Employability skills and professional skills are important in order to accomplish present work task in the organizational environment. IT manager in an organization need to posses various skills such as personal and professional skills so that overall skill set for the IT manager of the organization match with the organizational requirement (O'Brien, 2009). Present paper would evaluate the personal and professional skills which are required in order to undertake the organizational work responsibilities for IT manager with APEX IT solutions.These learning objectives would be attained in the organizational environment with the help & support of various project responsibilities.
LO1: Be able to take responsibility for own personal and professional development
CW1 Individual Personal & Professional Development
1.1 Reflect on own current skills and competencies against the IT Manager‘s Main responsibilities, Qualifications and Key Skills as specified in the Job description for APEX IT Solutions.
IT manager in the Apex IT solutions company would be having multiple skills and competencies which are required in order to accomplish job responsibilities properly. IT manager in the organization would be responsible for the direct and indirect relationship with the project team e.g. taking reporting from the IT staff members and other departments for the IT related functions of the Apex IT solutions. IT manager would also be responsible for the decision making process for the various decisions pertaining to the IT related aspects e.g. in order to make changes in the technology, to carry out market research through particular online method and others (Mayo, 2005). IT manager in the organization would be responsible in order to develop learning through the coordinated efforts and deploy its learning among the other members of the team so that knowledge sharing process can be enhanced in the organization. IT manager would also be engaged in order to deploy employment legislation and to ensure that these legislations are followed properly in the organization for the IT staff working in the organization. Ethics are an important consideration for the market research and IT manager would ensure that ethical considerations are made while collecting data through survey and interview process. Employment rights and responsibilities would be managed by the IT manager in the IT department so that each employee is aware of its role so as to contribute towards the organizational objectives. Qualification for the IT manager would include post graduation degree in IT with relevant work experience in IT organization for more than 5 years in handling IT team and market research by deploying IT function of the organization. In addition to the above mentioned professional skills, IT manager should also possesses’ personal skills such as Team building, conflict management and developing network with the members of the organization (Klerck, 2009).
Current level of skill set attained by me includes graduation degree in the IT, short course in the IT and post graduation degree in IT so as to perform the job of IT manager given in the present context. After the post graduation degree in IT, I would be looking to get a position in IT company so as to develop firsthand experience on the IT field. By attaining the five years experience of IT field I would be able to compete for the position of IT manager mentioned above.
1.2 Evaluate own development needs as an IT Manager at APEX IT Solutions and the activities required meeting them.
Own development needs for the personal and professional basis being IT manager at Apex IT solutions can be given along with activities as follows:
- Personal skills
- Problem solving
- Team building
- Conflict management
- Communication skills
Activities required in order to develop the personal skills for IT manager in APEX IT solutions would include developing personal development plan, attending personal development trainings and PPD sessions etc. These activities would be helpful for the IT manager in order to enhance the personal skills (Merkle, 2012).
- Professional skills
- Decision making
- Managing direct and indirect relationship within the organization
- Ability to learn and extend this learning to team
- Technical skills
- Knowing employment rights and employment legislation
Professional skills are important so that IT manager can work in the organization so as to contribute towards the organizational objectives so that IT manager can implement their job role successfully. In order to attain the professional skills mentioned above an IT manager need to take part in the case study for decision making, attending on job training and attending seminar for technical skills development. All these activities are helpful so that IT managers are able to deploy these professional skills in order to carry out the work responsibilities for market research.
For me it is important that I should get practical experience of the IT manager skills set along with the theoretical knowledge gained for the IT field. Further it is important that I should learn the complexities involved into software designing by attending specific IT course so that before getting into corporate I have desired skill set.
1.3 Devise a personal and professional development plan such as current performance, future needs, SWOT based on identified needs IT Manager at APEX IT Solutions.
Current performance for the IT manager includes setting the targets for the work responsibility assigned to IT manager and tracking these performance indicators by developing the target against actual achievements of the IT manager. Current performance of the IT manager would be understood by knowing about the overall performance of the IT function such as carrying out marketing research, collecting data and decision making process in organizational context. Future needs for the IT manager of APEX IT solutions include higher work coordination among the team members, developing technological developments and decision making process based on the information collected through various resources (Paauwe & Boon, 2013).
SWOT analysis for the IT manager can be give as under:
Personal Development Plan: Template
What are my development
What activities do I need to undertake to achieve my objectives?
What support/resources do I need to achieve my objectives
Target date for achieving my objectives
Actual date of achieving my objectives
Getting into the technical certification
Online and offline resources
After 4 months
Attending training sessions on team handling
After 2 months
Knowing about tools and techniques for knowledge sharing
After 2 months
Attending sessions for communication skills and involving into practical sessions
After 2 months
Every 3 months
1.4 Reflects on own development as an IT Manager at APEX IT Solutions against original aims and objectives set in your personal and professional development plan.
Own development for the IT manager would be in terms of the personal and professional development wherein IT manager would be trying to manage the skill set required so as to accomplish the work responsibilities. Own development for the current project would include data collection, decision making, development of technical skills and data analysis for the gathered data. Personal skills would also be developed for the IT manager at APEX IT solutions such as problem solving, team building and conflict management etc. Present task for the APEX IT solution for the market research for the food organization would help in developing the personal skills. These skills would be helpful so that the initial personal and professional development plan made can be attained for the IT manager at APEX IT solutions (Jonathan, 2010). Against the personal and professional development plan it is important that IT managers should attain the communication skills, team handling, conflict resolution and technical skills. As of now I am good at conflict resolution while communication skills and team handling skills need to be learned.
LO2: Be able to demonstrate acquired interpersonal and transferable skills
CW2 Interpersonal & Transferrable Skills
2.1 Communicate in a variety of styles such as verbal and non-verbal, openness and responsiveness, formal and informal feedback to and from colleagues at various level in an appropriate manner such as personal effectiveness, working with others, use of initiative, negotiating skills, assertiveness skills, social skills as an IT Manager at APEX IT Solutions
IT manager in the APEX IT solutions would require having highly effective communication skills wherein various communications forms need to be possessed by the IT manager in the organization. Communication skills possessed by IT manager of the organization would include verbal and non verbal communication skills so that proper communication can be established with the various stakeholders of the organization in order to conduct the market research. IT manager would also need to obtain the feedback from their team members and this feedback would be open and responsive so that feedback given by team members, respondents and users of the information system and survey can be used in order to improve upon the overall experience of the users and designing of the survey and questionnaire for collection of data in the market research for food company (Ulrich, 2006). Proper team coordination would be developed by the IT manager so that proper teams can be formed and IT manager can work with the other members of the team in organizational context. Personal effectiveness for the IT manager would be enhanced by possessing the skills such as negotiation skills, social skills and assertiveness. These skills would be helpful for the IT manager of APEX IT solutions in order to carry out the market research and deal with the other stakeholders of the current project. These skills mentioned for the IT manager are transferrable in nature so that through proper training these skills can be transferred in the IT manager working in the organization. Further transferability of these skills would be helpful for the IT manager in order to advance these skills into the other team members so that each member of the team has required level of skill set on personal and professional basis. In order to communicate with staff effectively it is important that personal relationship is developed with the employees and use of both formal and information communication can be done.
2.2 Demonstrate effective time management strategies such as adopted prioritizing workloads; setting work objectives; using time effectively; making and keeping appointments and reliable estimates of task time as an IT Manager at APEX IT Solutions
As an IT manager at APEX IT solutions it is important to posses the time quality management so that task assigned to the IT manager are accomplished within given timeframe and overall objectives of the organization are meet within given time duration. Time management skills are important for the IT manager and in order to make use of the time in effective manner below strategies needs to be adopted by the IT manager in the organization:
Prioritization of workloads: There would be several tasks which need to be accomplished by IT manager in the organization and it is important to decide which tasks are important for the manager so that priority for each work task can be assigned accordingly. Prioritization of the workload would help in shifting urgent task ahead while rest of the tasks would be performed at later stages.
Setting work objectives: Work objectives would be set for the each tasks, every task would be containing some objectives which would be accomplished by the IT manager. Every task would be having certain objectives in terms of the work task included in each of the task and for effective time management it is important that each work task is divided into simple steps so that proper time estimates are made in the organizational context by the IT manager of the organization (Johnason, 2009).
Using time effectively: Time available for the each task need to be used effectively so that various aspects of the task can be fulfilled without any weakness in completion of task. For example, for collection of primary data through online source it is important that adequate time is spent on the data collection through social media, email and forms so that all sources of information collect data for the present research carried by the food organization.
Marking and keeping appointment: There should be pre-planned meeting schedule which are been developed by the IT manager and this schedule should be properly followed. Making and keeping appointment would help in order to avoid last minutes problems and overall planning would remain intact.
Reliable estimate of task time: Each task should be allotted reliable time by making estimate of the time. Time estimates should be such that they are close to the project actual time take for the each work task. This would help in order to make proper time plan and this time plan would be similar to the actual time planning.
In order to do this, it is important that time plan needs to be developed for daily activities and this need to be reviewed on periodic basis so that overall effectiveness can be assessed.
LO3: Understand the dynamics of working with others
CW3 Dynamics of Working with Others
3.1 Analyze team dynamics such as informal and formal settings; discussing the roles people play in a team specialist roles, such as skill and style/approach mixes and how they can work together such as team building, identity, loyalty and commitment to shared beliefs to achieve shared goals as an IT Manager at APEX IT Solutions
There are basically two types of groups in the organizational environment and these are formal groups and informal group. Formal groups are formed in the organizational context in order to accomplish particular work task assigned to the group. Formal groups are formed by the organization and there is no control of the team members to choose between the team members. Informal groups are formed in the organizational setting are formed out of common interest or thinking level among the users of APEX IT solutions. These groups are not for the task assigned but such groups are to develop open communication planning between the team members working in the organization (Beckmann & Guthke, 2005). Every team has different team members and every team members has different responsibilities which can be given as under:
Resource investigator: New opportunities are looked by the resource investigator for deploying tools and techniques required for the completion of new opportunities in the organizational context.
Team worker: Team members in the present project would be assigned the role of brainstorming wherein they would explore various design in the questionnaire design or interview conducted.
Coordinator: Role of coordinator would be to attain the organizational goal by making coordination between various stakeholders of the project. Coordinator would also be having specific time and cost plan under which organizational goals need to be attained by APEX IT solutions.
Shaper: Shapers in the organization would be responsible for the assignment of new work role for the project team. Based on the project performance and history of the people working in the project, shaper would make drastic changes in the work responsibilities so that organizational goals are properly obtained.
Implementer: Ideas offered by the team members would be converted into the real idea by offering specific implementation plan for the project task allotted in the organizational context.
Plant: Plan resource in the organization would be highly responsible in order to develop innovative ideas and plant resource would be chosen based on the wide experience of the plant resources into specific work field.
There are mainly six components of team dynamics and these are communication, balance of member contributions, cohesion, effort, mutual support and coordination. These components need to be present in a team so as to maintain the healthy work practice.
3.2 Discuss alternative ways to complete tasks such as setting standards, motivating, innovative and responsive and achieve team goals as an IT Manager at APEX IT Solutions
Shared work responsibilities can be managed in the organizational environment so that work responsibilities are properly shared between various stakeholders of the project. This would help in ensuring that all project stakeholders are involved in the project and goals of the project are also meet. Specific team structure developed by the organization would enhance the overall efficiency for the project teams. Some of the major team structure in the organizational context of APEX IT solutions includes change management team, problem solving team, informal team and self directed team etc. There are several stages involved in the team development which need to be included so as to form a strong team and steps adopted for the team historical development would include team building, loyalty, identity, commitment and team health evaluation etc (Buchner et al, 1995).
As an IT manager at APEX IT solutions various alternative strategies can be adopted for completing tasks and these are setting standards, responsive, achieving team goals, motivation and innovation etc. Standards can be set in order to accomplish a work by team so that team members know about the benchmark level of their performance and work is done as per the set standards only. Team members should work to attain team goals by behaving responsibly. Team members should be motivated by team leader and innovation should be enhanced.
LO4: Be able to develop strategies for problem solving
CW4 Develop strategies for problem solving
4.1 Review tools and methods such as timescale, stages, resources and critical path analysis for developing solutions to problems such as completing IT survey for all levels of end users within the time set at APEX IT Solutions
Time plan can be developed by APEX IT solution in order to track the actual time taken for the each task with the planned timescale plan. This would help in order to track between the actual time consumed in each of the work activity against the time plan developed at initial stage. Network diagram, Gantt chart and critical path methods are some of the major techniques in order to enhance the tools for the stages and resources. Critical path analysis done for the various work task would provide the shortest path through which final outcome of the task can be attained without wasting time on longer activities. Critical path method can be used in order to resolve the problems faced in the completion of IT survey for all levels of end user. In order to develop the critical path analysis shortest time duration in which different end users would complete the survey would be find out and this would help so that parallel work responsibilities can be managed so as to accomplish the allotted task within given time frame. For IT survey of all end users it is important that time consuming task such as developing questionnaire should be well planned at initial stage of the work (Groner, 1983).
4.2 Develop an appropriate strategy (use appropriate tools) for resolving the problem such as stated below for APEX IT Solutions as explained in the case Study. You have been appointed as an IT project Manager for this project. You are required to:
- Determine the maximum number of weeks this project will take to complete
- Determine the number of floats
- Calculate the number of permanent staff (i.e. excluding interviewers) who will be required for each week of the project, assuming that each activity starts as early as possible.
- Given the number of staff required, can the project be completed in the time calculated above?
- If one member of staff is ill from weeks 7 to 14, would the completion of the survey be delayed?
Total time for the project completion would be 40 weeks in which entire work would be completed. Total tome consumed in the each task for the work responsibilities would be divided in such a way that every member of the organization is well aware of work responsibilities. Number of permanent staff required for the present project would be 15 while rest would be on the basis of national team. Based on the number of staff required for the current project this project can be accomplished within given time but by deploying higher number of candidates on temporary basis can resolve the issue of time overrun for the currently managed project. In case any staff is not available from 7 to 14 then the multiple task responsibilities would be offered to the other employees so that they can properly managed cu
4.3 Evaluate whether the problem was solved or not; measure the solution against specification and desired outcomes such as completing IT survey for all levels of end users within the time set at APEX IT Solutions
Problem faced in the current organizational context of APEX IT solutions has been solved and it is important that the organization desired outcomes of the research. Desired outcome of the project would be monitored till the time actual financials are properly managed. Measurement would be done with the solution and achievement of solution would be declared on receipt of final result outcome in the present context (Hübner, 2009).
Present project has carried out the survey for a food manufacturing company. Role and responsibilities for the IT manager working in the organization has been highlighted so as to ensure that work assignment among the different team member ensure success for the organization.
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