Day in the life of
IT Manager – Jules Tan
I work as an IT manager and a coach to a team of IT engineers in the manufacturing industry (specifically producing medical products).
Our team consists of business analysts whose main task is to create business solutions for operations. I’m a hands-on team executer as well as manager. Our team manages projects and also supports production issues across the Asia Pacific.
My Typical Day
Within the project space
A typical day for me would be having business requirement discussions with our internal customers, assessing their business needs. At times, systems solutions may not always be the answer. Instead, using a business process approach may be the way to overcome the situation. We take active participation in the entire project lifecycle. This includes IT testings, User Acceptance Test support, Go-live preparation as well as production support upon project live. Our projects take typically 4 to 6 months to complete the entire lifecycle.
Within the space of production support
A typical day for me would be addressing production issues via tickets raised by our internal customers. We will need to understand the issues by emailing, messaging, or having a call with the users. Subsequently, some time will need to be spent on troubleshooting, and then providing a finding and solution to the customer.
As I lead a team of analysts, I also play the role of a coach to the team. We have bi-weekly team meetings to calibrate the team’s deliverables and brainstorm solutions for any challenges the team members raised. Team meetings are also a great platform for coaching and sharing. We set a culture where members are encouraged to share their learnings from their work, a book they read, a training they attended, or new technologies they learned.
This is a peek at how my life as an IT manager of a team of business analysts looks like.
Pros and Cons
In my line of work, an IT manager demands a lot of communication with people.
I enjoy public speaking, and this role allows me to expand my speaking opportunities.
Be it negotiating project budgets, reviewing project statuses with the team, or having difficult conversations.
It gives me a lot of work satisfaction being able to deal with people and coach my team to be successful in their own ways.
Being a manager also can be lonely at the top.
You need to make difficult decisions, that may not please every party. But you know that the decision is for the best, factoring in the pros and cons.
Your team’s stress is also your burden to shoulder. Because you are in the IT line, you need to be also up to date on the latest technologies within your industry, so that you can foresee what are better solutions for your organization.
Advice to aspiring IT Managers
My advice to students is to go out of their comfort zone and try out new challenges. Try out various subjects within the line of IT to find out what best suits your interest. Also, weigh what are the industry’s demands within the IT industry. Starting out in an IT consulting firm is a very good stepping stone, that will bring the best skillsets in you, at the same time build your ability to communicate and work with people from different sectors.
plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis, and computer programming.