First Days: Learn The Finances

compass on financial newspaper

Starting a new IT leadership position requires you to learn a huge amount. Make sure you don’t overlook finances.

Internally, you will have a budget to manage the IT spending. You will need to work with your team to stay within that budget. Externally, the IT budget fits into the larger organization’s financial picture.

Let’s look at some ways to come up to speed quickly on financials.

Portions of this article are excerpted from my book, The I.T. Leader’s First Days, available from bookstores everywhere.

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First Days: Learn The IT Department

people sitting in audience

It is your first day in your new IT Leadership position. You have all the HR admin stuff out of the way. You may have met with a few people, maybe even had a group meeting with the IT Team.

Now what?

Learning about the people in the IT department is an important part of coming up to speed in your new job. Let’s talk about how to do this.

Portions of this article are excerpted from my book, The I.T. Leader’s First Days, available from bookstores everywhere.

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First Days: Information from Data

person pointing numeric print

As an IT Leader, you will be awash in data. Data swirls all around. From your systems. From the business. From your team. That data is full of information that you need to manage the department.

Learn how to harness it.

First, you need to understand what you have. In your position, you have access to more structured and unstructured data than anyone in the company. That’s a bold statement, but I believe it is true.

You (with help from your team, of course) have access to virtually all the data in all your systems. Finance and Human Resources may limit access to confidential data. But, generally, you have access to most of the data in the company.

Portions of this article are excerpted from my book, The I.T. Leader’s First Days, available from bookstores everywhere.

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First Days: Your 3 Month Tsunami

sea landscape beach water

The “3 Month Tsunami” is a phenomenon that every new hire goes through. When you start a new IT Leadership position, it can be even worse.

Ok, it is your first day on a new job. You go through some HR orientation with a bunch of paperwork and processes that are each worthy of several hours of study, but you just take the defaults or bring it home to study.

The first week, you meet people on your team, start learning the job requirements, and maybe a bit about the larger organization.

Portions of this article are excerpted from my book, The I.T. Leader’s First Days, available from bookstores everywhere.

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First Days: Interconnectedness of History

Coming up to speed as a new IT leader requires that you take in a wider variety of information than ever before.

One of the things you will discover is that everything is connected. As Douglas Adams (author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) wrote in his book Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, we are dealing with “the fundamental interconnectedness of all things.”

One of the places where this interconnectedness pops up is in the history of the organization. Depending on that history, this can be an important part of understanding the organization or it can be a small part.

Portions of this article are excerpted from my book, The I.T. Leader’s First Days, available from bookstores everywhere.

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First Days: Learning The Organization

IT has always been a learning intensive career. When you move into IT Leadership, that learning changes.

One of the many things you have to learn about is the organization the IT department supports.

The IT department does not exist in a vacuum. Your department, and your job, exists to serve the larger organization. By understanding this larger context, you can make better decisions.

Schedule one-on-one meetings with the leadership team members and other key managers and individuals. These meetings will serve as anchor points for building your understanding.

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IT has always been a learning intensive career. When you move into IT Leadership, that learning changes.

One of the many things you have to learn about is the organization the IT department supports.

The IT department does not exist in a vacuum. Your department, and your job, exists to serve the larger organization. By understanding this larger context, you can make better decisions.

Schedule one-on-one meetings with the leadership team members and other key managers and individuals. These meetings will serve as anchor points for building your understanding.

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Introducing The IT Director Book Series

Introducing The IT Director Series. This series is targeted towards current and future IT leaders.

I.T> Leader's First Days cover image

As a new IT leader, you are stepping into a world of excitement and challenge. Prepare yourself.

You and your team must understand and apply ever-changing technology to make your organization successful. You must continually improve yourself, your team, and your company.

The I.T. Leader’s First Days introduces skills and techniques you need to be effective and provides you with the strategies for your first weeks and months on the job.

Long-time IT leader, author, and speaker John Bredesen leverages decades of experience to create the book you need to start your IT leadership career. Clear explanations with a splash of humor cover a broad range of topics needed to launch your leadership career. Check out The I.T. Director series to see all his books.

Starting your new job off right is important to you. This book will help you make your First Days successful.

book cover for the IT Leaders Handbook

Is your IT department working harder than ever and still falling behind? Does the organization have unreasonable expectations and tightening budgets? Do you have a strong understanding of your company’s needs and priorities?

​​​​​​​Drawing on over 25 years of IT experience, John has learned that leading the IT department is more than just understanding technology. You must also understand the Business and the People and how everything works together.

​​​​​​​The IT Leader’s Handbook will get you going in the right direction in four major areas: Foundations, Business, People, and Technology. Concepts like Focus & Finish, Square Root Of Change, and Proactivity Is Overrated, along with real-world advice, will help you raise your game and be a better IT Leader. In his personable style of writing, John uses triathlons, race cars, alligators, and sailing ships to present concepts that are straightforward to understand and powerful to implement.

​​​​​​​If you want a book about the latest technology wizardry, this is not that book. If you want a book that will give you useful information on leading the IT department, regardless of your technology stack, this is the book for you.