, and your specific challenges.
  • Call 2: Review selected modules and discuss training delivery.
  • Call 3: Review training delivery, discuss lessons learned. Review long-term skill development plan.

Authors

Carlene McCubbin

Tracy-Lynn Reid

Jane Kouptsova

Contributors

  • Greg Dolinar, IT Project Manager, Scotiabank
  • Moriah Christoff, Senior Manager, Operations and Communications, RBC
  • Corby Fine, VP of Simplii, CIBC
  • Andrew Santorelli, Senior Development Manager, Kanetix
  • David Baird, Head of Software, Nest Wealth
  • Brad Armstrong, Senior Engineering Manager, Code42 Software
  • Three anonymous contributors
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