Handy Hints For New IT Project Managers
Becoming a project management professional can be a fantastic career move – but it’s not without its difficulties. There are a broad range of skills you will need if you want to taste success, and it’s advisable to get some qualifications in the areas of project management that you want to explore.
Once you have qualified in project management, your pathway to a good job or an excellent client list will depend on a few things. With this in mind, we’re going to take a look at some of the most important factors to take in when managing projects of all kinds – so let’s get started straight away.
Understand the full problem. When you are just getting started in project management, you’ll be keen to start diving in and impressing clients or employers as fast as possible. The problem is, rushing into anything in IT, software development or installing hardware is going to be a disaster if you don’t understand the big picture. The developers and technical teams that work with will all have their own, individual problems to solve, but your job as project manager is to analyze every dependency and risk.
Use your ears. Great project managers understand how to listen to all the stakeholders in any given project, and then get everyone on their side to deliver the goods. It seems obvious, but it takes a while to build up this particular set of skills. You should be paying attention to the general workings and intricacies of your team; you need to be able to study your clients in minute detail; and you’ll need to recognize skills, abilities, and strengths of all team members as soon as possible.
Log everything. When working on complicated software or IT projects, it’s critical to record everything you do in depth. Failure to do so will cost you a lot of time – and possibly your reputation – later on down the line. It’s vital that you start documenting everything that happens in your project – and you should be passing on structured logging tips to developers and your technical teams, too. Ensuring these practices are in place will mean if there is a mistake – which is almost inevitable in a project – you’ll be able to identify where it has happened.
Understand your software inside and out. There are an enormous array of project management tools out there that can be a great help to your workflows. But they can also be a hindrance. It’s vital that you understand how to use your weapon of choice so that you can optimize your tools and lean on your teams to use the programs as much as possible. The more programs you know inside out, the better, too – different projects often benefit from, different tools.
Request feedback. Finally, don’t be an authoritative project manager if you want to taste success. Your role is to act as a guide for the teams you are running – not a dictator. The idea is to ensure the success of the project, and being able to take feedback from your team members will go a long way towards getting them onside. It’s all about taking responsibility, not acting with full authority.
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