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How to Become an Effective IT Project Manager

Ineffective Project Management costs U.S. businesses millions of dollars every year. IT projects are especially vulnerable to poor management; more than half of them fail.1 That’s why if you have the right knowledge, skills, and project management capabilities, you could pave a successful career path in Information Technology.

Here’s how you can become an effective IT Project Manager:

Define your process

The way you do things matters almost as much as what you do. Set baseline standards and create processes and methods that are repeatable. That may be as simple as having everyone work from the same checklist. Or it may require a look at the entire scope of the project.  Define the objectives of the project, assign responsibilities, set deadlines, and put benchmarks in place so you evaluate every project step and its conclusion.

Build a great team

First you need to find people who are well-trained in IT. Knowledge and experience are important. But it’s equally important to identify who has the abilities and strengths to get the job done. And each member of your team has to work well together. It’s your job to make sure they do!

Be proactive

Don’t wait for the system to crash in the middle of a technical changeover; plan for it. If you’re a proactive manager, you’ll have a plan in place to deal with any issues that might come up. And you’ll know what might come up because you’ve probably seen it before. At the close of every project you assess what went well and what didn’t—and learn from it. Bring that knowledge to the next project.

Communicate well

You really can’t be a proactive manager, though, if you don’t communicate with all the players on your team. Effective communication means that everyone knows their responsibilities, and also how what they do connects with what everyone else does. They understand when things are going well and when they’re not, and who the team members are who can make things right. And they look to you to be the team leader.

Maintain competencies

Technology changes crazy fast and if you don’t keep up, it could drive you crazy. You and your whole team need to stay up-to-date on the technologies you use and the most effective ways to manage. That may mean taking classes and getting advanced certifications. It might mean attending conferences and workshops where you learn from your peers. But it definitely means paying attention to what’s going on in the IT industry.

Assess and evaluate

Each and every project you run is an opportunity to grow and learn. What can you learn from what you’re doing right now that will help you in the future?

At Charter College, we understand that Project Management is an important part of Information Technology. Check out all our Information Technology programs and request more information to get started on a better path.


1 http://www.cio.com/article/3068502/project-management/more-than-half-of-it-projects-still-failing.html