2016 is your year - 7 reasons why Project Management is the key tech role - Stoneseed
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2016 is your year - 7 reasons why Project Management is the key tech role

keyroles

Coming from a Project Management background I've been muttering this under my breath for years, but now I can say, with some conviction, that Project Management is THE key tech role - and it's only going to get MORE important. Don’t just take my word for it – Forbes think Project Management is the most in demand IT gig of 2016! Go You!

Here are 7 reasons why.

1 – We Are the Kings and Queens of Comms

Think about it. In your role as a Project Manager, you have naturally evolved into a great communicator - probably the best in the business. You probably spend the vast majority of your time communicating (when commentators have put numbers on this it's routinely 85-90%) so it's no surprise - you get good at what you practise most.

What's most impressive, though, is the range of different types of people with whom you effortlessly interact. From board level to end users, from customers to vendors – you are at ease communicating with all stakeholders and that's what makes you SO valuable.

2 - Effective Management

You manage it all! Task delegation, issue resolution, resource planning, budget governance, vendor liaison, goal setting (and measurement), performance evaluation ... you take a minute to fill the list yourself!

Impressive eh?! It's more than that, though. The best managers, I've noticed, are getting great results from 'managing what's in front of them'.

Traditionally, Project Managers have been great at getting project teams to do things their way and they've shaped up vendors to perform in a way that they measure acceptable. More and more, Project Managers are recognising and playing on complementary strengths that exist within their team and external contributors - by doing this they have a greater understanding of where they have competence gaps and what services they need to buy in from the dynamic 'Project Management as a Service' market.

Admitting that you don't have all the answers does not make you a weak manager - it makes you stronger. You don't know all the answers but the answer is likely to be found somewhere in the operation that you manage or a phone call or web search away.

3 - Negotiation

You spend so much time communicating that it's inevitable that you have become a great negotiator. Budgets, schedules, scope creep, resources ... effective Project Managers recognise where negotiated compromise may be needed and are ready to get the best deal for the project – but in a way that leaves everyone feeling satisfied - win/win.

By identifying and embracing it as an unavoidable part of the process you enter each negotiation from a position of preparedness and calm authority.

Again, you are able to negotiate with all peer groups, irrespective of seniority, rank or 'importance' - that's a great skill to have.

4 - You're The Most Organised Person in the Business

If you're honest - it's probably more because you've had to be - although I do know more than one Project Manager who would rank the spreadsheets and 'to-do' lists as the best part of their job! Whether by design or by default, chances are that you are the most efficiently organised person within your organisation.

There are many reasons why. Chiefly, there is no such thing as an ordinary day in the life of a Project Manager and as a catalyst of change you are operating in one the most chaotic environments. As a Project or Change Manager - you are the big bang at the centre of a new and ever expanding universe every time you start a new project. The only way to survive in such conditions is to get really organised!

5 - Humility - You Are the 'Almost Expert' On Everything

As previously mentioned in the section on management - you don't have all the answers - but you know where to find them.

Even in highly specialised projects that previously would have relied entirely on their experience, Project Managers are leveraging skills and tools from the Project Management Service market, often with no overall increase in project costs. It's still you who gets the credit though, when your project delivers on time and within budget.

6 - Risk Avoidance - By Management

You know that by predicting issues before they happen you can imagine creative solutions that may not come to you in the heat of having to react to a crisis.

The problem for many is that identifying future risk is not a pressing priority - it's not urgent - certainly not compared with firefighting all the risks that they previously failed to forecast that have now blown up!

You recognise the wisdom in prevention and measured thought and subsequently you are seen as an oasis of calm within the tech industry.

7 - You Are Now More Leader than Manager

The best Project Managers are now more accurately Project Leaders.

There is much literature that attempts to define the difference - when I'm pushed I say it's the contrast between "doing" and "being". Managers do the things that make the difference ... Leaders are the difference.

In his book, 'The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People', Stephen R Covey put it neatly when he asked readers to imagine a group cutting their way through a jungle with machetes. The managers are behind them, sharpening the machetes, writing reports, holding muscle development programmes, bringing in improved technologies and managing working schedules and remuneration packages. The leader “climbs the tallest tree, surveys the entire situation, and yells, 'Wrong jungle!'" Brilliant!

As a Project manager myself I've often found myself in the wrong jungle. It's what you do about it that matters. For Project Management specific further reading, I can recommend

'The Power of Project Leadership: 7 Keys to Help You Transform from Project Manager to Project Leader' by Susanne Madsen as a good place to start!

Forbes have identified 'Project Manager' as the most in-demand IT job of 2016 but with increased recognition and demand, I think, comes increased responsibility.

These 7 reasons why Project Management is THE key tech role should also be the blueprint for keeping it so.


Contact us to learn more about how Stoneseed's Project Management as a Service can give you access to project management staff, resources and tools at a flexible and predictable cost via a fully structured managed service.

Find out more about Project Management as a Service from Stoneseed

Source: Forbes.com - The most in-demand jobs and what they pay

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