A group of professionals representing the IT project management program at Tulane School of Professional Advancement in New Orleans, LA

IT Project Management: The Importance of Leadership

By earning your Master of Professional Studies in Information Technology Management, you can stand out as a leader in the IT field. Keep reading to learn how earning this degree can help you transition into IT project management.

IT Project Management: Success Through Leadership

Information technology (IT) is any computer system used to store, process, or manipulate data. The IT industry has evolved exponentially as the capabilities of computers have rapidly expanded over the last few decades. Today, most companies use IT for tasks like keeping their staff organized, communicating important information, and collecting and analyzing useful data. With so many applications for IT, the industry is rapidly expanding and there is substantial growth in the number of IT jobs available worldwide. A skilled and thoughtful IT project management team is necessary to ensure that all the IT workers are on task and motivated. The curriculum featured in a Master of Professional Studies in Information Technology Management program will ensure that graduates recognize the tools and techniques they will need to master in order to excel as leaders in the IT industry.

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF IT PROJECT MANAGEMENT

An IT project is generally any project that revolves around information systems, computer technology, or other IT infrastructure. There are several different categories of IT projects, and for each different type, the management team will likely be pushing to achieve different objectives. For example, a research based IT project would require a management team that is focused on collecting and analyzing data that is appropriate for their research needs. On the other hand, an IT infrastructure project would likely involve overseeing the installation, setup, and implementation of IT hardware. Both of these tasks require a different leadership approach, but that doesn’t mean two separate employees are necessary to get the job done. The Master of Professional Studies in Information Technology Management degree is designed to show career driven IT professionals how to adapt their leadership approach based on the nature of the IT project they are overseeing.

KEY LEADERSHIP SKILLS FOR IT PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Managing an IT project can entail a range of different professional responsibilities. Some IT managers, focus on overseeing the work of a specialized group of employees, like software developers. Others have a broader scope of work, so they manage interdisciplinary teams that could include developers, analysts, and any other IT workers. Regardless of their exact job focus, the following skills and traits can be very useful for IT project managers.

Creating a strategic vision and setting long-term goals - IT projects are often times very complex and in order to succeed, require efficient coordination of many resources. These resources may be key employees, computing power, or the computers themselves. In order to keep the projects moving toward their objective, project managers need to develop a strategic vision that informs all of their decisions. Creating a tangible vision gives the entire team a set point to strive toward. Having that point of reference makes it simpler for management to set long-term goals and easier for employees to understand the purpose of their work.

Discovering creative solutions to problems - In many of the IT disciplines, creativity is one of the primary tools used to get work done. For instance, software developers must leverage their individual creativity to mold their employers’ vision into a functional program. From a management perspective, creativity is even more useful—through creativity, IT project managers can maximize efficiency and mitigate risks. When confronted by an obstacle, having a creative outlook allows managers to take direction and select a course of action that is less likely to have a negative outcome. Therefore without creativity, IT teams are more likely to encounter untenable roadblocks that lead to costly setbacks.

Leveraging business strategy with technological innovation - IT is a fast paced industry and each year there are new technologies that business can use to their advantage. The key to leveraging technological innovation lies in incorporating those technologies into the overall business strategy from the start. Analytics technology allows business leaders to make better business decisions using large volumes of processed data. Likewise, automation of basic tasks can eventually save companies a large amount of money that would otherwise be spent on an administrative employee. Having the infrastructure for systems like these in place early makes maintaining efficient and cost-effective operations a more realistic goal over the long term.

Understanding multiple IT platforms and staying current with tech trends - With new technologies constantly emerging in the IT field, IT professionals must stay up-to-date on current industry trends. This is most important for senior IT workers, like IT project managers, because they will be overseeing workers who may specialize in using a new technology. Managers who don’t have an understanding of the technology their employees are using may make ill advised decisions about including that technology in future plans.

Motivating and inspiring team members -Due to the variety of workers they interact with, IT project managers must understand how to connect with people from all different personal and professional backgrounds. This can be achieved through mentorship, coaching, or acting as a strong, positive role model. After developing a connection, it becomes easier for managers to inspire their subordinates and motivate them to perform at their highest capability. This offers the added benefit of helping IT managers more effectively bridge the gaps that exist between different IT units, allowing them to facilitate a smoother cross-departmental workflow.

Becoming a desirable candidate for IT project management jobs requires more than expertise in a given IT discipline. Employers prefer applicants who have the leadership and business skills needed to ensure that their IT projects thrive. The coursework offered by the Master of Professional Studies in Information Technology Management program is organized to sharpen the students’ IT skills and enhance their understanding of business fundamentals.

Take the Next Step.

Loading...

By submitting this form, you agree to receive information about the Tulane School of Professional Advancement’s programs via email, phone and/or text. You may opt out at any time.