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Ask Slashdot: Intelligently Moving From IT Into Management? 125

MightyMartian (840721) writes "I've been working for an organization now for over seven years, my best run yet. A couple of years ago, the company went through some major changes and I bought in as an owner and as a managing director; my responsibilities encompassing administration, finance and IT. It's a small (20 employee or so, plus nearly that many with subcontracting companies) organization so needless to say I retained my direct IT responsibilities.

My fellow board members have decided that I need to detach myself from the day to day IT operations and take over more management duties; in particular in the finance and budgeting end of things. Right now I'm in the process of interviewing a new IT system administrator who will, over time, take on most of my IT roles. However, since this has been a one-man shop for seven years; namely my shop, I confess some reservations about handing over the keys and moving permanently up to the top floor.

Does anybody have any suggestions on the level of permissions for servers, networks and infrastructure I should start with? Do I, for the moment, retain some of the critical functionality; like superuser passwords, and slowly move the new system administrator into his or her role, or do I move more quickly, give him the basics and then let him fly on his own?"
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Ask Slashdot: Intelligently Moving From IT Into Management?

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  • Ease into it ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @02:19PM (#46870413) Homepage

    Trust me on this. Even when you've interviewed your candidate, the last thing you want to do is hand over the keys to the kingdom and let the new guy have at it to do whatever he/she wants.

    Years ago we hired someone who was meant to be part developer and part sysadmin.

    His development skills were showing to be so lacking, and some of the things he thought he wanted to do started to make the people who had been doing the admin duty a little nervous. We didn't let him have full access to the systems for a while.

    He was describing making some pretty reckless changes, that he couldn't convince anybody of why we'd do them, and kept saying how he disagreed with how we did things, or said things which made us all think he was a cowboy who had no real sense of why things were done the way they had been, and why we couldn't just re-do everything to look like the way he had it at his last job.

    Eventually we more or less decided we couldn't really trust him, and he got neither development tasks, nor sys admin tasks from us. Eventually my manager had to show him the door, because he started getting really aggressive and agitated that the people who had been the admins for several years weren't prepared to just hand him the passwords and let him do as he pleased. But, this was based on the stuff he himself was saying, which more or less amounted to "I don't care, as the admin it's how I want it to be". Yeah, no there skippy.

    The more he tried to do things, and the more we saw the results of the tasks we had given him, we became quite convinced he had bullshitted his way into the job, and was trying to take the opportunity to prove (to us or him I don't know) just how much he really knew.

    You may need to disengage, but don't do it all at once. Because you're just putting yourself and your company more at risk.

    Once you're sure you can trust the new person to do the job, and under the constraints/rules you've laid out ... then you can pull back a lot more.

  • by unimacs ( 597299 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2014 @03:10PM (#46870949)
    One recommended change an auditing company made to us in regards to IT is that each member of the staff take at least 5 consecutive business days off each year without any contact with the organization. That's forces the staff to make sure they can adequately cover for each other.

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.