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Learning Network Manager Thread, How do you manage your team? in Technical; Hi, First time post but i have been reading the forums for a few months. I'm just about to take ...
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    How do you manage your team?

    Hi,

    First time post but i have been reading the forums for a few months.

    I'm just about to take over a school over the half term coming up and need some advice on management of the team.

    My current school has a good setup and things run perfectly with one network technician. I'm very confident of the capabilities of this user and have always shared the use of the administrator to carry out tasks. This user would never carry out tasks on the servers without my say so.

    In my new role, there are four technicians and i'm not sure of their capabilities. Friends from other schools have said that the adminstrator passwords should not be given out to these users and just give them permissions for their logons, this way they can be audited.

    I have never managed this many before and unsure what setup to have for the school. I'm also unsure how to manage these, i had regular one to ones at my current school but what about team meetings and without a helpdesk, how can i assign jobs?

    Sorry for all the questions but i want to make the right choices from day one to ensure the team functions properly

    How do you manage your team??

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    somabc's Avatar
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    On your auditing question, I would definitely recommend assigning permissions to their account as it always better to be able see who exactly is doing each action even if there were only 2 of you. Just beware when you come in and say take away login ability to a server that they might be a bit miffed if they think you are taking away some of their access.

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    jsnetman's Avatar
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    To be honest in a school with one or two techies, using the administrator logon is not a big crime, we do it here, but its obviosly not the right thing to do. Start getting 3 or four techies with varying abilities and you are in a world of hurt. You can delegate all kinds of permissions to do things that a particular technician needs to do, from changing passwords to maybe managing some group policies. But never give them the ability to do stuff in the default domain policy. That sort of team you definately need seperate logons and delegate appropriate permissions.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    I would leave it for a while and decide how good they are. If they are good at the job leave them with the password. If you remove access you maybe creating obstacles if there is an emergency are your not around.

    In our team all members are very good, so we have access to the account.

    Although we all have access to the account we have our own accounts for our workstations.
    Last edited by FN-GM; 26th September 2010 at 08:14 PM.

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    Definately worth giving them seperate accounts, if only so when one leaves you dont have to make big changes. You may also find that some only have skills or job roles that dont merit a full admin account. As for splitting up jobs I think you will need a helpdesk or a helpdesk co-ordinator.

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    if only so when one leaves you dont have to make big changes.
    If someone leaves just reset the administrator password.

    As a side note, if you split jobs. If the person who does a job is say on holiday someone who doesn't normally do that job may struggle. If you mix the jobs up the IT staff will have a better all round knowledge and the team will work better when one person is absent.

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    If someone leaves just reset the administrator password.
    A side note to this (and hopefully goes without saying) is to make absolutely sure that no service, scheduled task, etc relies on the administrator account so that when someone does leave, resetting the password doesn't screw something up and force you to go 'round fixing anything that is reliant on that account!

    Makes it a lot easier 'if' you were to give out the password to the 4 technicians and then 'maybe' decided to take it away at a later date (or something like that.)

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    pritchardavid's Avatar
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    Best way of doing it

    Make it so what every service or program has its own user account with only the permissions it needs (they dont need to know the password)
    Make it for emails for accounts login or whatever what you are signed up to to like a email account shared account

    See what right the admins have and see what they actually need to have and take away what they dont need (so they dont screw the system up)

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    glennda's Avatar
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    If someone leaves just reset the administrator password.
    One thing to ensure you don't do is changed the administrator password straight away. I have seen this done a couple of times and it causes all sorts of things to stop working which run under the administrator (or a users account!)

    personally i work in a team of 3 techies under the director of IT we all are domain admins - just becuase its easier that way incase you need to do something in somebodys absence. Although not officially our roles we all have our seperate things we look over. But we all know in some form or another how it all works (well i know about them weather they know about me i dont know!)

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shielder View Post
    A side note to this (and hopefully goes without saying) is to make absolutely sure that no service, scheduled task, etc relies on the administrator account so that when someone does leave, resetting the password doesn't screw something up and force you to go 'round fixing anything that is reliant on that account!

    Makes it a lot easier 'if' you were to give out the password to the 4 technicians and then 'maybe' decided to take it away at a later date (or something like that.)

    Well it would be silly if someone uses the admin account for a service. I create separate accounts for services.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Ok ... you are asking about management of teh team, but you are only talking about one very small bit of it ... delegation.

    The first thing I would recommend you do is ignore a lot of what is said by other schools ... and by me

    You need to go in, have a look at *their* job descriptions and see what they are expected to do as their jobs. If it requires domain admin rights then fine ... there is nothing wrong with them knowing the Administrator's password and not using it because they have the relevant access rights anyway. You do, however, want to make sure that you have your documentation up to scratch asap, so that any changes which are made are documented.

    Go though and identify the routine maintenance which is required ... and see who is expected to do it, what access rights they need and then look at how you check it is completed.
    Look at the facilities and services the school has and the team provides ... is there an SLA? How do you check off on that?
    Do you have a servicedesk?

    Identifying roles and responsibilities of the team will take some time and conversation ... if you make decision before you go in then you might have the idea of what you want, but not the school.

    If you have a team of 4 people ... then it is likely that you will have some who are more than happy to work on servers ... and might show you a thing or two as well.

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    steve's Avatar
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    I'd let things run as they are to start with, and as Tony says, get hold of job descriptions etc. gather as much info as possible.

    Identify any of the techs who might have gone for the job. keep an eye out just in case of any resentment.

    Day 1 first thing, I'd meet with the techs staff. Tell them you're not on a witch hunt, just going to see what the current situation is. Ask for their thoughts on current things that work well, things that could be improved, any current issues. Advise them you will be also asking other staff the same to get a full picture. Ask for them to come to you with ideas and issues.

    As soon as possible meet with staff including SMT. Get their opinions.

    Watch over the team for a few days, go on jobs with them - praise them along the way.

    After a week ask the techs identify their strengths and weaknesses.

    After you've gathered a lot of information, look for a couple of quick wins. Get people on side.

    Then plan and plan some more.

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    somabc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Well it would be silly if someone uses the admin account for a service. I create separate accounts for services.
    You say that but it was the first thing I did and there were no backups that night and all the web filtering stopped working!

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    kevin_lane's Avatar
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    I think what steve is bang on the nail...from what you have said going from you and 1 other person to managing a team of 4 is and can be quite a difficult task because you don't want to rock the boat in terms of coming across as a n*b head because you have taken away admin rights etc etc

    but you also want to know how the team is performing what is the general ethos of the IT Support department is. I my self manage a team 3 was 4 but now 3 (he wanted the sun :P) and it can stressful because when you start your job everyone is going to come to you for ALL the problems and you are going to be expected to fix them e.g delegate and that is hard thing.

    when i went into management I was running round like a blue arss but yet i had 4 guys not doing anything because I didn't delegate so you need to learn how to delegate roles not saying don't do any work and just delegate all the time because then they will get peed off you have to try and balance things. but also get to know your team understand where each one likes to be e.g in terms of roles hardware or software / server side / switches e.g also you might want to find out if they have had any training or if they need training

    we can all say allsorts on what to do and what not to do at the end of it all it must be one of the hardest things to do is manage people because it can go in any direction.

    I would suggest that your school put you on a course on people management skills that way at least it gives you an idea of how to do things.

    were here to help

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Perhaps the OP can give us some insight as to how they got on 3 years later.



    Ben

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