So you want to be an IT Project Manager
As organizations become increasingly reliant on technology, IT departments are responsible for bigger and bigger budgets to roll out new projects.
Professionals tasked with managing such large projects are IT project managers.
Melina Kayila, Managing Consultant in the IT division at Robert Walters, gives an insight into the role of an IT Project Manager and highlights the skills required to succeed.
What does an IT Project Manager do?
Technology and systems often need upgrades and improvements due to the rapid changes that happen in the world of IT. This is where a project manager comes in. Melina: “An IT project manager is basically the person who manages the timeline and budget of an information technology project to ensure that implementation is seamless.”
How much can I earn as an IT Project Manager?
Melina: “Salaries vary depending on the type of organization that you work for. However, an IT Project Manager with 7-15 years of experience can count on a gross annual salary of 65k-70k EUR. Professionals with more than 15 years of experience in managing IT projects may count on a gross annual salary of 85k-100k EUR.”
Variety of work on offer
An IT Project Manager’s role is hugely varied. Some projects are small and may only take a week, while some large-scale projects can take months or even years. The IT Project Manager is fundamental to the successful delivery of the project and will be responsible for a wide range of tasks, such as:
- Assembling project plans and teamwork assignments, identifying resource needs, and escalating any issues appropriately
- Preparing the business case for the project and showing the business impact of the project in terms of costs, savings, revenues, and benefits
- Tracking key project milestones and adjusting project plans to meet the needs of the business
- Building strong working relationships with all key stakeholdersManaging budgets and timescales effectively
- Coordinating effective communication with all stakeholders throughout the process
- Ensuring an excellent understanding of the project at hand and the priorities of the business units affected by any change.
Relationships are key
"A considerable proportion of the role is focused on managing people", says Melina. As an IT Project Manager, your ability to build and manage relationships at all levels is fundamental to success and you will often face conflicting demands from different business areas“Strong interpersonal skills are therefore critical for those looking to make a career in this area. You should also show a flair for people management and good leadership skills.”
What personal qualities are required?
“Most employers will look for someone with strong organization skills, and who displays excellent time management skills. Problem solving, the ability to operate under pressure and deliver to demanding deadlines are also attributes that are required. Effective communication skills are necessary, as is a consultative approach coupled with a can-do attitude,” explains Melina.
Is an IT Project Manager role right for me?
“Project management can be extremely challenging and demanding at times but can also be extremely rewarding. For individuals who are exceptionally well organized, enjoy being able to see a solution working well and knowing that they were part of something that has improved the business, this is an outstanding career choice,” concludes Melina.
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