At the Technology Management in Higher Education course at InfoComm 2014, Amanda Beckner went over the current definition of a technology manager’s role.
“Technology managers ensure that professional or academic AV/IT challenges are met by efficiency, directing human and physical resources,” says Beckner, Director of Education for InfoComm International. “They guide the technological vision for organization by optimizing current AV/IT infrastructures and accounting for future introductions and trends. They use their expertise and managerial skills to provide end-users an ideal communication experiences.”
After taking a short poll using Lumi Connectors, most attending technology managers agreed that this was an accurate description of their job.
However, some technology managers said that there was more work entailed at their universities, and felt that Beckner’s definition needed tweaking. Some thought certain elements were missing in this defintion, including:
• A need for budget responsibilities
• Coordination with campus facilities
• Coordination with human resources so skills and demands are met
• Collaborating with other technology groups on campus, including those under the provost
• Managing an over-saturation of technology managers
• Learning how to train a tech team members in a managerial role
Technology managers used Lumi Connectors to vote on a an edited version of a technology manager’s role, and on which trainings future InfoComm conferences should offer.
Beckner also detailed technology managers’ four major duties and tasks, which included:
1) Delivering Service
• Evaluating end-users’ needs
• Creating or updating a catalog of services
• Training support staff
• Training end-users
2) Overseeing Project Delivery
• Identifying stakeholder requirements
• Building and prioritize project portfolio
• Developing a project scope
• Selecting system verification criteria
3) Managing and Balancing Resources
• Managing communications
• Managing technology
• Managing process
• Managing people
4) Providing leadership on the technology evolution
• Managing change
• Influencing technology and facility decisions
• Evaluating emerging technologies
• Developing technology roadmaps
Beckner asked the technology managers in the audience to vote on which of these duties and tasks they would like future InfoComm conferences to feature training for.
The majority of technology managers voted for more training on developing projects scopes, building and prioritizing project portfolios, training end users and support staff, evaluating end users’ needs and coordinating project resources.