There are two job descriptions in the administrative career path for our IT department. The entry level position is Administrative Assistant. This role supports the Director of Information Technology with basic administrative functions. The next and final level is Technical Services Coordinator. This role continues to provide all the basic adminstrative functions of an Administrative Assistant and also works more advanced functions in Change Management and Planning/Organizing.
Dr W. Edwards Deming’s work on quality control provided guidance for management and team development. We reviewed Dr W. Edwards Deming’s work on quality control in Japan in one of my project management courses. Deming is best known for his focus on quality and improvement. Many of us are familiar with Deming’s Cycle for Improvement: (PDCA) plan, do, check, act model. Deming published his 14 Points for Management in his text Out of Crisis: Read more...
Create constancy of purpose for improvement of product and service
Adopt the new philosophy
Cease dependence on inspections to achieve quality
End the practice of awarding business based on price tag alone. Instead, minimize total cost by working with a single supplier
Improve constantly and forever every process for planning, production and service
Institute training on the job
Adopt and institute leadership
Drive out fear
Break down barriers between staff areas
Eliminate slogans, exhortations and targets for the workforce
Eliminate numerical quotas for the workforce and numerical goals for management
Remove barriers that rob people of workmanship. Eliminate the annual rating or merit system
Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement for everyone
Put everyone in the company to work to accomplish the transformation
This list triggered some more thoughts for me about building up each team member and then building out your teams. As leaders we strive to help our teams be successful. Deming’s advice points specifically to actions we can take.
Over the years, I wrote about various approaches to Deming’s points. I provided a list below of relevant blog posts for your reference:
(1) Create constancy of purpose for improvement of product and service and (9) Break down barriers between staff areas
This post describes our journey to building standardized IT career paths. When I joined the American University of Sharjah in September 2012, I booked one to one meetings with all my staff. One of the predominant themes from our talks was the lack of clarity on what their respective career paths looked like. In fact, they didn’t feel like they had accurate job descriptions and job titles to start with.
We are now completing our first performance appraisal process and I have the opportunity to build standardized career paths for our IT team members. If you have read my blog, you know that I am a big fan of models that provide standards and structure. In the performance appraisal system, we have a section that captures the competencies of each job description. This is where I started our work to build standard competencies by job description. In the process, I am standardizing levels so that we have 3 or 4 levels for each functional role in IT.
Some of the principles that I used to build the laddered competency tracks were: Read more...
Focus on more difficult to define soft skills (technical skills are easy to define for IT roles) because we don’t pay enough attention to the human side of IT work
Show that some competencies carry forward to jobs with higher levels of responsibility
Highlight the change in competencies required for the next highest level job
Show the linkage between career paths so that a person could understand that each path is not independent