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The demand for project management talents is always high. Finding the right project manager for mission-critical IT projects can be difficult, as it requires a mix of technical and soft skills.
In addition to the commonly needed skills like attention to details, focus on results, and time management, there are some less obvious but important skills that divide the good from the great. Check the top skills to look for in project management professionals.
Ability to Manage Limited Resources
No matter how big the company is, how many employees you have, or how many technologies you use, there will always will be some problems with limited resources. You’re always limited by budget, by technologies, by time, and by employee availability.
The project manager who can decide how to use the limited resources in order to achieve the best possible results will have the greatest positive business impact. Actually this is one of the main principle of any economy. So good economic skills could be really useful for project management.
Knowing a Variety of Technologies and Platforms
For IT Project Managers, familiarity with technologies in which software or an application are developed, designed, and tested is a necessary skill. Nowadays many IT companies are using the agile development methodology, so every Project Manager should know this framework. With no doubt, every company uses agile differently, so project managers should understand how agile is used and applied it to the company they’re working for.
A Focus on Business Strategy
A project management team that focuses on how projects contribute to the company’s growth, innovation, and total business strategy rather than just completing the tasks can give business a strong competitive advantage over other similar IT organization.
Nowadays IT Project Managers should follow the tech trends and anticipate every possible change that can happen and how those can affect not just their projects, but their business over all. Project Managers should forecast the needs in order to be flexible and adaptive. This is not so easy, but this is something good Project Manages must do.
Excellent Communication Skills
Communication is a must-have skill for any project manager. Project Managers should find ways to communicate with people from all different backgrounds and characters, with all different personalities.
IT Project Managers must be able to quickly and concisely inform the employees, company executives, and customers about the status of projects. Good communications between all parties are a key to a project’s success.
For project managers, communication skills and management skills are on the same page. Project Managers must be ready to deal with tough situations and make difficult decisions that should be done for the project.
Time management and meeting deadlines are the main things to focus on to make sure a project is going smoothly. It’s better if a Project Manager has a little bit of a psychology background so he or she understands how to motivate and push each person who is involved to make sure that the projects are completed on time.
With any IT project, there is always a risk. Risk that the team will not meet the deadlines on time, risk that the customers will not meet their expectations, risk that there won’t be enough resources for certain projects, and so on.
However a good project manager should be able to assess and minimize the possible risks by prioritizing the value of each asset. A project Manager needs to make sure that team members have all the tools, knowledge, and time they need.
Speaking the Same Language
It’s a key factor of a successful IT project that developers and project manager are speaking the same language. So it’s crucial to find a project management professional who can manage and motivate developers. This person should be familiar with the languages and platforms they’re using and should understand the challenges and opportunities of any IT project. In this case the developers will respect their project manager.
Outsourcing companies are becoming more and more popular. This means that some projects can be handled by several teams from different countries. The project managers who have experience of working with offshore teams are in especially high demand today. Being international means new global opportunities for IT project as well as for Project Managers.