Some firms have no trouble allowing their CAD/BIM/Tech Manager to grow into the best manager and leader they can be. (see prior post on the Tech Manager title). Some firms seem to constrain, deny, divert, circumvent and otherwise undermine the effectiveness of the Tech Manager. They do not let the person expand to fill voids in tech oversight. They limit the impact and input of those that they need to actually empower.
Here are a few ideas on how to let your Tech Manager grow.
Let them be an Innovator
I am positive that they have many ideas on how to improve productivity. Allow them to share those ideas and press them forward. Extend to them a little time to test and pilot some of their ideas to see if they will resonate with others on your team. They may have bottled them up because of push back or naysayers. Don’t let that happen. Come along side and encourage others to try a new way of doing things.
Allow them to be a Trainer
Most of them have done informal training and some formal training in the past. Expand their reach by nudging them toward formal training of your team. Set up some training time for them to share the innovative ideas that they have. Let them show others how it might be done. Don’t interrupt impromptu training sessions that happen on the fly during the day. When you see them happening, wave others over to get involved and listen in.
Let them be a Leader
When tough times come, they will have ideas about how to get through them and avoid them in the future. Encourage them to step forward. Ask them to help. Give them room to clean things up. Let them take charge when things go wrong. Follow their lead.
Let them be a Unifier
Many managers want to get everyone rowing in the same direction. When they put guidelines in place, then direct people to follow them. Having a unified process for doing things goes so much farther than every person doing things their own way. Steer them toward that one target and method for getting there.
Let them get Training
They train others so let them get trained also. Allow them to read. Let them search the web. Give them time to meet and discuss tech issues for design tools. Provide them with some travel dollars or gas money and some company time to meet up with others. Approve road trips to vendors and trade shows.
By investing in these managers, you invest in your entire firm. You will soon see benefits as they share knowledge and more with your staff.