Project Management

Why Critical Thinking Is Key to Your IT Projects

There are good reasons why high school students are recommended to take the SAT test to apply for college. One of three aspects that the SAT features is critical thinking, on which most selective schools including the Ivy League require an outstanding score. Critical thinking doesn’t mean you’re smart, but it means you can think logically, understand concepts correctly, and evaluate and apply them well based on your experience or observation.

For IT managers, critical thinking is key to the success of a project. The ability to think critically helps you foresee the future of a project, evaluate every stage, and take necessary action to prevent any damage. In an article for TechRepublic, Mary Shacklett shares three reasons why critical thinking can make or break projects:

  1. Critical thinking helps clarify issues and arrive at correct project assumptions.
  2. Critical thinking can improve communication.
  3. Critical thinking produces realistic expectations.

Think like a Genius

When project managers have a short time to create tangible results for a project, critical thinking saves both time and damages like scope creep, cost under-estimates, or wastes of human resources. If you can think a bit strategically and calmly, you won’t have to panic and resort tantrums to make your team work. Communication is improved when you can process what to say, when to say it, and how to say things in advance. You cannot expect to deal with work issues by saying things without thinking. People with a brain actually take advantage of every chance they can speak to make an impact and solve problems.

Thinking critically is also different from thinking creatively. You can be a bit creative in the process of thinking critically about your project, but it doesn’t mean that you can go to the sky. Make sure to keep your feet on the ground and be realistic about the estimates, deadline pressures, expectations for team members, etc. Shacklett goes on to say this:

Critical thinking is a requirement for every IT project, which can “make or break” on communications breakdowns with staff members and end users as easily as it make-or-break when tasks are missed or late.

Project environments are fast-paced, and they bring with them very high expectations. These high expectations and compressed timelines place pressures on project managers as well as on project stakeholders and end users—but at the end of the day, everyone engaged will look to the project manager for critical thinking and judgments. No one on the project team is better positioned to make the tough calls.

You can view the original article here:

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