Project management is a skillset that is in high demand across a range of industries. The information technology industry in particular benefits from skilled project managers, given the typical complexity of taking a new IT product from the design phase to development to testing and beyond. If you’re considering a managerial-level career in the IT industry, you may wish to enroll in the Master of Science in Information Technology Management degree program. Here, you’ll delve into the details of project management methodologies and develop a solid framework of skills for your future career.
Know Your Team Members
“Know thyself” is an old adage that is particularly important for managers. However, it’s equally important to know your team members well. It’s ideal for IT project managers to be able to select their own team members for any given project. However, you might not always have this luxury. Do take the time to familiarize yourself with your team members’ skillsets, strengths and weaknesses. You should have an understanding of which people work well independently, who requires extra motivation and which team members need frequent guidance and check-ins.
Allocate Tasks Wisely
When you have a better understanding of the skillsets of your team members, you can delegate responsibilities with greater confidence. Try to avoid delegating tasks solely based on which team members happen to be available. Rather, delegate tasks to individuals who are most capable of getting them done correctly, on time and within budget. Taking this proactive approach can help you avoid headaches later on.
Establish a Productive Environment
Even the most productive of employees needs the right environment to succeed. At the outset of every development cycle, check in with each team member to ensure they have the right tools, information and resources to get started. Take the time to speak directly with each team member every work day, preferably face-to-face. Show your appreciation when an employee overcomes a difficult obstacle or reaches a major milestone. Actively solicit their feedback on the project and don’t be shy about making changes as needed. Another way to create a productive environment is to minimize prioritization conflicts. Ideally, your team members should be able to focus on just one or two main tasks at any given time. Multitasking is rarely productive.
Establish Micro-Goals and Track Progress
Every project has one main goal—the completion of the new product. However, project managers often find it helpful to establish micro-goals or short-term goals along the way. These are handy for tracking progress, keeping the team on track and sustaining team morale. You might consider using the agile project management methodology, which breaks down projects into their smallest components. The team works on one component at a time during work sessions lasting a few days to a few weeks.
Grand Canyon University offers a wide selection of online and on-campus degree programs that prepare students to meet the demands of the modern IT industry. Students earning a Master of Science in Information Technology Management explore the principles of IT management and leadership, IT project management and information security. To learn more, you can click on the Request Information button at the top of the screen.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.