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Contracts, champions and chops: How to prevent those common IT management mistakes

by Christina Juarez

January 15, 2019

Mistakes happen—by everyone, everywhere. They vary in size and severity, and they happen in both our personal lives and in our work lives.

When you work in IT, there are an unlimited amount of mistakes that can happen, and often times these mistakes can be prevented.

As IT departments across the country start getting into their 2019 planning and execution, we’re breaking down some of the most common mistakes and providing some guidance on how to avoid them.

Mistake No. 1: Focusing on the case, not the champion

When your team comes up with a new solution to a problem, many managers tell them to get busy writing a business case that will help sell the idea upwards. Months can be spent painstakingly working through the business case, ensuring the data and numbers are solid and working on the angles that will convince a CIO or CFO to sign a cheque.

But we’re hearing more and more that business cases don’t seem credible. Now, we’re not suggesting that you stop doing them altogether—but, as you head into a new project or planning season, think about having your case backed by an internal champion.

This person should champion your cause and also speak to how the solution will benefit the team and/or organization. They should be willing to assume responsibility for the project if it doesn’t work out the way you’ve initially intended. Having a champion can be a quick way to get approval.

Mistake No. 2: Making the wrong hire out of fear

As a manager, you should always want to make your team the strongest, smartest, and best it can be. There can be a lot of pressure when adding to the team, and the hiring process often stems from an examination of your skills and those of your team.

A mistake we often see is managers being afraid to hire someone who is smarter or better than they might be. Egos can get in the way, and sometimes managers may feel threatened by hiring intelligent new team members.

Combat this by ensuring that more than one person makes the final hiring decision.

Mistake No. 3: Being shackled to a vendor

This is probably the most common mistake that we see IT departments in every industry making.

Vendors love to sell, sell, sell, and lure companies in with their sales techniques. Once they have you, you’re often required to sign lengthy contracts, effectively eliminating choice and freedom.

We suggest that you work with multiple vendors and read every line of every contract that you sign. Ensure your business owns what it needs to, so that if you’re switching vendors you’re not starting from square one.

Work hard to avoid these mistakes in 2019. If you or your teams have questions, reach out to our trusted experts at Graycon—we can help make 2019 a seamless and successful year.