For those individuals in technical managerial roles who seek to improve their budgeting and finance skills (or acquire them), there is now a class at the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine).
The class, “Budgeting and Finance for Technical Managers,” debuts this summer, and its goals are two-pronged: to increase understanding of the budgeting process and to help simplify the budgeting process using specific tools.
It also will examine topics such as how to use an organizational perspective to view a budget, and how to interpret financial statements. Additionally, the course will review forecasting strategies and how to manage vendors.
“Budgeting and Finance for Technical Managers” is part of UC Irvine Extension’s Management and Leadership for Engineering and Technical Professionals Specialized Studies. If students successfully complete the course, they should be able to:
- Develop a budget for an IT department.
- Compare project options with money concepts’ time value.
- Evaluate future resource needs through the use of forecasting techniques.
- Effectively choose and manage appropriate IT vendors.
John Lafare, who is the vice president and manager of investment managements systems for investment advisory firm Capital Group Cos., will teach the course. He also has served as the vice president and manager of the advanced technology department for Security Pacific National Bank.
Lafare earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of California, Los Angeles. Additionally, he is a graduate of Masatoshi’s School of Management. With his business and IT background, Lafare understands how both facets should interact to maximize positive bottom-line results for organizations.
“It’s often been said that IT (and other technical) professionals ‘speak a different language’ than other people within an organization,” he said. “However, in order to excel, IT professionals must learn to speak the same language as their organization.”
Further, Lafare said the “common ground” for people in business and IT boils down to numbers.
“From my experience, the common language of most organizations is that of finance and management,” he said.
Lafare also said he considers “Budgeting and Finance for Technical Managers” to be a way to bridge potential gaps between IT and business professionals who must work together.
“This course gives students the opportunity to learn how to demonstrate added value to their organization or employer and do it in a way that doesn’t compromise their individual skill sets as IT managers,” he said.
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