IT project managers play an important role in many businesses. Overseeing the planning, installation and maintenance of the entire computer infrastructure means that this is a role that comes with a great deal of responsibility. However, if you are confident, well-organised and with an excellent technical background then an IT project manager job can also be hugely rewarding. To find out if you have the right attributes to thrive in this role, we’ve highlighted some of the job’s key aspects below.
What does a role in IT project management entail?
Most of the usual tasks associated with being an IT project manager will be aimed at ensuring that computing systems can meet business needs. In reality, this means that everyday tasks could vary depending on whether you work for a specialist IT company or an IT department within a standalone business. It will also depend on which particular projects you are working on at any one time.
Some typical duties performed by IT project managers include:
- Understanding the role of IT in your client’s business
- Planning IT projects and evaluating the impact they are likely to have on business processes
- Overseeing and monitoring the work being done by the rest of the IT team
- Ensuring costs, deadlines and quality standards meet the agreed targets
- Reacting to unforeseen circumstances by amending project plans appropriately
- Ensuring you are up-to-date with the latest IT technology and managing its implementation when appropriate
- Liaising with senior members of staff to update them on progress
- Evaluating completed tasks and reviewing performance of new IT systems
In order to complete all these tasks, IT project managers will need a strong mix of both technical and soft skills.
Organisational and leadership skills will be crucial when managing teams of others and the ability to problem solve will be critical. Methodical approaches to work and good communication skills are also highly prized assets amongst employers. Due to the important role that IT plays across a broad range of businesses, IT project managers must also be able to work well under pressure, because tight deadlines are a common aspect of the role.
Making the step up.
If you already have a job in IT, then making the step up to project manager could be the ideal next step in your career. Having experience with project development or project support will stand you in good stead and having a relevant qualification in either computing, project management or business management will demonstrate your skills to employers. Similarly, individuals that have worked with PRINCE2 project management methods previously are highly sought after, although the exact project management software will vary from business to business.
Working towards a professional qualification can also help you make the step up to IT project manager, as it demonstrates that you are committed to continuing your own professional development. The Chartered Institute for IT runs a course specialising in project and programme management at three different levels depending on your current experience. Other industry bodies offer similar courses and they also provide excellent networking opportunities which could prove vital for your career progression.
If you are already working in IT and are looking for a role that offers more responsibility, or see project management as more of a long-term ambition, Randstad Tech can provide you with the advice and support needed to keep your career moving forward. If you have the right mix of leadership and technical know-how, an IT project manager position could be within your reach.