The success or failure of a project depends on how good or bad the project manager is. This is the fact for all companies and industries and the IT industry is not any different. For an IT project, such as the design and development of WordPress, to come up in time and within the budget and succeed, much work must be put into it, and most of it is the project manager’s duty.
Project managers’ importance to IT companies means that they cannot afford to hire wrongly or take any chances if it’s not going to work out. They have to be sure that the prospect has the right project management skill to succeed in the IT industry. The questions now are, what are those skills? How do you spot them in an individual?
It is worth noting that giving someone the title of ‘project manager’ or the fact that they are called that does not automatically mean that they can efficiently and successfully execute a project.
This is something that IT executives have learned over time. An effective and efficient IT project manager that can keep the team moving and the plans going requires more than just technical know-how of how things work. There are non-technical skills that are also important. These skills, most times, determine the success or failure of a project and the project manager.
The truth is IT project managers have a lot on their hands. It is an important role that requires the right personality and the right skillset as ingredients for success. So, how do IT companies tell the difference between a good and bad project manager? What skills do they look for?
Here are the top project management skills for IT companies:
When it comes to IT project management skills, it is not just being a leader or just having leadership skills. There is the right kind of leadership skills that you should have. As a project manager, you have some responsibility for your neck. However, you do not have to be rigid. Firstly, you have to act as an expert in some subject matter during some valuable process. You also have to welcome and receive questions. The IT project manager also has to be able to coach members of their project team so that they can leverage their technical skills during the project management process towards achieving a meaningful team goal.
Your role as a leader is not restricted to the coordination or overseeing of tasks and processes. You also have to outline a vision and define what road map to follow, while motivating and encouraging other members of your team at the same time.
Project managers need to analyze a situation or given data very quickly and make the right decisions. All of the final calls regarding the WordPress design and management project, for instance, rests on the shoulders of the project manager. This power comes with great responsibility, as they are held responsible for the success or failure of the project.
Problem Solving Skill
Project managers are chronic problem solvers. As a matter of fact, that’s their job. That is why they are at the table and leading the team. In the context of project management, the significant problems to solve are the identification and management of risks. Many promising projects miss their delivery timeline, budget, or scope because of surprises that spring up unexpectedly.
The project manager’s job is to look for any risks associated with their project and try to mitigate those risks. They have to ask the right questions – no matter how hard, and continuously confirm dependencies, timelines, and decisions.
If you run a project efficiently and adequately, the likelihood of surprises spring up is minimal. Everything should have a risk log along with the mitigation plans. The project manager is the person in the best position to ensure that all of these are covered.
Being able to tackle and deal with obstacles is an essential skill for a project manager. What defines a good project manager is their ability to identify risks as early as possible, get to the root of the problem, weigh all possible options, and implement the ideal solution.
Business Case Writing
The ability to write unambiguous business case descriptions is vital for project managers. This will allow them to communicate correctly with the company’s management. Still, it also means that the project manager must understand all the basic principles that guide the project that they’re overseeing.
A vital resource that the project manager has to manage appropriately while executing an IT project is the company’s senior management’s support and goodwill. The company resource will likely be difficult-to-understand and expensive at the same time, but they have to manage it with the management’s support.
Project managers must also have the critical skill of explaining ROI, KPIs, and some other essential evaluations in clear and understandable terms without being condescending with it. It might also be helpful to hold discussions about the future. Is it possible to upgrade the servers? Can we expand the infrastructure? Will you replace everything with cloud-based resources before the lifetime it is expected to have?
We are now in a world where almost everyone is overloaded with workplace information. If there is just one person who can experience this at their workplace, especially in the IT companies, then it has to be the project managers. While our minds are vast and have an almost infinite capacity to store things, we all have our cognitive load, which is the limit of information that our minds can process at a particular time.
This is why they must have prioritization skills to help them sort things out in their order of importance. Project managers must also have the ability to manage large amounts of data from which they can extract what they need and overlook the noise. They have to be able to master the art of prioritization and time management if they want to be successful. Project managers always have to be focused and strategic as well, even though they will continue to receive notifications that will trigger them to have to put out fires. Still, they have to ensure that their project comes out fine.
Everybody has a stereotype of the job or person of the project manager. The common idea is that they are efficient enough to multitask regularly. What people fail to realize is that having a strong multitasking ability does not guarantee that the project manager will meet up with the demands and deadlines of their role as a project manager. What is more important than the ability to multitask is to organize things perfectly and do them in order. You might have to prioritize specific tasks, break projects down into smaller compartments to avoid confusion, and document everything for referencing and easy access in the future. There are times when the organization process will require that they envision all steps to be taken for the duration of a project and predict the problems that are likely to come up during the project.
Your job as the project manager is to make sure that all processes related to your project runs smoothly and align perfectly with your company goals. It will help if the project manager can organize multiple methods that are complicated and under uncertain conditions. Therefore, they must be able to prioritize, plan, and schedule as part of their skills. To be efficient in their jobs, project managers have to be ten steps ahead of the project and project team. This is how they can avoid surprises, deal with challenges, and get their desired outcome.
Communication is one of the essential skills that project managers must have. Project managers must be able to use the right language, terminology, and idioms to pass across their message. This shows their level of intelligence and their willingness to understand and be understood. When the project manager can communicate articulately, the IT personnel working with them will be encouraged to do more for them.
A good sense of humor is something that can’t be overlooked in project management, especially in an IT company. Most of the time, people that lack humor use it as a form of defense. It is often a wall that is meant to hide their incompetence, desire to rule over discussions and disrespect for IT goals.
Communication is a core skill set for the project manager. This skill is not restricted to in-house communication only. They also have to communicate with clients. So they must be able to speak the language that their clients understand.
Depending on your communication skills, you can either create a strong bond or destroy any existing relationship. It is the kind of expertise that can make or break things. Most of the time, the project manager is solely the one to translate, share information, and updates between the clients and the project team. They act as the link between two parties. That is why their communication skills have to be strong. They are literally speaking two different languages to different sets or classes of people.
Miscommunication can become a real issue, so make sure that everything is clear. Good communicators can prevent or resolve any problems while encouraging an exchange of information. They ensure that the right people get the correct information at the right time through the proper channels.
Decision Making Skills
Project managers should also be good decision-makers. It is the job of the project manager to make very difficult, yet well-informed decisions. This is how they can earn the trust of the management board and the technical contributors. When you combine this skill with valuable problem-solving skills, you will realize how important the project manager’s work is.
Many skills are required of a project manager in all industries. They play a very important role in a company. But for the IT Company, they are even more crucial. While we did not mention some other skills such as motivation, adaptability, and negotiation skills in this article, these are what we consider non-negotiable. For a project manager to be successful in an IT company, they need to have all of these skills.
About the author. Tiffany Harper works as a subject matter expert with some assignment help and essay paper, helps with their blogs and social media content. Please do not hesitate to contact her on Twitter.