SKILLS NEEDED TO PARTICIPATE EFFECTIVELY IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DECISIONS

Participating in IT decisions means bringing a clear set of skills to the table. All managers are asked to take on tasks that require different skills at different times. Those tasks can be divided into visionary tasks, or tasks that provide leadership and direction for the group; informational/interpersonal tasks, or tasks that provide information and knowl- edge the group needs to have to be successful; and structural tasks, tasks that organize the group. Figure I-2 lists basic skills required of managers who wish to participate successfully in key IT decisions. Not only does this list emphasize understanding,

Managerial Role Skills

Visionary Creativity—the ability to transform resources and create something new to the organization. Curiosity—the ability to question and learn about new ideas, applica- tions, technologies and business models. Confidence—the ability to believe in oneself and assert one’s ideas at the proper time. Focus on business solutions—the ability to bring experience and insight to bear on current business opportunities and challenges. Flexibility—the ability to change rapidly and effectively, such as by adapting processes, shifting perspectives, or adjusting a plan to achieve a new goal.

Informational and Interpersonal

Communication—the ability to share thoughts through speech, writing, text and images. Listening—the ability to hear and reflect back what others are saying. Information gathering—the ability to gather thoughts of others through listening, reading, and observing. Interpersonal skills—the ability to cooperate and collaborate with others on a team, among groups, or across a change of command to achieve results.

Structural Project management—the ability to plan, organize, direct and control company resources to effectively complete a project. Analytical skills—the ability to break down a problem into its elements for ease of understanding and analysis. Organizational skills—the ability to bring together distinct elements and combine them into an effective whole. Planning skills—the ability to develop objectives and to allocate resources to ensure objectives are met.

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Assumptions about Information Systems
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