Have you ever taken over a completely new team? Have you ever had a hard time in finding out what your team has to offer? Well…. in this blog I am going to talk about how to assess your team’s inventory as a new Manager.
Human capital: Most of the new managers always start their inventory count by assessing their tangible items first. For example: computers, machine parts, etc. I would definitely recommend against it. As a new manager and a new member of the team, one should familiarize himself with all the team members in the group. You should identify their job description, skill sets, work history, recent projects, and major accomplishments. Find out under what circumstances your team will be given access to any additional human resources, such as outside contractors or assistance from other teams. Find out under what circumstances human resources will be drawn away from your group or reassigned to other teams.
Raw materials and office supply: Once you are done with all the human resource information, you should start assessing all the tangible items available to you. For example: computers, furniture, special equipment, office supplies, work space, hardware, software, etc. You should also identify finished products on hand, and try to get estimated values of those products (if possible). While you are going through the process, it would be nice if you can identify future inventory requirements for your current projects. This will not only help you in better forecasting your inventory needs, but it will also give you an idea of how efficiently your raw materials are used.
Shared inventory: Most of the managers fail to count their shared inventory during this process. I would recommend not to do that. Try to determine if there are any other managers who have ownership over any parts of your team’s current projects. If there are, then you can introduce yourself to these managers so that you can begin to develop good working relationships with them. Ask these other managers to explain how your roles intersect and overlap; ask them to describe what they expect you to do (and not do).
Future supply: Once you are done assessing existing supply, you need to identify any new initiatives that your team has planned for the future. What does your team plan to focus on? When do they plan to begin these new initiatives, and when do they hope to finish them? What business need are they trying to serve? Etc. This will not only help you to better predict your future inventory needs, but it will also help you to determine a roadmap for your team.
How would you access your inventory, if you took over a completely new team?
Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi
April 30, 2012 at 5:23 PM
Good article. You wrote: “You should identify their job description, skill sets, work history, recent projects, and major accomplishments.”. These are important, but it sounds like you’d be working with a resume, rather than a person. Would it be fairer to first concentrate on their curiosity, their passion, their drive, and their initiative first?
May 1, 2012 at 3:42 PM
@Sean: You are absolutely right. As a Manager, one needs to connect with his employees without any doubt. But in this blog, I was talking about the employees from the inventory perspective. Thus, one needs to learn their skill sets, job descriptions and past experiences, before they meet them formally on one-on-one basis. And to do this, your best bet would be the HR Department. One can ask employee’s file from their HR department to prepare themselves before they can meet with their employees on face-to-face basis.
And yeah! If you want to know more about introducing yourself to your team, and connecting with your employees on personal level, you can visit my older blog post about New Manager’s Guide to Success: https://bhavingandhi.com/2011/10/23/survival-guide-for-first-time-managers-power-of-one-on-one-meetings/
I hope, my input helped you to understand where I am coming from. Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi