From industry to industry, the skills and specialization involved in project management can be quite distinct. In the IT field, project management generally governs the process of software development, infrastructure deployment, upgrades, repairs and maintenance: everything that a business needs to maintain its IT operations. IT project management requires that project managers be extremely technologically savvy, able to adapt, well-organized, and personable.
What Skills Are Needed in IT Project Management?
IT project managers need to be not only knowledgeable about the technology used but also capable of interfacing with both their team and higher-level executives. Conflicts frequently occur across IT projects, with deadlines being missed, budgets being overshot, and designs being radically changed. The IT project manager creates a buffer between the executives and their team, both promoting their team’s productivity and ensuring that executives get the end product that they want. Though this is very challenging, it’s also very rewarding.
Where many IT project managers may fail is that they may not remain current on the technologies that are in use. A poor understanding of contemporary technology can lead to a lack of faith in team members and a lack of understanding regarding what can and cannot be promised to the organization.
In addition to people skills and tech skills, IT project managers have to be able to deal with unexpected events. They need to be highly adaptable and they need to plan for known risks. It is the ability to quickly pivot and change course that will define the skill of many IT project managers.
How can IT Project Managers Improve?
IT project managers are generally already those who are very experienced within the industry. A project manager will usually have three to five years of specialized knowledge within the technology that they are supporting. But in order to truly succeed as a project manager, those in the IT field must also become knowledgeable about project management strategy, theory, and techniques.
A significant portion of IT projects experience failure. This can happen for a variety of issues: technology may eclipse the project, integration may become a problem, the company’s initiatives may shift, or inexperience may simply lead to flaws within the infrastructure itself. An IT project manager needs to have the experience and knowledge to identify these potential roadblocks and mitigate them before the project starts. This can be done through:
- Developing standard protocols and processes that must be followed throughout the project.
- Keeping team members aligned with the goals of the project and building a team that works well together.
- Fostering an environment of communication, collaboration, and transparency.
- Learning to better leverage the human and technological resources available to them.
IT project managers are understandably in demand across many industries. For those who are thinking about moving upwards in their IT careers, project management can create an excellent career trajectory with a high amount of mobility. Software Specialists maintains a comprehensive list of jobs throughout the IT field, including those in project management. Check the listings today to find your next opportunity.