Project management skills enhance IT career

The managers surveyed in TechRepublic's 2008 IT Skills and Salary Report say that project management skills are in great demand in IT shops. How do you know if you're cut out for project management? And if you are, how can you go about learning the ropes?

One IT job role that is continually stressed in the results of TechRepublic's 2008 Skills and Salary Report is project leader. It comes in at number four on the list of job functions by salary, and the author of the survey says that the IT field is seeing more demand for multi-tasking and project management abilities.

Before you pursue this career line, you might want to ask yourself if you're cut out to be a project leader. Project management is not for everyone. Many people have some of the traits to be a good project manager, but they also have many traits that make them a bad fit for the position. If, for example, you don't communicate well or you don't work well with people, you might want to consider another area. Also, if you prefer detailed work to the big picture, it could be a deal breaker. When you're a project manager, you must rise above the details and become more of a delegator and coordinator and rely on others for the detailed work. Here's a list of other signs that you might not be cut out to be a project manager:

10 signs that you aren't cut out to be a project manager

So let's say you pass the "test," and you're ready to put some project management skills to work. Here are some resources to help you on your way. You'll need to master these 10 processes to effectively manage a project:

  1. Define the project
  2. Plan the work
  3. Manage the workplan
  4. Manage issues
  5. Manage scope
  6. Manage risks
  7. Manage communication
  8. Manage documentation
  9. Manage quality
  10. Manage metrics

In this blog, each of these processes is discussed in detail.

If you haven't had any formal project management training -- and most of us haven't --here are tips from an old pro on how to hit the ground running with your projects:

Get everyone on the same page with a project kickoff meeting

Supervise larger projects with a schedule management plan