Want to be an IT project manager - any advice on how to do it?

(15 Posts)
EmeraldIsle81 Fri 01-Nov-19 21:01:57

Hi Mumsnet
I'm a generic prince 2 trained project mgr but want to move in to IT projects/change mgt. Need advice on what I need to learn, experience, qualifications to get etc to get there. Or advice on what to avoid!
A lot of IT pm jobs are temporary so project mgrs are contractors rather than full time employees- is contracting the best way to go and if so what are the benefits of going down that route?
Thanks all!!

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DieCryHate Fri 01-Nov-19 21:27:01

Software development lifecycle, ITIL, agile training are all good starting points.

foxatthewindow Fri 01-Nov-19 21:33:24

I’m more of a general PM (not IT at all) but we use an agile-based approach which seems to have good crossover with the IT sector. I’d probably look at becoming familiar with agile principles and methodologies. It’s quite different to traditional PM and works really well for the types of projects I manage. I’ll be watching other replies with interest. What is your main motivation for the change?

EmeraldIsle81 Fri 01-Nov-19 22:52:27

Thanks to you both for your replies. Really good of you to help me. What's my motivation? I enjoy project mgt - my industry is pensions - which is very niche with limited transferability in terms of employment opportunities and career development. IT is pivotal to every business and I wish I knew how it all works, comes together to create new things or improve what's already there.
I feel like I'm being left behind because I don't have an IT skill set, I think I could do a good job as a PM in this field.

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TreePeepingWatcher Sat 02-Nov-19 08:32:45


Dh (IT coder/contractor for 20+ years) says he agrees agile and understanding that. He has given me this link for you


EmeraldIsle81 Sat 02-Nov-19 12:29:19

Aw wow! Thanks @TreePeepingWatcher , that's very reassuring of your DH, thanks very much for the link, will take a peek!

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EmeraldIsle81 Sat 02-Nov-19 12:36:57

Hmmm agile coach or scrum master? There are training courses for both ( not cheap) do which route to go down?

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RedPoppiesAndSpots Sat 02-Nov-19 12:37:29

Do look into the HMRC/IR35 changes imminent as this will change the IT contract market hugely come April.

EmeraldIsle81 Sat 02-Nov-19 15:29:51

Thanks @RedPoppiesAndSpots have had a good look at that too, yes the new tax rules will need careful adherence.

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TreePeepingWatcher Sat 02-Nov-19 16:38:27

Dh says have you looked at Product Owner? Scrum master is someone who sort of manages a team, keeping them motivated, removes impediments. An agile coach is someone who is trained in Agile who goes round companies spreading the Agile word and helping companies adopt those practises. You could do that course and apply those agile skills to your current role.

The contractor route is a hell of a leap, especially as you have no experience in that area specifically, Dh suggests trying to find work in a consultancy eg Deloitte to get a range of experience depending on what your current experience is rather than contracting straight away.

Many companies consider themselves to be "Agile" but in practise they are just paying lip service to it. Having someone with skills/certification could be beneficial for you and other potential clients.

I have absolutely no idea what all the above is, I was just quoting Dh grin I am a SAHM with a degree in English lit!

TreePeepingWatcher Sat 02-Nov-19 17:04:56

@EmeraldIsle81 forgot to do that above.

EmeraldIsle81 Sat 02-Nov-19 23:45:48

@TreePeepingWatcher that's fantastic advice from you and your DH- can't thank you enough for taking the time to help me. Yes, agreed that I have a huge ultimate goal and it is s long journey to get there but I've got to start somewhere and I will definitely take your advice.
Thanks again!

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Namenic Sun 03-Nov-19 00:04:54

I only recently moved to a non-management role in IT sector. Product owner does sound quite good as you can represent the customer (which may be internal). Ideally you could try to do product owner or consultancy (As PPs have mentioned) for pensions-related projects?

I wonder if doing business analysis/intelligence might help - sometimes they work to get requirements from customers and liase with IT teams. You might get a chance to work with different software - like tableau too.

DieCryHate Sun 03-Nov-19 19:49:01

I think @TreePeepingWatcher has good advice, sometimes having experience in the disciplines of the team members is really valuable over PM qualifications. Product owner stuff is good from a BA perspective, and it's quite easy to move from an IT BA role into IT PM. also testing knowledge is useful. I recently went on a BA specific course and there were just as many IT project managers and change managers as there were business analysts working in IT.

EmeraldIsle81 Sun 03-Nov-19 21:58:14

Ah right I see, that's good advice/ thank you @DieCryHate

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