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Career Story: Information Technology Project Manager

Information Technology Project Manager

Job Title: IT Project Manager

Type of Company: My company is a global asset manager specializing in mutual funds.

Education: BS, Information Systems, University of Massachusetts •• MS, Computer Information Systems, Boston University •• Certificate, Project Management, Merrimack College

Previous Experience: I worked in computer operations, programming, and management positions.

Job Tasks: My primary responsibilities are managing IT projects involving application development, systems maintenance and upgrades, and technology migrations. My primary goal is to deliver the product or process resulting from these projects on time and on budget.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of being a project manager is having the ability to influence decisions and motivate people to deliver the end product. It also provides the opportunity to participate in various types of projects, and the opportunity to apply lessons learned from prior initiatives.

The most challenging part of managing projects is dealing with the personalities involved. Sometimes it is hard to resolve conflicts with people who don't get along, are argumentative, or think they know what is best for the project. As you have the opportunity to work with various people, you will find ways to better deal with those types of individuals.

Job Tips:
1. Train to become a certified associate project manager (CAPM) or project management professional through a certified Project Management Institute (PMI) training program. Check the website www.pmi.org for more details and information on the project management certifications.

2. Become technically adept in client/server, N-tier architectures, infrastructure, operating systems, networking, risk management disciplines. You don't need to become an expert in each of these areas as a project manager, but having a familiarity with them will help you execute your projects better. Also, take courses on organizational behavior. This will help you better understand how to deal with difficult situations involving your human resources.

Additional Thoughts: You need to stay on top of the latest technology and project management best practices. Your ability to become technically adept and knowledgeable in project management will ultimately provide significant value to an organization, and could ultimately set you apart from other non-technical project managers.

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