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The Essentials of IT Management Excellence



Managing an IT function is very different from developing or supporting technical IT solutions. General management skills are helpful to the IT manager, but results from this course demonstrate that a management course designed specifically for the IT professional is invaluable.

There are five key modules covering IT strategy, project excellence, communicating technology, operational and crisis management, and commercial acumen. These are the 5 management skills that have been identified as consistently enabling business results and career success for all IT managers.

Course Objectives:

At the end of this course the participants will be able to:

  • Develop an effective IT strategy.
  • Increase project delivery rates and manage a portfolio of projects.
  • Lead effectively in a technical crisis.
  • Set clear IT contract objectives.
  • Effectively negotiate technical agreements.

Targeted Audience:

  • IT Managers
  • IT Team Leader
  • Project Manager
  • Systems Architect
  • Head of (IT) Department, and more.

Course Outlines:

Unit 1: Business and IT Strategy:

  • What is the strategy?
  • Solving the problems of business strategy.
  • Leading approaches to creating top-level strategy.
  • Case study ‘Setting corporate direction’.

Unit 2: IT Strategy:

  • A proven process for IT strategy.
  • Aligning IT strategy to business priorities.
  • Balanced scorecard IT objectives.
  • Enterprise architecture in IT strategy.
  • Looking for a better way — optimizing IT strategy.
  • Strategic plans — plot on a page.
  • Communicating strategy.

Unit 3: The Advanced Project, Program, and Portfolio Management:

  • Validating project business cases using investment appraisals and sensitivity analysis.
  • IT project management wisdom — lessons learned from successful and failed projects.
  • Effective project governance and reporting.
  • Project portfolio management guidelines.

Unit 4: The First 90 Days:

  • Making an impact — the first 90 days.
  • Strategic importance and tactical urgency.
  • Case study ‘Priorities of the new IT director’

Unit 5: Business Change Leadership:

  • The emotional cycle of business change.
  • Guidelines for successful change projects.
  • IT's unique role in business change management.

Unit 6: Communication skills:

  • The art of communicating technology.
  • Presenting IT to non-technical audiences.
  • Creating a compelling technology message — IT’s the elevator pitch.
  • Handling difficult (IT) situations — forum theatre and role play.
  • Group debate — what has IT ever done for us?

Unit 7: Business Relationship Management:

  • Business relationship scenarios.
  • The POSTMAN technique for identifying priority business requirements.
  • The advanced use of questioning strategies – opening and closing dialogue.
  • Methods of influencing outcomes.

Unit 8: Continual Service Improvement (CSI) Models:

  • Overview of different frameworks, including ITIL, Six Sigma, and Lean IT.
  • Techniques of root cause analysis.
  • CSI examples and guidelines.

Unit 9: Crisis Leadership:

  • Preparing for major (technology) incidents.
  • Managing major incidents.
  • Leading in crisis — the art of communication.
  • Roleplay ‘Handling difficult situations’ — media simulation.

Unit 10: Vendors:

  • Making good decisions.
  • Avoiding supplier pitfalls.
  • Choosing good technology partners.
  • Creating a culture of partnership.
  • Harnessing vendor innovation.

Unit 11: Essentials of IT Contracts:

  • Contract guidelines for successful IT.
  • Getting what you want from your legal team.
  • Designing contract flexibility.
  • Managing IT contract portfolios.

Unit 12: IT Negotiation Strategy:

  • Creating a negotiation strategy.
  • Rational supporting arguments.
  • Agreeing on final positions and BATNA.
  • Negotiating as a team.
  • Delivering better-negotiated outcomes.
  • Negotiation role plays and case studies.

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