An IT staffer with project management skills? Hot stuff coming though! In an article for Computerworld, Mary K. Pratt reports on individuals who begin their career in IT and end up taking the path to full time project management. Most never look back.
The Accidental Project Manager
Many in the IT field are already functioning project managers; they just don’t know it yet. If you find yourself responsible for making task lists, calculating risks, and managing schedules, you may want to consider making it your full-time job:
Project management is one of the hottest skills in IT today. In Computerworld’s 2015 Forecast survey, project management expertise was identified as the second-most sought-after skill, trailing only programming/application development. Some 35% of the 194 IT executives who participated in the survey said their hiring plans called for recruiting people with the ability to lead projects.
Do You Have What it Takes?
Project management consists of a mix of business, technical, and leadership skills. As a PM you’ll need to draw up a charter, define the project’s scope, and outline your objectives. Throughout the project, it is necessary to manage a schedule and achieve milestones. One must also “sell” the project, calculate ROI, and motivate a team of experts to deliver value to customers.
You can achieve the right mix of skills through volunteering for particular tasks at your current position. Once you decide to make the move from IT to project management, consider a PMP certification as well. One key trait that no successful PM can do without is trust – the trust that comes from believing in your team and the trust your team puts in your ability to lead and execute with integrity. Even within project management there are opportunities for advancement, so grab a hold of those bootstraps and start pulling!