Computer software programs are designed and assembled by teams of computer technologists. An applications project manager is a person that supervises a software development team. He typically manages a large staff of Information Technology (IT) professionals and has a background in computer science or systems engineering. The manager is responsible for managing the resources, cost and schedule of an IT project.
There are many skills needed to be an effective applications project manager. One of the most important is cost management. The manager is responsible for managing the daily cost of hardware, software and payroll expenses for a project. He is required to use tools and project management techniques that help him track these expenses on a weekly basis.
A project manager must also have strong communication skills and business acumen. He is often required to report the progress of his projects to executive members of an organization. This requires a person to be comfortable communicating to large groups of senior management personnel. He should be comfortable answering difficult probing questions regarding schedule, cost and budget overruns that can directly impact the profits of an organization.
Technical projects are complicated because they involve the creation of a new idea and computer software. This type of development requires a manager with experience using project control techniques that help manage the scope and requirements for a project. The applications project manager must have strong negotiation skills to help ensure a project is delivered as defined on a negotiated delivery date.
An applications project manager typically has specialized training with schedule management tools. He is required to keep detail project plans that outline the schedule and planned deliverables for a project. This requires experience with automated software tools that help him maintain project schedules. Some of the most popular tools used today include Microsoft Project™ and Primavera™. These tools provide reports that help him communicate the progress and status of a project.
It is important to hire and maintain a staff of qualified personnel to run an IT project. The applications project manager is typically involved in staff recruitment and hiring processes for an organization. This gives him the opportunity to hire qualified technologist to work on his project.
Another skill that is often overlooked in project management is motivation and leadership techniques. An applications project manager should be a leader that can motivate technical teams to deliver new products under tight deadlines. This requires a person with a strong technical background and interpersonal skills. A manager is the coach that rallies the technical team to delivering a new software application within a specified timeline.