IT Project Managers play a crucial role in any business organisation. They will oversee and organise the adoption, implementation, and smooth operation of all aspects of the company’s IT infrastructure. This can include relatively standard software packages all the way up to overly complex hardware and software installations and deployment that affect every aspect of the organisation’s functionality. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is often a key part of the role in improving efficiency across the enterprise.

Duties and responsibilities - What does an IT Project Manager do?

A comprehensive range of duties fall to the IT Project Manager, including:

  • Leading project planning meetings with senior management, departmental heads, and relevant team members
  • Ensuring projects are completed in full, within budget and in line with pre-determined timescales
  • Overseeing the progress of projects and reporting potential issues to the appropriate people
  • Commissioning and interpreting relevant paperwork, including contracts, blueprints, drawings and more
  • Working alongside clients, stakeholders, suppliers, and contractors to streamline processes
  • Reviewing completed installations to improve the implementation of future projects
  • Managing teams of individuals both within the company and without, to maximise performance and minimise potential problems
  • Understanding any relevant legislation, both locally and internationally, that can affect the legality of IT project implementation

The qualities you will need

Successful IT Project Managers will usually have several years of experience in such a role, as well as formal qualifications in a discipline like engineering, computer science, business administration or business management. A working knowledge of the project management methodologies commonly used in IT such as Agile, Waterfall and Scrum is also required. Similar positions include the likes of Program Manager, Operations Manager, and IT Planner.

There are several personal qualities that will you help you in this role. You’ll be able to perform to the highest standard even when the stress levels are high, and you’ll be adept at seeing the big picture. Attention to detail is a must, and a methodical approach will be a major advantage.

Good communications skills are a must with this role, whether you’re reporting on the progress of projects with company directors or dealing with a supply chain that isn’t doing what it should. There will be times when your leadership skills will be put to the test, so the ability to remain calm under pressure will be a great help. In addition to this, you’ll need to know when to lead from the front and when to delegate.

Being able to focus and manage your own and the teams time when there are many plates spinning is of course part of the definition of a Project Manager.

Qualifications and technical skills - How to become an IT Project Manager?

With both IT and Project management skills being relevant to the role of an IT PM there are a range of qualifications that can be relevant for the role.

IT Qualifications can include Microsoft or Cisco certifications while those from a support background may have CompTIA, or equivalent, certification.

Sought after Project Management Qualifications include: PRINCE2, Scrum and PMP certification.

Career development - What is the next step after IT Project Manager (IT PM)?

IT Project Manager jobs are available at junior, intermediary and senior levels, and the most experienced individuals will often be working as Senior or Lead IT Project Managers. Beyond this level, career progressions would be an IT Director, Head of IT or even a Chief Technical Officer (CTO).

Salary and remuneration - How much does an IT Project Manager make?

As befits a senior role in a high-powered, often stressful, environment, an IT Project Manager can expect to command a very good salary, often with an excellent benefits package attached. Salaries will depend on experience and the parameters of the actual role, of course, but the rewards can be impressive.

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