5 Tips for Transitioning Managers in the World of IT

Medium, Information Technologies, Project Management Professionals

Previously Published to Medium.

Let’s face it, technology has rapidly changed the way we do business — and markets, themselves, are shifting in a major way. We’re seeing steady progression across an entire industry and are taking on higher-paying opportunities in sectors that we never thought we would be. Managers are entering into new markets, as the realm of technology continues to evolve before our very eyes.

We demand innovation and watch it transform on a daily basis. Technologies broaden, but the markets haven’t been nearly as kind. Most agencies are understaffed and roles unfulfilled.

We’re seeing those with no formal education compete against MIT graduates. Project managers are stepping up, some of whom have never spent a single day behind the scenes. We’re seeing interns become directors and start-ups popping up all over the country. More people are working remotely, and central offices are no longer commonplace.

The workforce has become global, and we have begun to control our teams at a distance. We have more power than we ever did, and the possibilities are now endless.

With more opportunities in our hands, all it takes is a little bit of ambition and a simple roadmap to get you where you need to be. Let us help position you on your journey with these five tips for transitioning into IT project management — and ultimately, the transition to success!

#1 | Define your scope, build teams accordingly.

Before defining your scope, you will want to pay attention to your client’s business-related needs and objectives. This will include budget and resource availability, critical timelines and expectations. Your scope will give you a solid foundation to build upon and help you better identify the teams you will need to hire to get the job done both effectively and within a timely manner.

Identify your ideal team members, including areas of specialization, level of skill and how they will interact with one another.

Ask yourself:

ü Do you need them on-site, or can they work remotely?

ü How many people can you hire, and will you need to train them?

ü Will you need to hire an outsourcing agency, or are you going to recruit each member directly?

#2 | Schedule teams based on need, availability and areas of expertise.

Once your scope has been mapped out and your teams have been built, you will begin scheduling each member, as according to need, availability and area of expertise. You should pay special attention to the previous achievements and contributions made to other projects that they have worked on in the past.

Find common ground. Where previous contributions were with companies much larger or smaller than your own, translate scalability and decide whether those team members are capable of handling the tasks that you throw at them. Are they able to streamline daily tasks with speed, agility and a certain level of specialization?

Before positioning each team member, ask yourself how they will measure up against:

· Technical, leadership and/or managerial capabilities.

· Productivity, performance and/or efficiency, both as a team or on an individual basis.

· Dependability, resourcefulness and the customer experience.

#3 | How will your teams interact? Pay attention to interdisciplinary communication.

As you may already know, teams work differently, based on the admixture of personalities types, therein. This is where predictive hiring, behavioral analysis, networking and cultivated relationships can come in very handy for a project manager, regardless of industry.

If you have too many influencers on your team, who will plan and analyze? If there are too many leaders, who will handle administration and ensure compliances? Pairing teams, based on personality type, will allow each team to thrive, while encouraging personal growth and individual commitment.

Friction often leads projects to fail, underperform or fall short of expectation. This often happens when the team dynamic is overlooked and communication falters. On the contrary, teams matched based on personality, prove more productive, as they tend to exceed expectation for quality, turnaround and the overall customer experience.

#4 | Optimize your workforce, define the strengths and weaknesses of new and existing team members.

Similar to pairing based on personality types, we also find that one path to success may actually come from optimizing the workforce, directly. In optimizing the workforce, we look for certain factors or KPIs that will allow us to measure individual contributions and/or takeaways, such as:

· Behaviors in certain environments.

· Reactions to stress or actions under pressure.

· Individual strengths.

· Weaknesses amongst the team, itself.

These points will be indicators that someone is or isn’t a good fit for a particular project. While we can always develop strengths in an individual, sometimes time is a vital factor. Adding new teams would offset those members, who would not otherwise live up to certain expectations — or the skill level, necessary, to carry out individual tasks or timelines, as associated with each project.

Pairing teams, based on personality type, will continue a major hand in the success of each project or client portfolio. However, strengths can be drawn from those individual aspects and used as additional indicators of key personality types we need to recruit in optimizing the workforce, directly.

#5 | Understand missed opportunities in the hiring cycle.

We face many roadblocks, as project managers, when it comes to hiring qualified talents for key projects within our portfolio. These roadblocks almost seem counterproductive from the start of each project and in the development of our teams, over time. We rush hiring processes to meet deadlines and in catering to dependencies across entire lifecycles, therein.

Due to the lack of efficient manpower, budget shortages and the fulfillment of outside obligations, the hiring process is often one of the first processes to be shortchanged at the onset of each project. And because we ultimately must juggle each project on an individual basis, we can’t spend a whole lot of time in the recruiting, training, interviewing and onboarding of incoming talents. We end up relying too much on our immediate networks, career sites and job boards to provide us with the talent we need to get the job done.

To make matters worse, most of these resources will then rely on ATS engines to provide us with a pool of qualified talents, who we must then interview, develop and onboard accordingly. ATS engines, however, will only provide us with those candidates who meet certain criteria and have found a way through key algorithms. Up to 75% of today’s top talents will actually never be seen.

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5 Reasons Every CEO Should Keep Their Resume Updated

Entrepreurs, Business, Executives, Resumes, Business Plans, Business Plan Development

PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED TO MEDIUM.COM

As a professional resume writer, I often hear the words “I own my own business, why would I need a resume?” or “I’m pretty secure where I’m at and not planning on leaving any time soon.” Chills shoot up and down my spine. These are exactly the reasons that they need a resume, and they don’t even realize it. I mean:

How could someone willfully not have all the tools at their disposal? Do they realize they aren’t taking advantage of their full potential? Aren’t they looking to expand their own business? Are they not ready to capitalize on their own success?

Whether you’re looking for a career change, or not… whether the markets are stable… and whether you’re secure in your most current position… or not…

Every CEO needs to have an updated resume — at all times!

Let’s face it, it takes time to craft a quality resume. Most people don’t include the most important content (In fact, 80 to 90% of today’s top candidates are overlooked due to the lack of it). We forget about our achievements. We often face writer’s block. We leave off key qualitative and quantitative data. And, we forget to include some of our most impressive contributions within a team environment.

So, we leave money on the table. We don’t secure those game-changing opportunities. And, we keep sinking marketing dollars into campaigns that just eat away at our capital. Again, we’re not living up to our full potential, and that really needs to stop — like right away!

In the words of the Great Fire Marshall Bill, “Let me show you something…”

Clients

There is a major difference in what a client is and what constitutes as a customer in the business world. Clients come to us for help, whether they’re trying to launch a new product, need a customized solution or are looking for the best price on a service that we offer.

They want to know who we are. Some of them will blindly enter a business arrangement, based on what they think we can provide. Others are more apprehensive in where and how they spend each outgoing dollar in their immediate budget. And, what about those clients that aren’t necessarily the decision-makers? You know, the ones that are reporting back to a third-party executive or shareholder resource?

Some of our most difficult clients will ask for a resume. Some of our biggest spenders will ask for a resume. And, some of our most long-term and loyal clientele will begin a relationship just because of what was that resume, itself.

It’s one reason LinkedIn is gold and one way we become more approachable. In an instance, we are more humanlike. Yet, our journey tells the story of all we have accomplished and all that we can do.

Partnerships

All businesses — small and large — will benefit, at some point, by partnering with another business or non-profit organization. A smart business owner isn’t going to just partner with someone that they don’t know. A smart business owner doesn’t want to affiliate themselves with someone, who can cause damage to their business.

We want to know who we are dealing with, where they have been and what contributions they have made in the past. Scalability aside, we want to know is this a person of value, and can they actually bring something to the table?

No one wants to waste their time, and very often potential partners will ask for the resume of all key persons involved in a project. They want to optimize their workforce just as bad as they want to optimize their teams. And, to create a winning team, this often means shedding the deadweight.

Just because you have made a name for yourself, don’t assume the next person has heard of you. When a project is ready to move forward, you need to be ready, yourself. If not, someone else will be. In a dog eat dog world, competitors are lined up and ready to quickly take your place.

Investors

Executive Summary 101 — Include a resume for all key executives active within the project and/or company. Business plans require it.

Venture capitalists have nothing to gain by just giving away their fortunes. They want to know that they will see a return, how soon they should see it and feel secure in knowing that their investment will, indeed, come back to them — with profits attached.

If you’re not seeking an investor, cool. But will your company try to secure a business-related loan in the near future? What if emergencies should arise, or an opportunity with no budget allotment?

Business is all about risk. But, don’t risk throwing away opportunities by not being prepared.

Opportunities

And, what about those opportunities?

Honestly, with opportunity comes growth. There are opportunities surrounding us every day. It’s just up to us to seize them.

Whether it’s an opportunity to work alongside a Big 4 or to enter a cross-promotional campaign with the largest production house in the country, we need to influence somebody. We need to impress somebody. And, we definitely need to appeal to the opportunity that’s placed before us in our individual journeys.

Right now, we’re just discussing the bigger picture. But, what about those significant milestones that set us apart from the business we’ve become synonymous with? What are we going to include in our “tell-all?” What will our followers most remember us for?

So often, executives engage in projects outside of their main career. They sit on boards and on committees. Some teach as an adjunct professor, others speak regularly amongst industry panels. The humanitarian will work alongside a non-profit, while a mogul will expand their empire — often by teaming up with other moguls in the business.

You might not be ready for this now, but what happens when you are? What if the perfect opportunity presents itself? Are you willing to sacrifice your dream, only because you needed a few days to create a half-assed resume from scratch? What if your workload becomes demanding?

Opportunity doesn’t wait. It only knocks and hopes that someone answers.

Press

Don’t let your marketing dollars go to waste. Frivolous spending will only lead to a deficit. Unnecessary expenses take away from the profits that could otherwise be generated. You are your company’s most key asset. People are our greatest investment. And, you hold the greatest value, while sitting on top of the corporate hierarchy.

No one remembers the guy in the blue shirt, sitting in the back of the mail room. Shoot, they won’t even remember the color shirt he wore a week from now. But, they will remember you.

You’re interesting. You have a story to tell. You hold all the keys to the kingdom.

We want to know about your past. We want to know about your accomplishments. And, we want to know how we can duplicate your journey.

There are so many writers and producers with all the right channels but no story to tell. They offer free press in exchange for twenty minutes of one-on-one time. They have dedicated audiences, full of consumers — ready to buy, traffic — ready to convert, and markets — continually expanding. They offer ongoing promotion, a portion of their web presence and backlinks that will easily serve in the optimization of your company’s site.

What good is marketing, anyways, if you’re not reaching out to the people and connecting with them intimately? Drive them to become loyalists. Convince them to trust. And, cultivate your relationships.

The media is our friend. So, get your resume ready and be ready to hit “send.”


Jessica N. Abraham writes about Business, Career Development and Technology. She is a professional resume writer with Resume.Academy and former owner of Shorty Produkshins, where she spent more than 15 years, dedicated to a life of Social Branding, Public Relations and Design Strategy.

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