IT project managers are critical factors in determining if your organization’s IT project will be delivered on-time and with-in budget. Whether your organization is looking to hire or outsource project managers (PM’s), the candidate should have experience in managing a project from scoping to implementation. Companies invest significant amounts into their software and IT projects, it’s important to have skilled project managers to ensure return on investment.
Here are 8 traits of successful IT Project Managers.
Successful IT project managers understand the value of time and clear communication. They effectively use e-mail, meetings and status reports to communicate their ideas, get decisions made and resolve problems. These project managers understand effective time management in their communication process, and discuss the project in the context of whatever is the most valuable to their team and organization. In addition to good communication skills among their team members, project mangers need to posses great communication skills to communicate with a broad range of people. IT project managers often work in different divisions within organizations and meet and present to wide range of individuals from junior developers to C-suite leaders.
Solid Technical Background
IT project managers need to have a strong background in handling a variety of technical tools and the deep insight into the goals and desired results of the IT project. Having the strong technical experience will help them better prepare and understand any potential issues around the project that may arise during various implementation stages. In addition, a sound knowledge of the platforms, software and programs the organization regularly utilizes will allow the project manager to make strategic and tactical decisions.
A Successful It Project Manager understands the importance of foresight and prepares their team to mitigate challenges before they arise. Accountability is a piece of the foresight puzzle. A successful project manager clearly lets their team members know, up front, who has what responsibility and clearly lays out the expectations. Meeting deadlines is another important foresight piece. Shifting deadlines are a common occurrence in many projects. A IT project manager with foresight knowledge establishes specific deadlines for parts of the project much earlier than the dates needed. This allows ample time for reviews and changes. Foresight allows PM’s to anticipate problems and head them off before they compromise deadlines and budgets.
Great Leadership Skills
Project managers need to be great leaders. The project management role leads team members, stakeholders and vendors to successful outcomes. The leadership skills require a leader to build a connected and focused team focused on the project’s goals with the ability to navigate risks and roadblocks. Relationship building is a key strength for successful IT PM’s. They have the ability to build credible relationships with the key stakeholders to ensure the project is aligned to the desired outcomes, and have the confidence to lead and hold the team members accountable for their responsibilities.
A successful project manager needs to be organized. Often they will be managing multiple projects or tasks. Inevitably issues will arise and require a daily-organized approach to tracking and resolving these issues. To meet deadlines and stay with-in budget requires strong organizational skill sets as well. When time is not spent efficiently whether holding too frequent status meetings or figuring out where missing data is will often result in the project failing to meet the deadline and budget. Being organized also provides the foundation for clear and consistent communication, and allows foresight to see potential challenges versus always scrambling last minute to meet deadlines with a potential increase in errors.
The old adage is true; the devil is in the details. This holds true for successful IT project management. A detailed approach to project management includes the big and small details. PM’s must be strategic and meticulous about the management of the details in every project and understand the impact each has on the success of the project. No detail should be overlooked.
Strong Conflict Resolution Skills
Successful project managers must have great conflict resolution skills. It is evitable differences of opinion will arise between team members. The project manager is responsible for resolving such issues and not allowing the conflict to disrupt the team. Keeping team harmony is important key in ensuring the project’s success.
Great At Team Building
The PM’s role is leading the team. Having enthusiasm about the project is important! The project manager’s enthusiasm will inspire other team members to be optimistic about the project and give their best! This enthusiasm can be captured and directed as the synergy for the group to efficiently and effectively achieve a goal. The project manager sets the example. They want their team members to be trusted and open, and so they are trustful and open. The PM is committed to the project and leads the team to be committed. General Dwight Eisenhower was once asked what makes a good leader; he replied, “Leadership is the ability to get people to do what you want them to do because THEY want to do it.”
We know there is many more important traits for successful IT project managers. We would love to hear your thoughts on the additional traits needed for successful IT project managers.