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Bullying In The Workplace - It Sector

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IT professionals who contacted Computer Weekly criticised a lack of openness and accountability at the top, micro-management and over-scrutiny, and a lack of appropriate training.

I've lost count of the amount of times I've seen this. I wouldn't necessarily call it bullying though, just technical incompetence leading to excessive concentration on the things they are able to deal with.

"A lot of bullying in IT is down to some senior managers being 'hands-off' from a technical point of view and feeling threatened by the knowledge of subordinates," she said. "To cover their incompetence they would purposefully deceive.

I wonder also how much of it is due to the personality type of IT employees. I find that a lot of non management IT employees tend to expect their management to know exactly what they are talking about, which is not necessarily a reasonable expectation in my opinion.

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Look, when I program my washing machine,, it just works....why cant the IT be like that...

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The nature of people who tend to go into IT on average will tend towards things like micro management, control, black-and-white etc etc. So the management is merely a reflection of the available pool of employees and their psyche.

And the thing is, they would hate a non IT manager most of all (re your second point).

Indeed. If all the issues and problems you come across in your career are misbehaving computers then when your techincal skills qualify you for a maangement post you will find that you haven't been prepared for it.

I have met the odd excellent IT manager but generally they fall into the arrogant / bullying type (to make up for their lack of actual ability to manage people) or the "do it all themselves" type who are helping and doing rather than managing.

The absolute best managers (all areas, not just IT) that I have worked with have usually had very odd career paths and are technically poor but excellent with staff and clients.

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Indeed. If all the issues and problems you come across in your career are misbehaving computers then when your techincal skills qualify you for a maangement post you will find that you haven't been prepared for it.

I have met the odd excellent IT manager but generally they fall into the arrogant / bullying type (to make up for their lack of actual ability to manage people) or the "do it all themselves" type who are helping and doing rather than managing.

The absolute best managers (all areas, not just IT) that I have worked with have usually had very odd career paths and are technically poor but excellent with staff and clients.

you mean the ones who dont actually manage anything, things run smooth because they arent there...Yeah I get it...makes you wonder why they are there.

Sexism Champions are going to be the new management addition...lets hope its very much part-time and hands off.

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I was a great IT manager but maybe that it is because I am so nice :)

But I have mostly encountered d*ckheads in IT management - lots of people who have some kind of issue or personality disorder. Some real nasty types.

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you mean the ones who dont actually manage anything, things run smooth because they arent there...Yeah I get it...makes you wonder why they are there.

Sexism Champions are going to be the new management addition...lets hope its very much part-time and hands off.

If you mean good managers then they work on an "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" principle of jollying everybody along and gladhanding clients until they spot a problem whereupon they sort it out straight away with all the resources required.

Most weeks the team would run fine when they're not there because they've been empowered to do their jobs, but at other times they are absolutely essential.

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I was a great IT manager but maybe that it is because I am so nice :)

But I have mostly encountered d*ckheads in IT management - lots of people who have some kind of issue or personality disorder. Some real nasty types.

You were the one I was thinking of ;)

I'm sure you were good, I can tell how good a manager is by talking to them. If they give full credit to the team's achievements then they're good, if it's "I did this" (think Apprentice candidates) then they will be a liability and totally demotivate staff. The worst one was a credit control manager who took, um, credit for everythig done well by his large team, and blamed individuals if anything went wrong. First his own staff worked out not to trust him, then his peers (including me), then the next layer up whereupon he was sacked.

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IT sector probably is not much worse than any other, but Mr "lacking people skills" should probably not be in charge of people.

Pin has Spoken (again). :blink:

When I was in charge of people (not many), I was like mother hen, protecting the team from nasty foxes. Consequently they did a good job, and my project was a "success", like, er on-time, and working. I was unpopular with some people, probably the ones with the crap project that treated their team like sh1t! :wacko:

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The advice on how to deal with it wasn't that great. The best solution really is just to leave if at all possible (applies to all sectors, not just IT).

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The nature of people who tend to go into IT on average will tend towards things like micro management, control, black-and-white etc etc. So the management is merely a reflection of the available pool of employees and their psyche.

And the thing is, they would hate a non IT manager most of all (re your second point).

Its more complicated than you imagine.

Many people in IT love the technical work but dont like management jobs.

The problem is that historically people who were poor at programing often got shunted into low level managerial posts such as managing time recording, booking codes, monthly account reconciliations, forecasting etc because no one wanted to let them lose on live code. These people often then progress naturally up the management path to senior positions.

Unfortunately, such individuals are quite often not just poor technically but poor overall as performers which means they make low quality managers.

Worse many are aware both of their general and technical level of inadequacy which means they often do not understand what they are managing. Fear then makes them bluster and bully staff for fear of being found out as frauds.

In the past project management used to provide some sort of middle ground in IT where management and technician might meet. However, now I find that many managers dont even have any experience as project managers so they have no real end to end knowledge of what it takes to deliver a product

The result is lots of poor managers, poors systems and unhappy workers.

In my experience the best IT managers are those who have both some degree of technical background and some experience of managing project delivery and budgets.

Therefore, the best solution would to be to make project management training an integral part of all IT training even if that means forcing technician screaming and crying into doing some of this work.

The problem with most managers in IT is that they see themselves as 'controllers' when in reality they need to be 'facilitators' ie managing team relationships, client expectations etc. Unfortunately very few are good at that job. Most prefer to sit in meetings shouting 'Make It So'.

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You can't make project managers out of sh1t! I reckon somebody who wants a sh1t, and goes to the trap before noticing the door doesn't shut, and there is no bog paper, won't be great! :blink:

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The problem with the IT business is that as a manager you can make decisions that seem sensible, but have the most catastrophic impact on a project if you don't know what you are doing. This is in contrast to most management jobs, where if you can manage a list, you will probably get by. I've found managers crossing out line items in estimates "because they did not match the client contract" - yeah, try delivering that contract without config management and development architecture effort. If they don't get stopped, then that project is condemned to a screaming hell of late nights and failed delivery.

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The problem with the IT business is that as a manager you can make decisions that seem sensible, but have the most catastrophic impact on a project if you don't know what you are doing. This is in contrast to most management jobs, where if you can manage a list, you will probably get by. I've found managers crossing out line items in estimates "because they did not match the client contract" - yeah, try delivering that contract without config management and development architecture effort. If they don't get stopped, then that project is condemned to a screaming hell of late nights and failed delivery.

I've seen that many times. The good thing about me is I actually don't care! :blink:

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The problem with the IT business is that as a manager you can make decisions that seem sensible, but have the most catastrophic impact on a project if you don't know what you are doing. This is in contrast to most management jobs, where if you can manage a list, you will probably get by. I've found managers crossing out line items in estimates "because they did not match the client contract" - yeah, try delivering that contract without config management and development architecture effort. If they don't get stopped, then that project is condemned to a screaming hell of late nights and failed delivery.

Certainly true.

But in engineering, for example, if a project manager crosses out essential steps in the delivery of a bridge then the bridge may collapse on someone and they might die. I believe this had been known to happen in China. In IT there's so much acceptance from the general population and upper management that it is opaque and often doesn't work anyway, that it's difficult to tell the difference between a well managed or a badly managed IT project looking from the outside, and people seldom try to make the distinction.

On this score I do wonder why IT managers aren't forced to be part of a relevant chartered institute, as well as anyone above grunt techie level, like other engineering disciplines have (to stop bridges falling in people, etc)

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Certainly true.

But in engineering, for example, if a project manager crosses out essential steps in the delivery of a bridge then the bridge may collapse on someone and they might die. I believe this had been known to happen in China. In IT there's so much acceptance from the general population and upper management that it is opaque and often doesn't work anyway, that it's difficult to tell the difference between a well managed or a badly managed IT project looking from the outside, and people seldom try to make the distinction.

On this score I do wonder why IT managers aren't forced to be part of a relevant chartered institute, as well as anyone above grunt techie level, like other engineering disciplines have (to stop bridges falling in people, etc)

Nobody would have them! :unsure:

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When I was in IT, the firm I worked for employed managers that were from outside the sector, thus they had no idea how the technology worked, how it would be implemented, or how long it took. They of course got their minions who knew what they were talking about, on the case, and if the project was late, they would pass the buck, or if it was successful, they would take the credit...

At one point, we had a manager who's job seemed to move servers from one site to another, and he got £60k a year for that...

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Getting bullied by an IT drone :lol::lol::lol::lol:

Spend one week on a building site, you jessies.

[Declaration: Former IT drone]

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On this score I do wonder why IT managers aren't forced to be part of a relevant chartered institute, as well as anyone above grunt techie level, like other engineering disciplines have (to stop bridges falling in people, etc)

Probably because the industry is moving so fast that the average institute can't even begin to keep up. If you take bridge building, there is a level of science behind it - steel and concrete have characteristics, and you can model it. If the architect asks for something insane, the models will reject it. There are building codes to ensure that the implementation is good. If the project manager forgets to order the diggers, then the project will be late, but it won't fall down.

If I compare it to an IT project, many will be using technologies that didn't exist 5 years ago, and those technologies that did exist have changed beyond recognition. Very hard for an institution to write codes for that. Simple example - 10 years ago I'd have said that anyone writing 500 MB/sec to a storage array is pretty aggressive. Now, that's nothing. Searching 1TB of data was impossible in real time, now its not. Really hard to codify it.

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Getting bullied by an IT drone :lol::lol::lol::lol:

Spend one week on a building site, you jessies.

[Declaration: Former IT drone]

Aye, on building sites, the guys "take the piss" a bit, but eventually they like you! :wacko:

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If you mean good managers then they work on an "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" principle of jollying everybody along and gladhanding clients until they spot a problem whereupon they sort it out straight away with all the resources required.

Most weeks the team would run fine when they're not there because they've been empowered to do their jobs, but at other times they are absolutely essential.

Agree.....good managers leave you to get on with it and are there when you need them.....good managers, delegate well, trust their staff and empower them....good managers are not managed by more bad management above them.....they themselves have been given power to manage and make certain decisions...... Poor managers are in effect middle men with little power themselves......sometimes better to bypass the monkey and deal directly with the organ grinder.

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Agree.....good managers leave you to get on with it and are there when you need them.....good managers, delegate well, trust their staff and empower them....good managers are not managed by more bad management above them.....they themselves have been given power to manage and make certain decisions...... Poor managers are in effect middle men with little power themselves......sometimes better to bypass the monkey and deal directly with the organ grinder.

You and Frank are worthy of jobs in PinCorp. ^_^

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