The three rules of management: Document, document, document

An IT manager is reminded to document everything when the lack of a paper trail threatens a valued employee's livelihood

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Six months later I got an email from this IT person at my former company. I thought he had finally decided to leave and wanted me to be a reference. Instead, he asked me if I remembered the agreement we had set up for him a while back. I said sure, why?

He told me that the new director of accounting had decided to change to a new HR system, and now his full-time benefits had disappeared. He told me that HR had nothing about the agreement we'd reached in his file.

I didn't have any documentation, either, but I remembered sending some emails to the former CFO about it. I asked the IT person to restore my archived emails and to look back during that period.

The next day he emailed me to thank me because his full-time benefits had been restored -- and he made sure HR noted the agreement in his file.

Well, I didn't need someone to tell me I'd messed up. And, yes, I did take a moment to ponder the irony of the situation. As much as managers complain about IT staffers not following procedures, they need to follow their own directives.

Yes, they can be taught.

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