Education and Training General

From “Techie” to PM? Think Again

Question: Do you think that a techno-genius should be promoted when he/she has people skills and know how to make a proper appearance?

If your answer to this question is yes, you better think about your decision for more than 100 times. According to the article entitled Great IT Leaders Have To Be Made, Execs Say, being an effective project manager is more than just having the basic skills needed for the job. Kay Palmer, CIO of J.B. Hunt Transport Inc. remarked that if a person pursued this kind of decision over the matter, there is a chance that you could find yourself having a “so-so” manager rather than an effective one.

The best way to find out if a person has the qualities of being an effective project manager is by training them. The training done to these people would include commitment from the part of the participants. One example of these training programs available is the one used by Jerry Bartlett, CIO of TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation. The CIO mentioned that there are three programs included in his kind of training and these are:

  • evaluation of personal characteristics
  • assigning industrial psychologist that is not situated in the firm
  • educating and tutoring by mentors

The CIO believed that with these three aspects in his training program, a person could develop into an effective and worthy project manager in their firm.

On the other hand, survey results from the survey conducted by Computerworld in response to this question (How are you working to develop the next generation of IT leaders?) yielded the following results:

  • 56% – mentoring the expected replacement
  • 45% – implementation of an in-house leadership development program
  • 43% – rotating promising IT leaders through different tasks
  • 24% – putting a formal succession plan in place
  • 23% – collaborating with universities in order to directly recruit graduates

Thoughts and Insights

Being a Project Manager is more than just the glory-there is also the hardwork associated with it. I believe that every person have the skills needed to be an effective project manager, it just depends on how a person is going to use it and how one could go about it. Of course, there is no harm in further enhancing these skills for the betterment of that person. By being a project manager, a person is expected to have the basic “techie” skills, communication skills, and management skills that would help a person shift from being effective to being an expert PM.

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