Information Technology Project Management Career and Salary Rates
The goal of information technology (IT) project managers is to plan, initiate, and manage information technology projects. They plan each stage of the technology process, assess business implications, and serve as a lead and guide for the entire technology staff. They also serve as a liaison between the business and technical aspects of each project while monitoring the progress to ensure that deadlines, standards, and cost targets are met. While executing the project, IT project managers also make sure to adhere to their budget, schedule, and scope.
IT Project Manager Overview
There are several factors that an IT project manager must be aware of and have to mitigate in a steadfast manner. In the middle of a project there are certain obstacles that may slow the project’s process, such as:
- infrastructure changes
- security and data management
- hardware issues
- software issues
- networking issues
There’s also a risk factor when developing and implementing new technology that the system may not be capable of understanding, which can also slow down the implementation and project timeline.
IT project managers must know how to fix the issue and delegate tasks accordingly while staying on track for their projected timeline and still initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, and controlling all of the other elements on this project at the same time.
IT project managers may oversee technology such as:
- software development
- hardware installations
- network upgrades
- cloud computing
- viral roll outs
- business analytics
- data management projects for IT services
Throughout the project, an IT project manager will check in with their team to ensure that they’re each hitting their milestones and goals for the current sprint (typically a two-week cycle period).
They also juggle:
- their team’s project availability and assign these tasks accordingly
- team member material requests
- the budget for materials, services, facilities, licenses, and other expenses
- proper tools to progress with the project while staying within budget
What Employers Seek
When seeking an IT project manager, employers often look for someone charismatic and motivated who can lead a team and get the job done while working alongside, and having a good rapport with, the client and their team members.
The best project managers:
- have the skills to preform each task
- know when to default to their team for the optimal results
- have excellent technical skills
- have excellent organizational skills
- have excellent people skills
Communication is Key
Approximately 90 percent of the IT project manager’s role is about communicating with the clients and their team. They must present in kickoff meetings, pitch to clients and stakeholders, and expertly execute presentations. It’s important for them to understand when all parties are satisfied with the negotiation and everyone’s needs are met.
They also have to know how to negotiate:
- mediate other compromises that may arise while discussing the project
As previously mentioned, organization also remains a priority for IT project managers. There are a lot of moving pieces while the project is being assembled, when it is in development, and even upon its completion. The small and big details need to be meticulous managed with a watchful eye and will impact the project’s overall success. Problems and issues will arise and need to be shuffled accordingly, and it’s important to keep track of these tasks as well as those that fell by the wayside when higher priorities ascend. Of course, this will happen unexpectedly and you’ll be working on multiple projects at once. A solid IT project manager understands how to manage these multiple projects and tasks while simultaneously tracking each issue within those projects on a daily basis.
Most project managers must have:
- business management and customer service knowledge
- be fluent in English
- have engineering and technology knowledge in computing and electronics
- math and science knowledge, especially in arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, and/or stats
According to the U.S. News & World Report, IT project managers typically earn a median salary of between $127,640 annually or $61.37 per hour. The best-paid IT project managers earned more than $187,199 annually, while the lowest-paid earned $78,470 annually in 2014.
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