Many of the best IT project managers on the planet share certain traits. Usually, this is expressed as a set of habits, all of them honed to help increase their odds of success in their roles.
By working to make these habits part of your reality, you can thrive in most IT project manager roles. Here are the ones that should be on every current or aspiring project manager’s radar.
Dedication to the Process
Today, nearly every project is governed by a methodology. These provide clear steps to make sure a project is a success, ensuring that critical points are not overlooked and that everything is addressed in an ideal order or at the proper time.
Leading project managers understand that following the process is important; so much so that the majority make it a habit. Now, this does not mean that an approach cannot be adapted based on the project at hand. Instead, it is the automatic urge to use that process as a framework, and a desire only to deviate when the situation actually demands it.
Acting with Integrity at All Times
For the best IT project managers, integrity is a core part of their personality. They never hesitate to be honest when working with their team and strive to be fair at all times.
Without integrity, even the most skilled project team may struggle. A lack of trust can be incredibly damaging to a group’s dynamic, leading to increased levels of conflict, more misunderstanding, and even rising error numbers – all of which can lead to a project’s failure.
If integrity is not a habit, becoming a leading project manager will be incredibly challenging, so it is wise to make it a focus early in one’s career.
Preparation is a Priority
If a project is going to be a success, it needs a strong foundation. Preparation is the key to creating a winning environment, ensuring risk is properly examined, contingency plans are at the ready, and all necessary information is gathered before any work begins.
Neglecting the preparation phase of a project increases the odds of failure. While this does not mean you have to focus entirely on the minutia before getting started, it does mean having all of your proverbial ducks in a row as early in the process as possible.
By embracing the habits above, you can increase your odds of becoming one of the best IT project managers around. Not only can this help you build a strong and lucrative career, but it is also intrinsically rewarding, as your success rate could skyrocket.
Looking for a New Project Manager Role? Contact The Armada Group!
If you would like to learn more about what it takes to thrive as a project manager or are seeking out new opportunities, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members today and see how our project management expertise can benefit you.
To be a successful IT project manager, you need the right combination of skills. Unlike some other tech-oriented professions, the competencies required for these roles are fairly diverse, covering aspects of finance, human resources, leadership, and more. If your goal is to move into the field of IT project management, here are 10 skills you need to have under your belt.
Most project managers will spend a notable amount of time working with a range of professionals including the members of the project team, various stakeholders, and even the final customer. Since not everyone with which you will interact has the same technical background, it is imperative to be able to communicate with every effectively regardless of the level of understanding. This means breaking down technical concepts into relatable terms is critical to the success of many projects, making this skill particularly valuable.
The success of many projects actually hinges on the scope. Failing to define the scope leaves the goals unclear while also leaving you open to scope creep. Being adept at gathering critical information and establishing the project’s target increases your odds of success.
If you’re given the chance to choose your team, then learning key human resources skills like candidate screening and skill assessment ensure you have the right professionals for the job at hand. Without these competencies, you may find yourself battling skill gaps instead of making forward progress, which can spell doom for any IT project.
Project managers are often tasked with creating comprehensive schedules to meet strict deadlines. Understanding how to allocate time properly and delegate tasks can keep things on target, creating a foundation for the team’s success.
All projects face a level of risk. Being able to see potential vulnerabilities or roadblocks gives you the opportunity to mitigate any potential ill-effects should they arise, leaving you prepared to manage the worst even while planning for the best possible outcome.
Many project managers are given an initial budget and are expected to manage the funds appropriately as things move forward. Understanding key concepts like cost estimation, expense control, and budgeting are critical to your success. You’ll also need to learn how to make adjustments should unexpected costs threaten to bankrupt the project.
For projects that require outside materials or third-party support, it is important to know the fundamentals of the procurement process. Everything from bid requests and analysis, supplier identification, and vendor contracts play a role in this area, and managing the tasks well can make budgeting a simpler task to handle.
Unless your project’s final output meets quality expectations, it is unlikely to be deemed a success. Understanding how to monitor progress for quality control is key to ensuring all standards or requirements are being met effectively. It also ensures you’ll have the opportunity to intervene should things begin to go off track early on, making changes easier to manage.
With so many variables, most large-scale IT project will hit a snag at some point in the process. Being prepared to adjust on the fly often means understanding that nothing is set in stone, and maintaining that perspective can make the entire venture easier to manage.
As an IT project manager, being familiar with the technologies covered in the project as well as any project management systems in place are both critical to overall success. Without this core knowledge, you may find yourself spending more time asking questions than making progress.
If you’re an IT professional interested in a project management role, the team at The Armada Group can help you explore options in your area. Contact us to discuss your career goals today.
Whether you are pursuing your first step on a career path, or have decided to move away from your current career towards a different future, becoming a project manager can be a satisfying and lucrative career. But how lucrative varies based on certain criteria. Education and experience always come into play for job offers and salary negotiations, and your field of focus can also be a factor.
If you are wondering how much a project manager can make in Silicon Valley, here are some key points to consider.
Your level of experience is one of the largest determining factors regarding potential salary. In the Silicon Valley area, entry-level positions tend to be in the $60,000 area (without accounting for any potential bonus payments). Generally, that is considered a fairly strong starting salary, though the cost of living in the San Francisco can be relatively high.
However, the upper edge of the overall salary potential is well into six-figure territory, even without bonuses. And as demand for skilled project managers increases, and finding candidates in the IT field becomes more challenging, it is possible salary levels will increase in the years to come.
Now, it is possible to avoid a stop at the entry-level salary point if you have significant experience in the field in which you intend to work as a project manager. For example, an IT professional transitioning into project management in a tech field may see higher starting salaries than those who are relying solely on their education.
Often, successful project managers have a combination of experience. First, they likely have a degree in their chosen specialty area. For example, IT project managers may have a degree in computer science or information technology, while those interested in becoming a construction project manager may have a degree in engineering.
Additionally, most project managers complete coursework in the areas of business management or even project management specifically. Some of these options involve graduate-level education, including master’s degrees or professional certificates. For example, the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification can help those working in the field achieve higher salary levels than those who aren’t certified.
Salary and Compensation
As of late 2016, salary estimates for project managers in the Silicon Valley area ranged from $61,874 to $143,241. Additionally, financial compensation may also be available in the forms of bonuses and profit sharing, though this isn’t necessarily standard.
Working as a project manager can also provide access to a comprehensive benefits package if you work as a long-term employee for a business. This can include access to medical insurance and prescription drug coverage and may include dental and vision benefits. Additionally, retirement benefits may also be included.
However, some project managers work as independent contractors or are self-employed. In those cases, benefits are not provided by the companies with which you work. Instead, you will need to select your own solutions in those areas.
If you are interested in becoming a project manager in Silicon Valley, The Armada Group can help you explore your options. Contact our recruiters today to see what options may be available.
An MBA degree is a valuable credential, but it's not necessarily relevant to project managers in information technology. Project management certification attests to your knowledge in specific skills that project managers use on a daily basis. Obtain one of these certifications and you'll gain skills that help you do better at your current job as well as attract potential employers' attention when you list the credential on your resume.
Project Management Professional
Offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), Project Management Professional (PMP) is one of the most well-respected project manager certifications. This credential isn't restricted to information technology, and requires mastery of skills that will help manage projects in any business domain. The requirements for obtaining the PMP certificate include several thousand hours of hands-on project management work, plus 35 hours of coursework. After these hours are completed, a difficult exam must be passed. Less experienced project managers can obtain the Certified Associate Project Manager (CAPM) certification, a more entry-level credential; PMI also offers additional certification for project managers in specialty areas such as business analysis and risk management.
If your workplace follows agile software development methodology, as more and more organizations currently do, you participate in scrums on a daily basis. The Scrum Master certification from the Scrum Alliance acknowledges your expertise in guiding your team through scrum practices. Obtaining the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) credential requires self-study of scrum practices, followed by a CSM course led by a certified trainer. That course is then followed by an online exam. Successfully obtaining the CSM also grants access to Scrum Alliance resources, including a profile on the Scrum Alliance website, plus a logo to highlight your achievement.
Certified Project Manager
Similar to the PMP certification, Certified Project Manager (CPM) is offered through the International Association of Program and Project Management. Before taking the exam, you should have expert-level knowledge of project management practices, obtained through at least four years of project management work and 36 hours of study on the CPM syllabus. This preparation is followed by a three-hour exam. More junior professionals can obtain the Certified Project Professional credential.