What’s it all about then?
You’ll oversee the planning, development and installation of updated and brand new IT systems that meet the needs of the food company for which you’re employed.
You’ll have to make sure that everything connected with your IT project is co-ordinated effectively and runs to schedule and on budget.
The role will suit someone who is well organised and enjoys solving problems although, of course, IT knowledge is essential.
What might I be doing?
The activities can vary hugely depending at what stage your project might be; and of course the size of the project will dictate activity as well – if you’re managing a short term, limited type then you may actually be very hands on; this is less likely if you are managing a major project with a lot of resource behind it. No matter what the scale is, you’ll need to have a strong technical knowledge.
Your duties are likely to include at least some of the following:
- Establishing exactly what is needed from an IT project
- Constructing a project outline and assessing implications
- Planning each stage of the IT project
- Getting a team together and leading them through each stage of the project
- Making adjustments if required
- Communicating progress to senior company management
- Evaluating stages of project upon completion and ensuring deadlines and agreed targets are met for outputs and budgets
- Motivating a team of specialists and keeping them focused
What will be expected of me?
You’ll need to have a high level of expertise in IT generally and this is likely to have been developed with some years of experience. This is only the bare minimum for an IT project manager. The following will also likely be expected:
- Organisational and leadership skills
- Communication skills and the ability to convey complex information in a way that is comprehensible to non-specialists
- Problem solving skills and a methodical nature
- Time management skills so you can meet your deadlines
- Good knowledge of your food company and an understanding of the business’ commercial requirements
- Diplomacy and tact are important, especially when taking someone’s idea and developing a project from it
What can I expect?
Your hours of work are likely to be during the day between 8am and 6pm although you may need to work extra hours, especially when deadlines are tight; generally a 40 hour working week is the norm, depending on your employer’s requirements.
Many food companies are multi-site operations, therefore some travel is often needed, especially when an IT project involves the harmonisation of disparate systems.
What about the pay?
Your salary will depend on the scale and complexity of the IT projects with which you’ll be involved.
This is a job for someone with experience and a starting salary of £25,000 is entirely probable.
With more experience and a successful track record, this could easily rise to more than £50,000.
Please remember these figures are for use as a guideline only and will vary with sector and employer.
What qualifications do I need to get in?
The role of IT Project Manager is one which will likely require some previous experience within the field of IT and project management either with your current employer, or perhaps gained previously.
Of course you’ll still need a relevant computing type qualification and these include BSc degrees in Computer Science, information technologies, Computer Engineering and Business Information Technology.
What about further training?
There are lots of different options available to you that will enhance your skill levels in IT Project Management which include Certificates and Diplomas in Project Management at various levels.
You might also consider qualifications gained through membership of a professional body such as the Chartered Institute for IT.
The type of training that you will need will depend on your levels of experience in IT and also non-related IT management roles.
Anything else I might need to know?
Yes, if you have project management experience in other areas of the company, you could use this to find IT specific work; of course you’ll still need some specific.