by Ollie on 29/08/13 at 9:33 am
Want to become a successful IT project manager? A good place to start in your quest is to learn from those who have gone before you. So what exactly makes a good IT project manager? Here are four of the habits of highly effective IT project managers that you can emulate in your own job search.
Superior Leadership Skills
One of the main duties of a project manager is to be a leader, and as such, anyone in this position must possess superior leadership skills. This extends to leadership over a team of staff as well as multiple stakeholders and vendors. A successful project manager will be able to effectively communicate with all of the parties involved, and lead everyone to a mutually beneficial outcome. Project management leadership also involves risk management, consensus building, and the ability to hold all parties involved accountable for the outcome of their work. Ultimately, leadership is about vision. Practice articulating a vision with friends and family or at the workplace, and take note of the methods that work for getting people on board with your plan.
The Ability to Multi-task
Multi-tasking is a key element to any project management scenario. IT project managers have to juggle several tasks at once, and must be able to keep everyone on track at all times. The key to multi-taking in this type of situation will be the quality of your organization skills. On top of being organized yourself, you also need to be organized in a way that is easy for other people to understand. Think of ways that you can make your work and everyday life more organized, and try showing these methods to other people to see how well they understand them.
The Ability to Negotiate
Negotiation is another key element to IT project management. But remember that you don’t have to be a diplomat to negotiate; you just have to be tactful and willing to invest time in convincing others of the importance of your project. Negotiation skills can be closely matched to leadership skills, but negotiation also involves a good amount of listening. Can you listen to the needs of multiple stakeholders and find ways to give them what they want without compromising your project? Try building your listening skills in your own relationships by paying close attention to the needs of others.
Advanced IT Skills
On top of all of these non-technical skills, most successful IT project managers also possess advanced IT skills. Even though many project manager positions don’t necessarily require technical skills, knowledge of the technical skills appropriate to your department is certainly an asset. If you’re looking at applying with a certain company, try to find out which software and platforms they use for their IT work, and develop as many skills with those programs as you can before applying.
While you’re building up your skills, be sure to check out what sorts of positions are open right now. Searching for IT project manager jobs at Randstad will give you a better idea of what’s available in this field. Who knows – you may even find the perfect opening there and end up working in your IT project management dream job.