Companies are increasingly seeking out skilled software project managers to ensure that their projects go forward without a hitch. However, if a project manager doesn’t meet expectations, businesses usually won’t hesitate to seek out someone who will.
Becoming an irreplaceable software project manager means you need to bring specific skills and experiences to the table. Additionally, you must have the proper mindset, perspective, and attitude. Otherwise, you might end up more replaceable than you had hoped. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are some tips to help you excel.
Software Development Knowledge
Project managers usually have a combination of business and subject-matter knowledge. However, not every tech project manager focuses on software development.
By concentrating on the software niche, you can provide companies with additional value. You understand what is involved in the development process, ensuring you can build realistic timetables, manage expectations, and set achievable goals. Plus, you will function better as a liaison between the software developers on your team and management, customers, or other stakeholders, as you will understand exactly what is being asked of them and may more easily garner their respect.
Exceptional Planning Skills
It’s no secret that project managers are responsible for planning. Any shortcomings in this arena can be detrimental to your career, so you need to be diligent about exceeding expectations.
Project managers need to be able to complete various steps, including defining the scope, scheduling activities, and identify risks. Additionally, the ability to produce Gantt charts or otherwise create a visual representation of the timeframes is beneficial.
When you work as a project manager, you are guiding a team toward success. You need to be able to provide them with clear direction, specific goals, and well-defined expectations, all while being polite and professional.
Make sure you can articulate each team member’s role. Additionally, learn about each person’s skill set so you can align tasks with the individuals who are most likely to excel in those areas.
You also need to be ready and willing to act as a mentor. At times, your team is going to have questions, so you must be prepared to point them in the right direction and offer them support when required.
It’s important to note that leadership also goes beyond managing your team. For example, standing up for them when a stakeholder places an unrealistic expectation on the project is also part of being a good leader. Similarly, controlling scope creep can fall into that category.
Let the Expert Recruiters at The Armada Group Help You Find Your Next Job!
Ultimately, all the skills above are necessary if you want to excel in the project management field. By focusing on the areas above, you can become an irreplaceable software project manager. If you would like to learn more or are seeking out a new project management opportunity, the team of skilled professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our experienced staff members today and see how our project management expertise can benefit you.
Future-proofing your career – making it last a lifetime – requires keeping an eye on technology trends. Develop skills in an emerging technology area and you'll have the satisfaction of working with innovative technology and inventing new products, as well as being in high demand and receiving high levels of compensation. These are the tech areas that are just starting to take off now.
Internet of Things
Internet of Things (IoT) devices—small, sensor-based devices that transmit data and receive instructions over the internet—are everywhere. Whether in homes with smart alarm systems, smart thermostats and smart light bulbs, manufacturing plants where connected devices control industrial process, or hospitals where smart pumps deliver medicine, they offer convenience and control critical services.
Wearables, which include smart watches, fitness trackers and Google glasses, combine aspects of mobile technology and IoT applications. Companies are starting to incorporate these devices into their business processes, especially in locations where hands-free access is important.
Autonomous cars rely on the Internet of Things as well as artificial intelligence methods to drive safely on streets and highways. Although they're not yet ready for consumer use, there's widespread commitment to developing them; Google's efforts get much media attention, many startups as well as the established automobile manufacturers are working on the problems.
Big Data and Analytics
All of these new devices, plus all of the new online interactions people have on social media and websites, are deluging companies with massive amounts of data. There's a big push to move beyond collecting and storing information to making it useful through sophisticated analytics processes. Companies hope to find insights in the data that give them a competitive advantage, so the engineering, programming, and analytical skills that can uncover that value are in top demand.
Plan your career with the long term in mind. The opportunities in these areas offer technology workers in all roles – developer, designer, engineer, tester, support – the opportunity to work on projects that will shape the future. Check out the opportunities in The Armada Group’s jobs database and contact us to connect with a recruiter who can help set you on your lifetime career path.