How to Turn Technologists into Project Managers
If you have been using IT skills training services to train your technologists, you must already have a great technology team. Do you still struggle with project management though? Most IT professionals focus on their core technical skills and work on improving them, while neglecting their soft skills. As their manager, it is your job to turn your technologists into project managers. Before we go into the how, let’s look at the why of it all.
It is Good for Your Business
Turning your technologist into project managers is really good for your business. Your projects will go in flawlessly, your processes will improve, and you will be creating leaders from within the organization. You will be able to uncover new business opportunities and will be able to successfully close projects on time.
It Will Help Your Technicians Out
It is quite obvious that your technicians will benefit from this decision as they will be able to achieve better results. They will be able to manage their own projects, plan and execute different components of the project efficiently, and their self-efficacy will improve as they start achieving their goals.
Skills You Need to Develop In Your Technologists To Turn Them Into Project Managers
Here are the skills that are needed to become an effective project manager:
Project managers need to be empathetic as they have to deal with two different groups of people that include the customers as well as the team that they are leading. Having empathy can greatly help project managers out because their ability to put themselves in someone else’s shoes can make it possible for them to set realistic goals. In this case, your technologists may not have to work with customers, but they will be working with internal customers (their colleagues) and empathy will help them improve collaboration with them.
It is important for a project manager to strategize and look at the bigger picture. A good project manager knows the value of the services they are providing and knows all the details of the project as well.
Team empowerment is one of the most needed skills of an effective project manager. They have the ability to work with a diverse team and encourage creativity as well as autonomy. A good manager knows the strengths and weaknesses of their team and knows how to use them to get maximum output.
Managers should be able to make timely decisions. They need to have the ability to modify their decisions according to the given circumstances. Good project managers can show you how their decisions impacted the project. They don’t spend time rectifying mistakes but instead give importance to the decisions they are making so that there is very little room for errors.
Subject Matter Expertise
Effective project managers need to have some level of subject matter expertise. This allows them to anticipate possible risks and create better plans. Your technologists will already have this aspect of project management covered, you will just need to train them to think in a certain way and look at the bigger picture when creating plans.
Project managers need to understand their stakeholders as it helps them to minimize any surprises and changes. It is a project manager’s job to manage the iron triangle, which includes the timeline, budget, as well as the scope.
Good project managers are emotionally intelligent and know how to communicate with their team. They are clear and concise and say a lot in a few words. It is their open communication style that increases the likelihood of a successful project. Such managers generally ask all the right kinds of questions at the beginning of the project and then set the timeline accordingly.
Since there are so many changes in IT companies, there are a lot of uncertainties that project managers have to deal with. Risks can’t be controlled, but they can be managed. It doesn’t matter if you are using scrum or waterfall because there is no guide out there that states all the issues that you will face. This is the reason why there is a need for project managers to be effective leaders.
A lot of technicians don’t understand business jargon, which makes it difficult for them to understand the project in its totality. In order to overcome this problem, organizations can encourage their employees to opt for instructor-led online training that has virtual classrooms and virtual instructors. Live online training will help them understand the basics of business terms that will help them in managing the project.
Turning Technologists into Project Managers
Training your technologists in project management comes with its own set of challenges. The inherent human instinct of resisting change is one of the top challenges you will face along with the challenge of keeping track of the impact of the training. When training your technologists in project management, you should be able to track their progress. By the end of the training, they should be able to do the following:
- They should know how to effectively delegate the tasks to other people in the team
- They communication skills should have improved drastically
- They should be able to work better with others