IT project management is a great job that requires a very specific set of skills. Technical PMs are counted on to bring their technical knowledge to support the completion of a project, but there are several non-technical skills that are equally important to getting the job done. Here’s an overview of the job and what skills you’ll need to succeed in this role.
The overall job outlook for Project Manager careers in IT has been strong but relatively unchanged since 2004. Vacancies for this career have slightly increased by 5.74 percent nationwide in that time, with an average growth of 1.15 percent per year. Demand for IT Project Managers is expected to continue at this slightly increasing rate over the coming years as more companies expand their offerings into digital services.
Organization from the perspective of an IT project manager is very specialized. It requires knowing who the right people are, what they can do, and how they can help you to complete a task. Keeping track of progress through in-depth work back schedules, project plans, goal mapping, and progress tracking is key to knowing whether you’re on the right track and how much farther you need to go until the project is done.
IT PMs must be able to clearly communicate their project needs, ideas, schedule, and obstacles to partners, team members, clients, as well as corporate leadership. The ability to solicit honest buy-in will support the success of a project for the long haul, and that does not happen without stellar communication skills. Look for candidates who know how to talk to a team and individuals, give an amazing elevator pitch, and a thorough PowerPoint presentation. These are the skills that will help them accomplish the task at hand or get the help they need to finish the job.
Projects inevitably require smart budgeting to keep track of progress and not over-run the cost. Managing a budget requires attention to detail, strong negotiating skills, and an understanding of how a project is scoped and tasks are accomplished. Budgets in IT can get hit hard by project managers who mismanage their finances. To avoid such issues, hire an IT PM who has strong experience building and managing budgets, as well as the organizational skills to keep everyone on track.
A Strong Technical Understanding and Experience
Of course, an IT PM is of particular value because they have the industry knowledge and technical skills to support their projects. This is very important because, without that full understanding of the project components, processes, and timelines, things can fall apart very quickly. When a team hits a roadblock, or an obstacle that they can’t figure out on their own, having the leadership with an understanding of the work can make a world of difference. Project management is a distinct set of skills, but they build on the experience and knowledge of an educated and experienced IT professional. That real-world perspective on the project can mean the difference between success and failure or overrun budgets and unhappy clients.
For more expert advice on how to find a role in project management, connect with the team at ESGI today.