Daily Archives: September 30, 2013

Fastest way to develop key IT manager skills to achieve IT success

IT managers have the toughest management job in your company!

But, , , IT management is simpler and easier when you have a process to follow and tools that help, especially if you get them from an experienced manager.

You don’t need theory, , , theory sounds good but doesn’t work in the real world.

You don’t need a long drawn out program, , , you don’t have time for that.

What you do need is a straightforward and practical IT management process to follow and specific tools that help you achieve IT success.

You need something you can use now!!

The IT Manager Institute program is by far the fastest way to gain these critical management skills. Ask any of our students.

CLICK HERE to download the IT Manager Institute brochure.

IT Manager Institute Brochure

The Institute is better than ever, , , streamlined to help you achieve more success.

Here are some ugly facts:

  • Most IT organizations are reactive.
  • Over 50% of all IT organizations are out of sync with the business they support, and the senior IT manager doesn’t realize it.
  • IT organizations lose credibility every day due to a few issues that are easy to correct.
  • Most IT managers do not have a management process to follow or tools to do their job.
  • There is usually no one in the company who can help a struggling IT manager or CIO.

These issues cost companies billions every year in wasted money and lost productivity.

Instead of the IT organization being viewed as an enabler and a valuable investment, , , the business often views IT as a “necessary cost”.

The sad thing is that a focused IT organization can leverage the productivity and reduce cost for every department in the company. No other organization has this type of leverage, , , but most CEO’s simply do not realize it because they haven’t experienced it.

Instead of the CEO looking for a place to hide when he sees the CIO coming down the hall, , , he should be running to greet him because he knows the CIO has powerful insight that he wants to hear, , , things that leverage and provide tangible value for the company.

A CEO knows this when his IT managers consistently:

  • Recommend business value initiatives
  • Their initiatives are always cost justified
  • They deliver what they say they will do

The formula for a successful IT organization is pretty simple, but if you don’t know what it is and don’t have the tools to do the job, , , it might as well be “in Greek”.

For example, are you aware that it only takes about an hour to determine if IT is out of sync with the business? Yet, over 50% of IT organizations are out of sync according to many studies, , , and don’t realize it.

2013 marks the 11th year I’ve been teaching the IT Manager Institute. Hundreds of IT managers from all parts of the world have gone through the program and are achieving more success because of it.

We have 100% positive feedback, something I’m extremely proud of. The reason is simple, , , the program hits the mark for what an IT manager needs to succeed.

It gives you a simple process to follow and practical tools you can begin using immediately that will help you do the job.


Read comments from managers who have attended:

“I am already using principles and concepts learned in the Institute before I even get home. I feel 100% more prepared for what I will face on Monday when I get to my office.”
Dan Ussery; La Crescenta, CA

Best I have been to, this class has answered many of the questions I was struggling with.”
Luke Marino; Austin, TX 

“A very useful course. It’s one of the
best courses I have ever taken.
I wish all IT managers could take it.”
Eisa Ali Al Mansoori; Abu Dhabi, UAE

“Mike’s presentations are great!  He not only gives us the process to follow but the tools he uses also.  His insights are  right on the money based on real world experience, and he explains complex concepts in a down to earth manner.”
Ed Anderson; Walkerton, IN

“Informative and packed full of real life examples, it empowers the student to return to their organization with a wealth  of material to succeed.”
Laura Lehr; Bonita Springs, FL


These are just a few of the hundreds of positive comments from IT managers who have attended the IT Manager Institute.

The Institute teaches you a practical process to follow and provides specific tools that will help you and your IT organization achieve more success.

Whether it is determining what your organization should work on, prioritizing work, managing projects, budgeting, motivating your team, or delivering an IT strategy, , , this program covers everything you need to learn in order to manage a successful IT organization.

We will walk step by step through the actions I would take if I were to join your company as a new CIO, , , and discuss the specific tools I would use to help me:

  • determine what we should work on
  • prioritize the work
  • develop and communicate an IT strategy
  • begin establishing much needed credibility
  • , , , and much, much more

Stop struggling so much and learn “insider tips” on how to deal with the IT support issues you face every day.

Learn how to take charge of your situation and to get your IT organization out of react mode.

Real power comes with knowledge and insight of what to do and understanding how to go about it.

Results occur when you follow a management process and have the tools to actually do the job.

The IT Manager Institute gives you both.

No theory, , ,just simple processes and tools that work, , , and are working for thousands of IT managers around the world.


Leverage your IT investment and boost your career when you attend the IT Manager Institute. Learn more and register athttp://itmanagerinstitute.com/training/agenda


Do you need the IT Manager Institute delivered in your company for 6 or more managers? Contact me at:  info@mde.net


More comments from the IT Manager Institute:

Excellent content that is highly relevant, excellent and well paced presentations, and excellent value. The IT Manager Institute contains every element that will lead to a successful IT manager.”
Mohamed Alaydaroos; Abu Dhabi, UAE

“The Institute program is a must for
all CIO and technology managers.  I can’t wait to go and start implementing all I have learned here.”
Okoh Chukwuka; Lagos, Nigeria 

“I have gained knowledge, skills, and tools to effectively manage the IT department.  This class has also helped me gain confidence in my ability and empowered me to be a manager.”
Connie Bain; Birmingham, AL

“I was very positively surprised, Mike is one  of those people I am really proud I have met!  I’d recommend the Institute to everyone involved in managing IT.”
Matej Kurent; Ljubljana, Slovenia


Attain the IT Business Manager Certification, ITBMC and demonstrate you know the importance of delivering business value for your company.

When you do, business managers of the company will view their IT support organization in a whole different light.

A final comment:
Many IT managers tend to procrastinate and over analyze. Don’t let this happen to you.

Maybe you have been thinking, “Over time I will learn how to manage my IT organization better.”

If so, this is a dangerous approach. Without help, you are going to make mistakes and those mistakes can be very costly for your company, , , even your career.

Attend the IT Manager Institute and I guarantee your perspective of managing an IT organization will change. When you approach “the business of IT support” differently from how you’ve been “managing technology”,  the results will be noticeable to everyone around you.

I encourage you to take charge of your career and make the investment that can make a real difference for your organization, your company, and most importantly for you.

We have a great event coming up, , , would love to meet you there and have you join the managers who have attended the fifty-seven IT Manager Institute programs delivered so far.

IT Manager Institute #56 – Dubai, UAE – May 2013

Can’t afford the class or travel?

Take a look at the IT Manager Institute Self Study. Same material and benefits as the classroom event including ability to attain ITBMC certification


Client Satisfaction Survey to assess IT support

phoneHow well is your IT Support Organization doing?

The real answer lies “in the eyes of the beholder” as they say. What this means here is that your client’s perspective is what’s important, , , not what you and your IT staff think.

I’m not trying to stir up trouble but I do want to make a point.

IT managers usually have the same perspective – almost always they view how their IT support organization is doing this way:

  • “Our IT employees work very hard and on the right things for our company.”
  • “Our clients do not understand nor appreciate us.”
  • “Clients do not do what they need to do to use our technology effectively.”
  • “We don’t have enough money to do the job.”

Some of this may be true but the bottom line is that when you focus IT support, your client’s perspective is what’s really important.

Do you know what your client would say when asked about their IT support?

There are a few questions you should always have a good grasp about what they will say:

  1. “Is the IT support organization responsive to your needs?”
  2. “Is IT support effective in resolving your technical problems?”
  3. “Is IT support focused on your needs and issues?”
  4. “Are IT support employees professional and courteous in providing IT support?”

At a minimum, you need to evaluate and understand these issues on a somewhat regular basis. To do this, you can use a simple IT Support – Client Satisfaction Survey. There are only 5 questions and requires only a few minutes to complete.

IT Support Survey

CLICK HERE to download the survey tool.

A STRONG Recommendation in conducting surveys
Rather than sending a survey out and hoping your clients will fill them out and return to you, , , visit or call your client to conduct your survey and fill out the form yourself.

There are several reasons:

  • You will get a much higher response, , , no one likes to fill out surveys.
  • If the response is negative, you can ask a follow-up question or ask for an example to better understand your client’s perspective. You will learn much more than if they simply fill out the survey.
  • Visiting your client and communicating with them one-on-one is always a good thing for you to do.

If you conduct a client survey, be sure to follow-up with results of the survey and actions to be taken to improve IT support. Otherwise, “Why do one?” It helps you gain credibility when you follow-up with specific action items.

Another thing to consider is to conduct your surveys twice a year, , , at least annually, and use the same questions each time. Doing this will help you monitor trends and see if you are making progress in providing support for your clients.

Communicate ‘Cost of Downtime’ to get through to senior managers

questionHave you ever tried to get an infrastructure project funded only to discover that it is like “pulling teeth” to get your senior manager’s approval?

If so, it is probably because your senior manager is having major difficulty understanding what you are talking about. All he hears is that you are asking for lots of money, , , and that’s not something he lets go of without understanding the value of what he will receive from the investment.

Senior executives normally do not understand technology, , , and they don’t want to.

Well, if that’s the case, , , how do you get a technology project funded that’s critical for the stability and support of your infrastructure? You know how important it is but you aren’t getting the message across to your boss, the CEO.

Something that will help is to discuss the project in terms of business value, , , and certainly not in technical terms.

Discuss “WHY”, , , not “WHAT”!

“WHY” deals with benefits, , , i.e., business value. “WHAT” deals with technology.

Unfortunately as former technical people, IT managers tend to discuss the “What” and not the “WHY”. It’s a guaranteed way to put your CEO to sleep or give him a major headache.

Business value includes one or more of five very specific things:

  • Increase revenue
  • Decrease cost
  • Improve productivity
  • Differentiate the company
  • Improve client satisfaction

When you change your presentation to highlight the business value your company will receive by making the infrastructure investment, your senior manager hears and understands you, , , and when this happens, he makes a decision that usually goes your way if there is sufficient value for the investment.

A tool that can help significantly is to paint a picture of the ‘cost of downtime’ that your project recommendation will help eliminate.

Calculating “cost of downtime” is straightforward, but first you need to visualize what we are talking about. Below is a simple infrastructure scenario:

Cost of Downtime example

In this example, we literally “paint a downtime picture” to show the following:

  • Corporate HQ Office is home of the Data Center where there are three servers.
  • There are five remote offices (Atlanta, Denver, New York, etc.)
  • In each office we list the number of Users (500 at HQ, 100 in Atlanta, etc.)
  • We estimate the average salary of a company employee is $20/hour.
  • The green filled circles are routers.
  • Three downtime scenarios are highlighted:
  1. If the Atlanta office router goes down or they lose connectivity, the productivity loss at 100% is $2,000/hour.
  2. If the HQ router goes down (green filled circle on the Corporate HQ box), all remote offices lose connectivity and 100% productivity impact will be $20,000/hour.
  3. If the E-mail server crashes it affects productivity of all 1,500 workers. At 10% productivity factor, the impact is $3,000/hour.

Using these assumptions you can quantify the ‘cost of downtime’ for any component in your company, , , even a zone printer or a single PC.

Once you and your client can visualize the downtime scenario we created above, you can list key components in a downtime chart and refer to it when trying to justify an infrastructure project.


CLICK HERE to download the Cost of Downtime tool.

Downtime has huge cost and productivity implications for your company. If you need to implement a redundant router at the HQ building to reduce the risk of having a single router point of failure for 1,000 of your remote office workers, it is pretty straightforward and easy to get funded when the CEO sees the potential productivity cost risk of downtime with a single router.