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What Every IT Manager Needs To Know About Project Management
The IT Manager, or any functional manager, and the Project Manager have a lot in common. Both work to achieve organizational goals by directing the activities of people. They employ many of the same knowledge sets, skills, abilities and personal traits to plan, organize, staff, direct and control their teams, including:
- Strong leadership and interpersonal skills
- Ability to manage people, time and resources
- Ability to develop people
- Excellent communication and presentation skills
- Good organizational and problem solving abilities
- Good negotiation, conflict resolution and decision making skills
- Talent to handle clients
- Knowledge/awareness of the requirements of the relevant legislation and regulations
- Honesty and integrity
Although most managers have similar skill sets, there are some differences between the roles of IT Managers and Project Managers. The main difference is one of focus. The IT Manager is responsible for an ongoing program of IT services, while the Project Manager's accountability and authority last only for the life of the project. In fact, it is the time-limited nature of projects that makes the role of Project Manager so important.
Despite such similarities and differences, it is important for the IT Manager to know the basics of formalized project management. Why? Because every organization needs to be able to implement change and almost all important changes are defined or implemented through project teams. Does everyone in the organization (or in IT) need to know project management, or is it safe to leave it in the hands of a highly trained few? Spread the knowledge around!