As businesses invest more money into IT to derive key insights from existing data and to increase efficiencies, the number of projects and IT implementations is skyrocketing. Of course, one of the biggest keys to the success of these projects is strong IT Project Management. Because of this, employees with strong project management skills are becoming a hot commodity.
Being a strong IT project manager requires a blend of both technical and soft skills. The Program Management Institute teaches the principle of the talent triangle which best demonstrates the crucial skills for success. This triangle features the following:
Technical Project Management
These are the nuts and bolts of project management which include program management skills such as organization, prioritization, and communication. It’s these skills that a project manager will use every day to ensure that their project is on-time, on-budget, and is meeting delivery milestones. These skills are the foundation of any project manager’s toolkit.
The ability to lead is probably the most critical skill in IT project management. This is especially true given that a project manager typically does not have direct line management of project resources. Thus, they must lead without authority using motivational techniques and getting employees to buy into “the vision” behind a project. These are the non-technical personal skills such as motivation, adaptability, and problem-solving. Does the project manager display strong communication skills? Does the project manager motivate those around them? Is the project manager able to adapt to any situation no matter how difficult or unexpected the problem? These areas are critical for success especially when a project manager is responsible for a large team or complex project.
Strategic and Business Management
Does the project manager have the skills to foresee challenges ahead and plan for them in advance? Can they look beyond the numbers and see the overall business impact of their decisions? It’s this type of thinking that looks at the “bigger picture” and is necessary for managerial advancement.
When looking at your resume and experience against the PMI talent triangle, it can be hard to figure out the best course of action to make your dream job a reality. Depending on where you are in your career, you may want to consider certifications such as the PMP as a stepping stone toward your future. Finally, it may be best to consult a professional recruiter to examine your situation and come up with a plan to achieve your career goals.