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Do You Have What It takes to Be an IT Project Manager?

Posted By Patrick Oney on December 26, 2018

You're an organized person, in love with the IT world and familiar with the daily jargon surrounding the topic—but you're not sure if doing straight IT work all day is for you. If you crave a little more variety in your daily work life, IT project management might be just the ticket to a job you'll love. Learn what it takes to be a great project manager and what being an IT project manager means on a day-to-day basis.

What Is a Project Manager?

Project managers have several responsibilities as they perform their day-to-day duties. To sum it up simply, a project manager helps other people do their jobs by making it easier for them. While that might not explain exactly what a project manager is, here are a few responsibilities of project managers that might help clarify their role a bit better. Project managers may be responsible for:
  • Meeting stakeholders to get necessary information
  • Tracking budget and expenses for projects
  • Tracking hours spent on projects
  • Coordinating between resources and developers
  • Planning projects
  • Tracking project progress to keep projects on track
  • Helping maintain motivation on projects
  • Putting together business requirements
  Essentially, project managers take care of the planning, leading, organizing, and managing of different resources to ensure projects are completed within predetermined guidelines. While this still sounds very general, the types of projects they oversee depends largely on what industry they are working in. For example, the job of an IT project manager is different than the job of a translation project manager because they are focused on different outcomes.

What Does an IT Project Manager Do?

The day-to-day work of an IT project manager varies depending on what needs to be done for the day. However, the typical day usually involves arriving early so they can check their email, fix any problems, and put together a to-do list for the day. Once the rest of the office arrives, they will meet with directors and project team leads to determine the status of their different projects. They will also take time to follow up with clients and partners. And that's just in the morning. After lunch, some project managers set aside time to read, research, and write. Before the end of the day they'll double-check their email and project management platforms and answer questions, take care of any rescheduling, prep for the next day, and head home.

What Makes a Good IT Project Manager?

While anyone can learn the principles of project management, there are some qualities and skills that can help you be more successful as an IT project manager. Individuals who are natural problem solvers, good at organization, have outstanding time management skills, work well under pressure, and know how to prioritize tasks to meet deadlines are excellent candidates for IT project management. It's also helpful for project managers to be somewhat extroverted and feel comfortable working with other people so they can effectively engage with the individuals they work with. Although IT project managers don't have to be experts in the IT field, IT project managers should have technical management skills as well as an understanding of technical hardware, software, and networks. Some other skills an IT project manager should pursue are data analysis, effective communication with others, sound problem-solving skills, and excellent resource planning abilities.

Is IT Project Management Right for Me?

Now that you know a little more about what an IT project manager does and what qualities and skills it takes to succeed, you might be wondering if IT project management is right for you. Although project management can be challenging, individuals who are organized who enjoy taking on new challenges and coming up with solutions might enjoy the variety of work on offer in IT project management. Project managers should also be the types of individuals who:
  • Enjoy seeing results from their efforts
  • Enjoy being part of something bigger
  • Have good people skills
  • Are assertive
  It's also important to understand the types of challenges you might face as an IT project manager so you're prepared to tackle them when they come your way. Some challenges project managers face include working with different people in different departments, getting information from other people who have limited time, and interpreting what clients are actually looking for and communicating it to your team. Thankfully, IT project management makes up for these challenges and can be incredibly rewarding. There's really nothing that compares with the feeling of getting to the end of a project and the satisfaction that comes with a job well done.

Prepare for Your Future

If the different types of work and aspects of project management sound interesting to you, Stevens-Henager College can help you prepare for a career in the IT field or a position as an IT project manager with a degree in Networking and Information Systems Security. Request more information today to learn more about our degree programs and where a degree from Stevens-Henager College can take you.