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Advance into senior IT roles with project management skills

Working in IT and want to advance your career? Learn what it takes to be an effective manager in this fast-paced sector.

Working in the IT sector can be both fulfilling and rewarding. But if you wish to embark upon more challenging frontiers and advance into a more senior role, you’ll need to hone some new skills. To help you climb the ladder into management, we’ve provided an overview of these skills below.

Become an expert at managing expectations

According to James Humes, author and former presidential speechwriter, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.” This includes communicating to clients and team members. Communicating expectations allows you to express your goals and ambitions, and helps others understand their roles and responsibilities.
  • To manage expectations with clients, always communicate scope, goals and progress.
  • To manage expectations with team members, always address priorities (both long- and short-term), key challenges and timeframes.

Giving instructions that are as clear as possible to all parties enables others to perform at their best in line with your vision.

Lead by example and foster the growth of others

Effective managers juggle tasks, projects, schedules and teams with the utmost professionalism. No matter how stressful your day, always keep your cool and be conscious of how your attitude and work ethic affects others.

Furthermore, you must be supportive, inspiring and communicative of successful outcomes. Guide others in an empowering and constructive way. You’re no longer the hero – you become a coach. Use your leadership skills to help others realise their potential. Encourage them to flourish both personally and professionally. Good managers map out the desired outcome and purpose of each task, while allowing space for people to use (or discover) their own techniques and approaches.

Learn to delegate

Jessica Jackley, American businesswoman, entrepreneur and founder of microfinance company Kiva says, “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.”

Critically break up tasks so that they can be done more efficiently. As a manager who has experience with those tasks, you may be tempted to take the reigns. But be mindful, you’re no longer responsible for actually doing them – you’re now responsible for ensuring they get done.

Assigning different jobs to different people requires skill ­– you will need to know which team members are best suited to certain duties and will be responsible for tying together smaller tasks into a bigger picture or goal.

Critically reflect on what others have taught you

Think about people you’ve previously worked well with. Have any left a lasting impression on you? What skills did they exhibit? What did you admire and respect about them? Leverage these attributes and incorporate them into your own management style. Adopting the positive behaviours of others can help you improve the way you interact with your team.
Although daunting at first, becoming a manager can prove to be extremely rewarding and fulfilling. Learn what it takes to make an outstanding project manager with a 100% online postgraduate qualification from RMIT University. .

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