Learning to read

» 23 August 2009 » In management, rambles »

This post forms part of my larger blog on starting out as a manager. See here for the full post…

Reading is good. New skills require practice and learning. New jobs require new skills. Maybe you were lucky and had a super-manager from the day you graduated and you can just emulate them. For the rest of us we have to aim to better our personal experience. Here’s a list of stuff I’ve read that I found really useful to help managing people.

Personally, I found managing the projects harder. There’s a lot of information out there but a lot of buzzwords too. Again, I could write pages on what I’ve learned here. I’ll try and keep it short.

  • Collate data on what work your team needs to do.
  • Collate data on what work your team is actually doing. This is quite hard.
  • Determine the goals of your team and how they fit into the goals of the company. Tell them to your team. This allows them to work effectively and make informed decisions.
  • Bin any notion of using Project Management software. Unless you’re looking after tens of people (in which case, what on earth are you doing listening to me) they just take up too much time and don’t work very well. Use a whiteboard or a wiki. I’d love to have a big electronic whiteboard to combine the advantages of both (and for Monday night Quake III sessions). I’ve not found the perfect solution for this yet.
  • Plan to spend a lot of time keeping all the information up to date. It won’t feel like work, but it is important.
  • Don’t give up! Nothing in project management is complicated. That does not mean it is not difficult. (Paraphrased from ‘Behind Closed Doors’)

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