IT Professionals

We want employees to complete projects and tasks, and perhaps more importantly, we want them to learn the skills that make them more competent and more self-sufficient. Conversely, very few managers coach their employees on a regular basis. Of those who coach, few have the necessary skills to do it right. Most people think of coaching as an advice session. However, as Socrates figured out more than 2,000 years ago, a better strategy is to coach by asking intelligent questions that encourage people to talk about their work, their thoughts, and their concerns comfortably and openly. To accomplish this task with little effort, managers can have a prepared list of essential questions and use a questioning process to help their employees enhance their skills, reach solutions on their own, master their jobs, and understand and own their actions. This technique will improve your relationship with your employees. Also, it will reduce their dependency on you, giving you more time for your projects. In his recent book “The Coaching Habit - Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever,” Michael Bungay Stanier, the first person honored as Coach of the Year in Canada, presents the vital seven coaching questions to teach managers how to coach effectively. This concept will help you become a successful coach with little strain. Read more →

No matter which industry you are in, it is critical to employ top performers. I often hear managers complain about a particular employee who is not performing. After talking for a couple of minutes, it usually becomes evident to me that the manager should not have hired this individual in the first place. Most of us agree that the hiring process is more an art than a science. What rules can we follow to increase the odds of hiring the best candidate, rather than the best job seeker? Read more →

One of the things that come up consistently from employee surveys is asking managers to remove toxic employees and poor performers as quickly as possible. Nevertheless, most managers, as well as HR departments, are too cautious and let these employees damage the work environment. Would you like to know how to fix this? In this article, we’ll explore nine ways to take care of this problem. Read more →

The levels of disengagement in the workplace are growing fast. Some blame it to technology, newer people generations, an increase on stress levels, growth in job complexity or the perceived need to know everything instantly. This lack of engagement negatively impacts productivity, creativity, and profitability. What can leaders do to correct this startling concern effectively? In this article, I describe how leaders can make personal interactions and decisions to raise... Read more →

Managing your direct reports might be challenging at times, but managing people outside of your reporting lines it’s even more taxing. How can we effectively influence and manage people when we lack the authority? This skill is becoming very relevant as we have more and more matrixed organizations. Managers and leaders who are new to this venture may feel that they are doomed to fail. However, when handled properly, it... Read more →

Why are companies using more and more the agile application development methodology compared to the waterfall model? One of the main reasons is that agile application development results in business agility. This model helps build the right applications, make swift changes, provide nimble deliverables, and allow a faster product to market. Build the Right Applications Agile development characterizes for getting business people involved in the process throughout the whole application... Read more →

Are you serious about implementing a DevOps culture? Perhaps you are already using DevOps, but haven’t yet realized all the DevOps benefits on quality, automation, measurement, predictability, and reliability? Then your next step is to make sure you hire the right people and get the whole team committed to your mission. Below are 11 key traits you should look for in job candidates. If you already have a team, you... Read more →

The competitive market of today is always looking for faster, cheaper and better products and services. This is no different in the application development area, whether it supports internal or external customers. The application development methodologies have evolved throughout the years. In turn, DevOps has been around since 2009, and it has gained wide acceptance. Are you deciding whether to adopt DevOps or are you wondering what DevOps is? Then... Read more →

Would you like to have two more hours per day? Personal time management is a key trait of successful people. They know how to achieve their goals in a fraction of the time that it takes most people. By learning and applying their techniques, we can also accomplish more in less time. Here are 22 time management tips that I am sure you’ll find very useful. First Decide If You... Read more →

Have you ever had a situation where you need to give a presentation in a short period, even in just 30 seconds? Imagine you want to present a great idea or a big problem to a senior executive. Perhaps you have spent a good amount of time preparing a formal 30-minute presentation complete with PowerPoint slides. What happens if the senior executive says something like, “I’ve got to go to... Read more →

In his book “Leading Geeks: How to Manage and Lead the People Who Deliver Technology,” Paul Glen explains that we cannot manage geeks the same way we manage other knowledge workers. The one-size-fits-all leadership approach won’t work. Then how should we manage geeks? What are the key differences? In the following paragraphs, I summarize the key cultural differences of technology teams, and what managers and leaders can do to create... Read more →

This technique can be used to deliver a persuasive presentation or speech. It uses a five-step pattern called Monroe’s Motivated Sequence and has been used successfully for political, sales, and marketing campaigns. It can also be used to sell your idea, initiative or project. The sequence is named after his creator Alan H. Monroe, who taught public speaking at Purdue University. Wouldn't it be nice to have this skill in... Read more →

One of the basic leadership and management principles is to communicate a clear vision. How can we apply this principle to project management and substantially increase the odds of success of our projects? The project vision statement provides a simple, clear, and concise description of the purpose of your project. It allows team members and stakeholders to quickly have a good understanding of the project’s goal. New employees and new... Read more →

Today more and more employees want to telecommute while some employers still prefer to have their whole staff working on-site, and this is a cause of significant concern for HR departments. We can argue about the pros and cons about telecommuting, but the truth is that employees from Generation Y (the Millennial generation, born from 1981 to 2000), and especially those in the technology industry and technology jobs are demanding... Read more →

It is very important that each employee becomes familiar with the company’s business, and how the company does business. This helps employees, including IT employees, to really feel part of the business, to become a more valuable resource, to participate in the innovation the business processes, and to provide better solutions to problems and opportunities. One way I’ve seen companies provide the appropriate business knowledge to their employees is as... Read more →

The founders of a startup company are highly motivated by the hopes of a lucrative IPO, which may or may not happen sometime in the future. However, according to Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a Harvard Business School professor and author, what motivates company founders, and senior executives is very different from what motivates employees to come to work day after day. Kanter strongly recommends that executives and managers focus on giving... Read more →

What really bothers IT employees at work? Most professionals today are more likely to get frustrated over a lack of career growth and skills development than compensation, according to a recent survey from Robert Half Technology. IT professionals are also on edge about heavy workloads, and they're upset about rigid hierarchies that leave them with little autonomy to make strategic decisions. If companies expect to retain valuable tech staffers, they... Read more →

While it appears sluggish in some places, the US economy is chugging along, with the US Department of Labor reporting the October unemployment rate down to 5.8% and an average of more than 200,000 jobs created every month in 2014. The industry trade groupTechServe Alliance identified that IT hiring grew by 7,800 jobs in October, compared with a gain of 6,900 jobs in September. ...more Read more →