Managing Teams

Project managers often wear two hats: the project cheerleader and a manager of people. The two are naturally linked, but lots of times PMs concentrate on the project management component and don ' t worry very much about people management. More often than not, the people part is more important than the project itself. Effectively managing the people will go a long way toward guaranteeing a project ' s success.

Project managers have an unusual managerial challenge in that they are required to manage both technical and nontechnical folks. This situation doesn' t crop up as much in other managerial circles, and it can provide interesting situations in which PMs must put forward their best leadership and communications skills. In any given IT project team, you may have a variety of people:

■ IT specialists of various genres (web, routers and switches, servers, databases, etc.)

■ Documentation experts

■ Logistics personnel

■ Business analysts

■ Graphic artists

■ Budget analysts

You may be technical, but you still might not be able to speak in straight acronyms like the complete technoids can. On the other hand, you must be able to translate what the technicians are saying into regular human-speak for the business analyst. And the budget person might only be interested in how much you spend—he ' s concentrating on debits and credits. So you ' ve got your work cut out for you as an IT PM.

As a manager over a group of people, you may very likely be held accountable for writing your team members' performance reviews, disciplining those who are underperforming, and motivating team members to reach ever forward toward the prize (the completion of the deliverables and closure of the project).

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