There are few jobs as demanding or as challenging as that of the IT project manager role. But it is that challenge that makes the role so rewarding for the right person. It has the potential to provide an incredibly satisfying work experience for dynamic and confident professionals.
Two skills that define the capability of the project manager role are those of communication and problem solving.
A project manager has to be able to liaise with many different groups and within these groups many different professional backgrounds. In passing information and directions between these various groups the IT project manager must maintain clarity and understanding.
Beginning with the client, the project leader must quickly determine the technological fluency of those involved. A client contact is likely to involve a number of different individuals forming a board. Depending on the professional and personal backgrounds of the individuals the level of understanding of technological factors involved in the project will probably vary somewhat. It requires subtlety and nuance to make clear how the client’s requirements and ideas will be translated into workable solutions without excluding potentially critical information.
Accommodating new client requests even after the project has been initiated is a further challenge for the communication skills and problem solving in the project manager role.
Through collaboration with the client the project manager determines what the revised goals are. They must then return to the project team, present them with the new project parameters and find a workable solution. Each member of the team is likely to have their own solution for their own area. Coordinating those solutions, integrating them into the project and delivering a satisfactory result for the client are all ultimately the responsibility of the project leader.
Not only must the PM deliver all of these goals but they must also determine a means of making such adjustments within the budget and schedule. Development methods such as SCRUM and AGILE take account of such adjustments from the start but it still requires a great degree of creativity on the part of the project manager to orchestrate such changes while sustaining the project’s momentum.
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