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I am a software architect and loud-mouth on the design and development of enterprise softwares. Also I am a visionary who loves Big Data and Start-Up Chris is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 11 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

How to Lead IT Knowledge Workers

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I have heard that knowledge workers need a special type of attention compared to blue collar jobs. On the other hand, I have been seen behavior among organizational leaders where they would like to address issues like pushing working hours, lack of trust in employees at their task, etc. which leads them to micro-level management as well as coming up with strategies which are more relevant to blue collar workers.

In my humble opinion, software developers are demanding this: Have less rules that are more suited to blue collar working environments.

I've written a free book to address the typical needs of IT knowledge workers by giving a unique leadership approach. This leadership approach has following important items:

1. Knowledge Work Fundamentals 
2. Generation (boomers, X and Y) Study 
3. Culture Analysis 
4. Employee Card (goal settings, SWOT(Strength-Weakness-Opportunity-Threat), annual performance review, and peer survey) 
5. Broadcasting Channel 
6. Team Goals Setting 
7. Reference Cards 
8. Team Lead Evaluation

I wrote a booklet about my experiences and you can download it here .

Published at DZone with permission of Chris Shayan, author and DZone MVB.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)


Anup Shinde replied on Thu, 2013/02/14 - 3:09pm

On employee-goal-setting (for half-year), I usually face challenge in setting goals like "implement user-story X" - because, being agile, we don't really know what I'll be working on after 2 months... and such goals are atleast 50% of the total .... thoughts on that?

Nicely written and very informative ... still reading.... Thanks for sharing

Chris Shayan replied on Thu, 2013/02/14 - 9:17pm



  1. setting goals like user story base is having issue with SMART concept.
  2. Also I think, the goals should be in support of sprints and company vision.
  3. User stories should follow Scrum, XP or any other agile methodologies
  4. User Story cannot be one person goals too. It is too big for an employee.

In my experience, I rather to set goals that is align with IT or architecture strategies, for instance if our firm is planning to move to html5 and the employee is having sufficient expertise so his goal can be learn html5 by going through some trainings.

Chris Shayan replied on Mon, 2013/03/18 - 10:31am

A post on "How to lead IT Knowledge Workers" has been done in newsletter

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