5 Steps to Become a Successful Technical Project Manager


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There’s no denying the technological advancements in today’s business landscape. As such, technical project management is crucial in business. Companies of all sizes should prioritize this. In fact, there is a growing need for tech project managers globally. According to Financial Post, the technology sector could grow by 33%. For this reason, employers should fill 88 million project management-related positions by 2027. In another related Dice article, project management is the most in-demand tech skill. SQL, software development, Java, software engineering, Python, and JavaScript only come next. According to Burning Glass, the average salary of a project manager is $80,280. However, this demanding role requires technical expertise using agile, scrum, and waterfall methods. The position also needs soft skills, such as communication, organization, and leadership.

What is Technical Project Management?

Technical project management is a branch of the project management field. It entails overseeing a particular project related to technology and involves monitoring every phase of a project life cycle, from planning to actual execution to completion. Technical project management covers all aspects of a business project. These include material acquisition, budgeting, labor force, task delegation, and actual implementation. It also entails communicating and collaborating with all stakeholders involved in the project.

Roles and Responsibilities of a Technical Project Manager

A technical project manager plays a crucial role in a technical project for a business. It’s a challenging role that requires both hard and soft skills and entails a demanding scope of work.

Tech project manager roles

Generally, a technical project manager oversees a project related to technology. They plan and execute a technical project to ensure a successful implementation. The technical project may fall under the IT, technology, engineering, and/or manufacturing industries. Hence, the role varies from one to another.

Tech project manager responsibilities

A technical project manager has the following duties and responsibilities:
  • Project Ideation: Brainstorm with vital players to conceive a project idea.
  • Project Planning: Sit down with the team and come up with a project proposal.
  • Timeline Scheduling: Set a timeline for the completion of a tech project.
  • Financial Management: Budget and manage the finances involved in a project.
  • Project Tasks Designation: Delegate a particular function to each unit and assign specific tasks to people.
  • Project Implementation: Execute the actual project and monitor every phase.
  • Communication and Collaboration: Coordinate with all stakeholders involved in the tech project, including suppliers, contractors, and clients.

Top skills of a tech project manager

A technical project manager should possess the following:
  • Technical Skill: They have the technical expertise required for a project.
  • Leadership Skill: They are effective leaders in their field, having led various people.
  • Organizational Skill: They have experience managing people, groups, or an organization.
  • Communication Skill: This includes active listening, negotiation, and interpersonal skills.
  • Time Management Skill: They are experts at managing time and completing a project.
  • Analytical Skill: They are good at problem-solving fundamental to pursuing a project.
  • Mentoring Skill: They are adept at training and coaching subordinates.
  • Interpersonal Skill: They maintain good relationships with all stakeholders involved in a project.

How to Become a Successful Technical Project Manager

Becoming a tech project manager doesn’t happen overnight. First, it takes years of education, training, and experience. Also, it requires technical knowledge, skills, and specialization. You will need to take several crucial steps before you get into the actual position:

1. Understand what tech project management entails

Tech project management is a challenging task to handle. In general, project management entails overseeing the various aspects of a project and involves project planning, procuring materials, budgeting resources, and setting timelines. Understand, however, that a technical project deals with technology. Hence, you should have the technical knowledge and skills required for the job. Familiarity with software development, agile methodology, scrums, and Linux are imperative. Additionally, knowledge of project management tools like Wrike, Jira, and GanttPRO is necessary. Even the use of Asana, Trello, and Slack can help.

2. Assess if technical project management is right for you

As an aspiring technical project manager, you should fully understand its scope of work. Have a deep knowledge of your would-be roles and responsibilities. Plus, include the required hard and soft skills in the overall equation. Also, consider your educational background, your field of specialization, and industry experience. Check to see if a tech project managerial role is best for you. Whether creating a product for manufacturing or developing tech software for the IT sector, you should come in prepared.

3. Look for educational programs for project management

Getting into or seeking out educational programs will further your technical knowledge and skills as well as help you earn the certification required for the job. The good news is that online programs have become increasingly popular. Key players are offering technical courses designed to help aspiring tech project managers. Some of the degree options you can take through online project management education include: Additionally, you can take relevant training like app development for hard skills and leadership and organizational training for soft skills.

4. Earn required project management certifications

After finding an education program for tech project management, you should get certified. Below are some recommended certifications: Consider earning some or all of the certifications mentioned above. They will help boost your technical knowledge and skills and build your reputation and credibility as a technical project manager.

5. Kickstart your tech project managerial roles

At this point, you can take the plunge into technical project management. Secure a job in the field and start working as a manager. You can jumpstart your tech project managerial role through one of these options:
  • Getting promoted in your company
  • Tapping into your professional network
  • Attending related industry events
  • Working on independent projects
Gain enough experience and learn more in the process, and your technical project management career will go a long way.

Starting a Project and Taking the Lead

Robust technical project management is key to a successful business pursuit. As a manager, you are responsible for kicking off a project. Before pursuing this, develop the technical expertise required for the role. With the right understanding, education, and training, you’ll make a good tech project manager.    

Erika Rykun headshot.

About the Author

Erika Rykun is a content strategist and producer who believes in the power of networking and quality writing. She’s an avid reader, writer, and runner.

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