First of all: There is no such thing as the “best”, but depending on customer expectations, there is the “right one”. In the field of project management, customers require different levels of skills from our project managers. Of course, one can now say that we should stick to the definition of Swiss-ICT after all. A lot is explained there in terms of roles, maturities and skills. In our opinion, however, very few of our customers consult such platforms in advance. Therefore, we have tried below to take an inventory of 4 “types” of IT project managers based on our experience.
This type is experienced, communicative and is a good manager. He or she has experience, training in business or information technology and the necessary certificates. Detailed work and administrative tasks are gladly delegated. The focus is on the big picture. One feels primarily more responsible for handling issues than for content. These should be developed by capable project staff. Large projects (> 1 million) are the trophies of the generalist. Mostly senior or expert level.
Rather technical background regarding the education. To be clear: we’re still talking about project managers. But with different characteristics. He or she likes projects, which also contain a part of “doing”. Therefore, it should be possible to get into the facts and work out results yourself. He or she would also do well as a business analyst or requirements engineer. The actual project management is a discipline that is done as well as possible on the side. Ideal for smaller projects or sub-projects with a technical focus, if “more” than just processing tasks are expected from the project manager. Mostly professional or senior level.
Specialist knowledge or special experience is available here. The expert knowledge can relate to any technical challenges or project types. E.g. someone who has already implemented several Active Directory projects or has brought projects in trouble to success with turnaround management. Usually these are people who like to focus and are predominantly involved in these topics. Other projects may be boring or too challenging, simply because there is a lack of interest or it is not possible to fall back on familiar routines. If a special knowledge is no longer required, a new field of activity is sought. Mostly senior or expert level.
Difficult environment. Coaching rather than leadership skills in demand. Mostly very professionalized core organization, which, however, has difficulties in implementation. Mostly senior or expert level.
None of the project managers we know of covers everything. Many combine a maximum of 2 such types. However, we have the advantage that we have the corresponding types of employees in our company. This allows us to master a wide variety of challenges as a team without having to switch to new partners. The main thing is that we generate added value for our customers.
Are there other types for you or do you have questions? We are looking forward to your feedback.
About the author
Marcel is CEO of linkyard consulting ag. Due to former tasks as member of the management board, head of department, mandate and project manager in the last 20 years, Marcel can fall back on a broad know-how in the fields of ICT, strategy and innovation as well as organizational development. His knowledge in the areas of digitalization, business model innovation and agile forms of organization, he keeps up to date as a university lecturer for strategy and innovation as well as an auditing expert.
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