How to be a sucessful Project Manager? A Career Guide from Specialists

Who exactly are Project managers? What are their main tasks in a company? Well, whether formal or unofficial definition, in short terms, it is a person who’s in charge of planning, executing, and overseeing a project from its initiation to completion and stays within a fixed budget and schedules.

The success of a project isn’t limited to specific fields. Project managers can oversee a wide range of projects including  marketing campaigns, construction projects, computer system development, and organisational change initiatives, among others.

Their importance is reflected in overall project success and client satisfaction, crucial for ensuring timely project completion. Now that you know why project management is so vital,  you might wonder if it’s a prominent career path for you. Let’s hear about it from our IT project managers’ experience:

What does it take to be a good IT project manager?

First and foremost, did you know that according to a studio in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the quickest expansion in project management-related position opportunities is expected to occur in the software development industry, with around 14% growth rate anticipated from 2019 to 2030, specifically due to the rising demand for IT security and prominent increment of healthcare technology services (PMI, 2021)

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Our IT Project Manager in Granton, Zdeněk Čadek, mentions that there are many things a good IT project manager should be capable of and what qualities the manager should have. Some of them are as follows:

  • Reliability and good time management. It is vital to manage the project delivery right and those two qualities are the “must-have” 

  • Basic system/IT knowledge. It is a significant advantage to have at least some basic knowledge about the IT systems (technical background) and integrations within the project. The manager doesn’t need to know everything in tiny detail (as it is not possible), but should know the basics to be able to tell whether the overall goals might be achievable or not, whether someone might be making something up or not. 

  • Communication. As with any management role,  it requires the manager to be able to talk efficiently to the interested parties (team, stakeholder, etc.) and to have strong presentation skills.

  • Social skills. It is definitely a benefit if the manager is not only technically and result-driven but is able to sense the situation correctly and use the optimal approach. Plus, you don’t always have to be happy, but having a good sense of humor allows you to approach a project with a positive mindset which can alleviate stress and invigorate your team.

Why is project management a tougher job than we think?

Entering a project management career, indeed, could be a demanding profession, but you won’t have to tackle those challenges by yourself. You’ll frequently collaborate with team members and leverage dedicated software or online tools designed to simplify the workflow.

A project manager’s career is as demanding as interesting. It seems that the coordination role is not that hard. You just tell someone to do something and he or she does it, and in the best scenarios, you don’t have to tell them what to do at all. But as we all know it does not work that way and that is why the manager is needed in general. To my understanding and belief, the IT project manager (or any manager in general) fills or finds the filling into the gaps within the project and that is usually tougher than one might think.

That being said, another piece of advice comes from being essential to clear out some tasks project managers should refrain from doing:

  • Firstly, they should steer clear of micromanaging the team and excessively controlling every minute of project detail. Instead, their focus should center on the team’s empowerment, equipping them with necessary resources, and offering support for project completion.

 

  • Additionally, don’t forget it’s crucial to present clear guidance and objectives to the team. As a project manager, it is suggested effective communication for the project’s vision and goals, ensuring everyone is aligned.

 

  • Lastly, they should never undertake all tasks themselves and attempt to handle everything, which might be particularly constant in smaller companies where roles tend to be ambiguous.

Our personal comment…

Despite its challenges, a career in project management is undeniably captivating and demanding, offering continuous opportunities for growth and professional fulfillment.

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