Tag Archives: mike sisco

IT Manager Institute and ITBMC Program Overview

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CLICK HERE or on the image above to watch the video.

As I enter the 17th year of my company I’m excited about the emphasis on IT manager training we have planned this year. The IT Manager Institute has been a very successful program that we offer in three formats:
1. Classroom
2. Webinar
3. Online Self Study

The IT Manager Institute and ITBMC Certification Program is one of the fastest and most effective ways to develop critical IT management skills. If you want specific instruction on how to succeed and fast results, the IT Manager Institute is what you need.

The program follows a simple IT Management Process™ and provides tools and insights that can be used immediately to help IT managers of all levels achieve more™ success.

My training is practical, straightforward and to the point on how to achieve IT manager success. I teach you:
– What you need to do
– How to go about it
– Tools and examples you can use immediately

itbmcOver 1,000 IT managers from all parts of the world have attended the program in either classroom, webinar, or online Self Study with 100% positive feedback. The reason is simple: our processes and tools are practical, easy to use, and they work in the real world.

Attain ITBMC status and you will demonstrate a method of management that sets you apart from other IT managers and will help you achieve more success.

There is NO THEORY in this program. Every process and tool was created by me to help me organize, monitor and manage IT organizations in real companies. I have translated over 20 years of IT management experience into some of the most practical training for IT managers in the industry.

Check out the IT Manager Institute for yourself at:
http://itmanagerinstitute.com/training/agenda/

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2017 IT Manager Training Schedule

We have scheduled a big year of training, and I have reduced travel to be able to deliver much more online training this year. Check out our 2017 schedule below:

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2017 New Year Message from Mike Sisco

Click image to view video

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Announcement – New IT Manager Training

_training-schedule-2016Our company is entering into a new phase of growth and it includes significant more focus on IT manager training.

We will deliver new training every month on a variety of topics that “help IT managers of the world achieve more success“.

Check out our Fall 2016 Schedule  —————>

MDE Enterprises, Inc.
itmanagerinstitute.com/training

2017 Schedule
will be posted soon!

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76th IT Manager Institute

We held the 76th IT Manager Institute at Graymere Country Club in Columbia, TN. Another great class.

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IT Manager Institute headed to Dubai and Accra

We have two new IT Manager Institute classes coming up:
– Dubai (May 22-24, 2016)
– Accra, Ghana (June 13-17, 2016)

Take a look at the short video for information.

Assign a paparazzi to your IT team

PhotographerYou should assign a paparazzi to your IT team and start documenting your journey. You may not realize it, but right now may be one of the best work experiences in your entire career.

There are three companies I look back upon in my career and think of them as my best experiences. Much of what made these situations special has to do with the people I worked with, part of it was the type of work we were doing, and some of it was even the client experiences.

There are two things I wish I had done earlier in my career:

  1. Kept a journal
  2. Taken more photos

No excuse for not keeping a journal, , , just didn’t think about it back then. Wish I had because there were many memorable moments that I know would be worth remembering now.

I keep two journals now, , , one for business and one that’s personal. I don’t write in them every day but try to capture important events and a few things I think will be worth remembering when I’m in my 80’s and 90’s. 🙂

On the photos issue, I do have a reason for lacking more photos. Early in my career we had to use film, , , digital cameras were not around yet. So, the hard copy photos I have are far and few between and many have been lost over time. Digital is so much better. Wish we had digital cameras when I was a kid!

When I stumble upon a hard copy photo from my early career, it usually brings back good memories, , , like the one below.

Mike_BryanThis is Bryan Hathcock, my first IBM manager and one of the best managers I’ve ever worked for, awarding me a $20 gold coin for helping sell the most IBM software applications during a contest period. I remember working hard to help my primary Sales Rep, Jim Cockerham, focus on this objective. Jim is also in the photo (far left) and just seeing Jim and Bryan brings back so many great memories of my “IBM days”. Note the wide tie and jet black hair!

I st$20_Gold_Coinill have my $20 gold coin which is now worth more than $1,000.

I talked to Bryan just last week which may have prompted me to think about writing this post. He is in his 80’s now but hasn’t changed a lot. Hoping to stop by and visit him when I’m in Atlanta in April for our niece’s wedding and share some memories.

Back to the paparazzi idea, , , why do I recommend you assign a paparazzi and start taking photos? Well, there are several reasons:

  • Capturing memories at work may be appreciated later in your life. Like I said, these times may be some of the best you will experience in  your career.
  • Develop slideshows with high energy background music for some of your IT staff meetings, , , especially if you do an annual IT Kickoff Meeting. Your employees like to see themselves on “the big screen” in a slide show. Trust me, it’s great motivational material in a staff meeting. How do I know? Simple, I’ve been an employee and liked it and I’ve also seen it work great with employees who have worked for me.
  • It’s fun, , , and having fun at work from time to time is beneficial for both you and your employees.

In each of my IT Manager Institute classes I assign a paparazzi on the first day to take photos during the class. At the end of the class I give students a flash drive that contains IT management resources plus a file of all the class photos taken during the week. Some of them are truly memorable like the ones below:

CoinsDubai Institute managers showing off their MDE/IT Manager Institute coins

Institute-Tanner_Sep2014-2Tanner Medical managers in a fun class photo

IT Manager Institute - DubaiClass photo of one of my favorite Dubai Institute classes – October 2012
I have delivered 16 IT Manager Institutes in Dubai through 2015
I’m standing next to our paparazzi, Mohammed Abu Deeb from Saudi Arabia

kickoff_photosA small class but what a great group!!! I stay in contact with several of them.

kickoff_6Monika really enjoyed this desert!

18bEd presents Heitor a “Dead Chicken Award” – lots of laughs!

21cLjubljana Institute managers in our “Blues Brothers” pose

21bI’m 5’10” tall, , , Matej and Timor are 7′ tall – material for a memorable photo

institute39-bLagos Nigeria class presents me a painting that now hangs in my home office

Call me sentimental or foolish, but I like to reminisce and remember some of the “fun times” in my career. As you get older, you may discover it happens with you as well.

What type of photos do you want your IT paparazzi to capture? Good question, I recommend the following but don’t limit it to just my ideas:

  • Company events
  • Awards
  • IT employees at work
  • IT employees with your clients (Managers and Users)
  • Meetings
  • Off-site events
  • Cameo or ad hoc photos of your employees

Be creative and have some fun with the process, , , it really does not take a lot of time or effort.

photagrapher_2Take advantage of the motivational aspect work photos give you during IT staff meetings; I think you will find it has much more impact than you believe it will. Over time you will amass quite a library of photos that can be special to show your people “scenes of the past”.

SMILE, , , you are on Candid Camera !!

IT managers need a “Swiss Army Knife”

swiss army knifeManaging an IT organization requires many skills to succeed in today’s fast paced and complex world. IT managers are required to juggle several issues at the same time and meet ever-increasing demand from their clients (senior managers, department managers, users) and from their IT staff.

For example, to be effective you need to be able to:

  • coach
  • monitor
  • manage
  • lead
  • council
  • innovatelate
  • strategize
  • communicate
  • investigate
  • sell
  • troubleshoot
  • analyze
  • decide
  • focus
  • prioritize
  • critique
  • persuade
  • research
  • educate
  • budget
  • understand technology of all types
  • , , , and more

Do you still need convincing?

It’s like we need a Swiss army knife to help us handle all the challenges of managing an IT organization. A single function knife blade will no longer do the job, , , we have to become skilled in multiple capabilities.

On top of managing today’s technology support environment and issues, IT manager responsibilities are constantly changing.

  • Client priorities seem to shift like the wind from month to month, maybe even from day to day in your situation.
  • Technology is changing faster than ever, , , and the pace of change will only increase in the future.
    • To stay current with today’s technologies is tough now and will be more difficult in the future.
    • There will be technologies in two years that are not even on the drawing board today and will make some of the technologies we use today obsolete.
    • It is difficult, if not impossible to be a technical expert in today’s environment and also be a strong manager.
  • Client need is evolving and increasing in demand as new technologies emerge.

Sounds like an impossible mission, doesn’t it?

Well, it’s certainly a big challenge. I’ve written many times and explain to IT managers in my classes all over the world that, “IT managers have the toughest management role in a company”. The reasons are what you’ve just read:

  • Technology is changing so fast.
  • Client demand for technology is increasing and changes all the time.
  • The IT manager, especially the CIO must understand the needs and issues of every department in the company, not just the IT Department. No other manager in your company is required to do this to be successful, , , only in IT.
  • IT people are different and can be challenging to manage.

How do you attack these challenges?

  1. yes-noFirst and foremost is that it’s important to realize, “You don’t have to be an expert in everything.” Even if you had the brain power and capacity to learn it all, you won’t have enough time in the day to be the expert in all areas. What this means is that you need to prioritize and focus on what you believe is required in your circumstance. Every situation is different.
  2. Become a prolific reader to learn things and to improve the knowledge and skills needed in your profession.
  3. Augment existing skills with training and education that will add new skills in the areas you need them.
  4. Find mentors who have experience in the area of responsibility you have or that you aspire to.
  5. Identify internal and external resources who can help you “cover all the bases”.
  6. Learn to delegate and rely on these extra resources  to handle issues outside your expertise.

A key to doing these things is that you must spend some time to assess what your organization (company and IT Department) needs from you.

Next, do an objective and honest skills assessment of yourself. What are your current skills, and how strong are each of these skills relative to what is needed?

Finally, create a plan of attack to develop your skills where you see gaps in what is needed versus what you have.

Give this part plenty of thought and prioritize your efforts. IT people have a strong tendency to want to do everything and do them to the “nth degree”. Not necessary, plus it only serves to overwhelm you which will prevent you from accomplishing as much as you could if you keep your list short, focused and reasonable.

Remember, you don’t need to be an expert in all areas, , , just competent in most and expert in a few. Choosing which areas you will become an expert in is subjective and depends upon the situation you have. Making these choices will be a challenge, , , but part of managing well is making decisions and choosing “what not to do” sometimes. Not an easy thing to do but it will help you manage to what is possible and not what our minds tell us is desirable.

Identify where you will develop additional skills and where you will rely on others (either internal or external resources) to provide the organization the complete set of skills needed for success.

Swiss army knives come in all types of configurations. So too do the needs of IT management positions in companies. Not all positions require the same set of skills, , , every situation is somewhat unique, so the skill requirements can and should be different.

Let’s use my personal example to explain. I’m comfortable managing programmers, business analysts, and Help Desk environments, but when it comes to managing some of the infrastructure resources (specifically Network and Systems Engineers), I need help because I don’t have this technical background. So to the points I’ve been making, I find resources who can competently fill the technology expertise needed in these technical areas to compliment the set of skills I have.

I’m not going to become an expert in networks, security, and systems, , , but we have to have experts in these areas to support our business. I’ll either rely on someone internally (hopefully) or will bring in help from the outside to provide the skills we need.

Build the “Swiss army knife” you need for your situation, , , one that gives you the skills and tools to be successful. And don’t forget to also develop resources you can rely on with additional capabilities to handle issues in areas you choose to delegate and rely on others for.

2016 IT Manager Institute training schedule

Hello and Happy New Year. 2016 will be my 14th year delivering the IT Manager Institute to managers all over the world via classroom and self study. We also have open slots to deliver the program in the US and Canada when you confirm 6 or more students. Classroom events can be delivered in 3, 4 or 5 days as desired. Contact me at info@mde.net if you are interested in hosting a class for your company or community in the US or Canada.

This year, we will deliver our open classroom programs in 3-day events. The days will certainly be full in order to cover all the material, but this gives you an opportunity to save in registration fees, time and travel expenses.

Plus, we will deliver two Advanced Institute classes following two of our standard IT Manager Institute programs in Dubai (May 25-26) and the US (September 16-17). These programs are for Institute Graduates ONLY.

CLICK HERE for more information or to download a brochure.

 

1-Day “Achieve More” Seminar held in Dubai

Mike Sisco_DubaiHello from Dubai, , , I’m here to deliver the 69th IT Manager Institute that starts tomorrow. It is the 15th time we have held the program in Dubai,, , , a great venue but the 14-hour flight from Atlanta never gets any shorter.

A couple of days ago I delivered the first 1-day seminar titled, ACHIEVE MORE From Your IT Investment for a small group of managers from Saudi Arabia and UAE. The revenue is not as good as it is for a big group, but I think smaller events may be more fun in that you are able to get to know the participants more.

Below is a photo of this “inaugural event” group. It was the first of many 1-day presentations I hope to make on this topic.

2015_1-Day Achieve More EventFrom left to right:  Awad, Charbel, Khalid, Alaa, “Me”, and Manoj

It was a fun group, , , the day went by so quickly. I met Awad in last October’s IT Manager Institute he attended, , , was good to see him again. Manoj plans to attend next week’s Institute and Charbel plans to take advantage of the Self Study program.

It was a good day!