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How to Find the Perfect Project Manager

The year is 2015. Project management is a hot position for IT and across industries. Do you have the right angle on this burgeoning field to hire the perfect PM? Mary K. Pratt writes for CIO.com about the increasingly high expectations that come with daring to enter the field of project management.

Business Outcomes

For starters, the best PMs are able to focus on business outcomes. Pratt references insights from David Stevens, Maricopa County, Arizona’s head of IT:

They need financial, scheduling and management skills to keep projects on time and on budget. They must communicate effectively to diverse business and technical teams and bring together various players “to really deliver something that impacts the business.” And they must be problem-solvers who can keep their eyes on intended goals…“You have to have a systemic view of the project at any given moment to help navigate toward that outcome[.]”

Stevens hired five of the six project managers working in his PMO, and in each case he was looking for people with the PMP credential.

Pay Matches Demand

Computerworld’s 2015 Forecast survey ranked project management as the second-most in-demand job. A “pent-up” demand for new technology is what CIOs and other industry professionals see as the main reason for this jump in PM desirability. But don’t be mistaken, companies aren’t just tossing out PM positions like candy at a Halloween parade.

If they make the cut, PMs expect a generous starting pay of $75K annually. If they’re really on their game, $100K and upward is not unreasonable. What’s more, there’s room for growth – demand will grow 15% from 2012 to 2022.

Adaptability and Soft Skills

Technology distributor Avnet hires only experienced PMs and looks for the following traits: hard work, communication, collaboration, and leadership abilities. The key is adaptability. For a senior project manager, PMP credentials are a must. But don’t neglect the junior staff who may show excellent promise without official credentials. Soft skills, like communication and relationship building, should ideally preclude the hard.

Read the original article at: http://www.cio.com/article/2933191/project-management/how-to-find-the-perfect-project-manager.html

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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