Most of the projects the companies take up nowadays are of technical domain. And they need to arrange proper technical support, so the employees get the necessary help for their projects. As most of the projects depend on technology nowadays, having someone from the managerial position with profound technical knowledge is a must.
The companies need to always be ready for any technical glitches, so the technical expert has to be thorough with the way the company operates. So no temporary candidate or freelancer can take up the role of the managerial position. So the corporates have designed the role of a technical project manager.
The technical project manager job description is a hybrid of leadership roles and technical responsibilities. They have to be from a technical background, so they can cover all the technical issues in the project. They also have to communicate effectively with the team members and clients as a manager.
» What is a Technical Project Manager?
A technical manager is the heart and brain of a project. Their responsibility ranges from providing the project plans, scheduling, and managing the initiatives to ensuring the completion of the project within the stipulated time and budget.
The technical project management skills include soft skills like intrapersonal communication to hard skills like technical knowledge of the project. They also hire and train the support members for the technical department, and oversee how the authority is planning the project and schedule it with all possible outcomes in mind. The two mandatory characteristics of a technical project manager are working well in a collaborative environment and giving attention to details.
Due to the plethora of responsibilities, the technical project manager's salary is also higher than most other jobs. And for this, this has become a lucrative opportunity for all the careerists out there.
» What are the responsibilities of a Technical Project Manager?
The technical project manager job description has both the technical part and management part. The technical project lead responsibilities include a variety of tasks that the company requires throughout the project lifecycle.
Here are the top technical Project Manager roles and responsibilities:
• A technical project manager brainstorms a project and plans it according to the requirement that the clients and stakeholders wanted.
• They define the deliverables of the project with all the details and features. A project manager also outlines and distributes the roles and responsibilities of the members.
• They analyze what the project might require and develop a plan according to the requirements of the project. Also, they determine the standards of the deliverables.
• It is also in the technical project manager job description to divide the total work into some milestones, tasks, and segments and assign it to the capable people in the team. They ensure the employees can leverage their skills fully.
• A technical project manager closely monitors the overall work daily to check whether the team can complete the assigned tasks and how the team members are working on those.
• The technical project lead responsibilities include holding regular meetings with the team members to check the total progress and to know about the obstacles
• They spot the problems of the projects, especially the technical ones, analyzing and solving the problems.
• They hire and train new people for the project if the company or the deadline demands so.
• It is the duty of a technical project manager to establish and implement the training process for the recruits that a particular project requires.
• They need to communicate with the stakeholders to convey the problems.
• They have to research and evaluate the hardware and software available in the market and also find out which of them suits the requirements perfectly as a technical expert.
• They also update the usage of the hardware and software and maintain the quality.
• A technical project manager make sure the teams are abiding by the necessary health and safety protocols while working for a project.
• The technical project manager is the one who has to take the responsibility to collaborate with other departments to work for a common business goal and achieve it.
• And most importantly, they sure the projects get to complete before the deadline within the assigned budget.
» What is Technical Project Management?
Technical project management is the activity that a technical project manager has to do. Managing the technical side of the project is the main motive of this responsibility.
As most of the projects the industries take up nowadays dwell on the technologies, this is a role one cannot ignore. Besides being a technology expert, this role also emphasizes inspiring leadership.
› Technical project management vs project management:
Though these two terms may sound similar to you, even the responsibilities can be a bit similar too, these are not.
Technical project management dwells on the problem-solving part. It gives much more importance to the usage of technologies and considers the technical glitches. From the general project management, this one focuses on which software and hardware to use in the project and how to remove certain obstacles.
Technical project management is about considering the process and technology the workers will use, improvising them, instructing them while needed, and regularly solving the team-wise, as well as, technical problems. A technical manager can convey technical difficulties and brainstorm solutions much more effectively than a business project manager.
» What is Technical Project Management Software?
As you can already see, technical project management has lots of complex parts, and this varies for every situation. So managing the responsibilities is not possible manually for a moderate to a big company. So they take help from the technical project management tools all the time.
This software comes with all kinds of tools to boost your quality of work. The easy setup and tagging feature helps you to organize the work. And the email alert system makes all the workers stay connected. The software uses some charts and bars that give the technical project manager a visual representation of the ongoing project status. It is helpful to know about some critical data at a glance and take up some quick but critical decisions.
There are two types of project management software available nowadays- online and offline. The offline variations require proper licensing in every system where the team will use the software. So the companies can install them in their in-house desktops, but it will make the operation process difficult for the people working from home. As more and more companies are interested to hire contractual workers and freelancers virtually for certain services, the offline software will be of no use there. Additionally, it is tough to send or export a file there, so the people need to update their respective software or work on a single computer.
On the other hand, the online software or SAAS (software as a service) makes it easy to sync all the updates and documents. The software only needs a subscription for each user, so the company has to bear less cost. People can assign tasks to individuals with proper resources here. Even the employees can attach all the documents and links related to the work progress here. So it is easy to stay updated for the management and the stakeholders about the project status.
Here is a list of software of the best technical project management software available on the SoftwareWorld. List down your budget, needs, and features to figure out which one might be perfect for you.
» What are the skills a Technical project manager needs to succeed?
As for academics, people prefer someone with a Master’s degree in project management along with a certification from an accredited institution while choosing for the candidate. But only the hard skills are not enough to sustain a career in this day and age, they also need proper technical project management skills set.
Here is the list of technical project management skills everyone must have to be a successful technical project manager -
• Time management skill - to ensure the project can get completed on time.
• Organization skill - to manage the team effectively and smooth execution of the project.
• Communication skill and intrapersonal skill - to communicate effectively with other team members and stakeholders.
• Analytical thinking - to analyze a particular problem thoroughly and figure out the root of it.
• Problem-solving - Finding solutions to various problems in critical times and under pressure. A technical project manager must
confront a problem head-off without wasting time on dilemma and confusion.
• Leadership skill - to synchronize the whole team for the best quality of work. It includes understanding the pain points and leveraging the qualities and strengths of the individual team members.
• Quick-learning and adaptability - to deal with every kind of situation and conduct the project accordingly.
• Personal accountability - to ensure the quality of the project and the timely completion using the stipulated budget. And the technical manager is the one responsible if it does not take place.
• Predicting challenges - to prepare for any disputes from the beginning so the project can run amidst all the circumstances.
• Teamwork and collaboration - Not everyone can work well in a collaborative environment, and adjusting to the flaws and problems of fellow team members are not easy. So a technical manager has to have these skills.
• Understanding the process, strategies, and methods - If a technical project manager does not understand how a project will work or which steps the team needs to take, how will they convey it to others! Understanding and implementing the use of technical project management software is also their responsibility.
• And lastly, monitoring and coaching skills - To keep an eye on the gradual work progress and training new members when required is not easy, but utilizing the resources is one of the primary requirements to maintain the expected quality of the deliverables.
» What is the difference between a project manager and a Technical Project Manager?
If you are familiar with the term project manager, you might wonder how these two roles are different and the requirements for having two separate but similar positions. Although there certainly are some organizations where only one person handles both the parts, having these two roles at the same time can be of great benefit for other organizations.
› Technical project manager vs project manager:
If you study technical project manager vs non-technical project manager, you can see project managers take more general approaches and roles in the organization. They usually come from non-technical backgrounds and possess no in-depth knowledge of the working process of the project. They plan and divide the work and address all their concerns superficially, but when it comes to some technical queries or software issues, they let the technical project manager handle the part.
A general project manager works best when it comes to negotiating with the clients, managing the overall budget of a project, and keeping an eye on the day-to-day works of the project. Though they have very limited abilities while it is about some technical issues, they are the ones with ultimate authority to take all the internal decisions in a company.
In the business project manager vs technical project manager, we can see that both these roles are responsible for distributing the scope of a project and ensuring the quality of deliverables within a particular timeframe and budget.
It is important to note that every technical project manager can become a business project manager, a general project manager cannot take up the role of a technical project manager. But having a non-technical project manager reduces the load from the technical project manager and leads to effective planning and communication of the project.
In short, you can say these two roles are complementary to each other, and the successful completion of a project lies with the effective collaboration and communication of these two managers.
» How to become a Technical Project Manager?
The technical project manager qualifications vary depending on the project requirement and company. Generally, a study shows that 45% of technical project managers have an undergraduate degree, and the other 32% have a Postgraduate degree. Also, some people only have a high school degree or a diploma under their name.
But the industries always recommend people to have a Master’s degree. A certification course from some accredited institute like the Agile or Scrum master certification can add some more recognition and credibility for the applicant.
Networking is also an effective way to build credibility and increase the chances of getting a job. When you introduce yourself to the management professionals and hang out with them, you can learn so much about the corporate culture and method of handling certain situations. It improves your mindset and builds you up to follow the technical project manager career path.
An average American technical project manager earns $48 per hour. SO you can expect the technical project manager's salary to be around 99 thousand dollars per year. Though it varies for each country and depends on your experience and company, you can expect a decent salary higher than most other professions.
As you know, most countries do not have any centralized examination for recruiting technical project managers. So you have to check when some companies are giving notice for a vacancy for this post.
The interview is an inevitable part of the recruitment irrespective of the exams. It is better if you acquire some organizational skills from your school to demonstrate how you can solve a problem in a critical time. Your expertise in the technical domain, especially the subject that a particular company works on, is a deciding factor in this case.
If you are determined to be a technical project manager, besides completing your Bachelor's or Master's degree, hone your technical skills as well as public speaking and intrapersonal skills to get there.
As they are at the hub of the wheel, the technical project management skill set mainly revolves around intrapersonal skills, though their technical skills play a crucial role in the company.
According to a study in the US, the experts observed the possibility of having 50000 vacations in the technical project management roles from 2012 to 2022. As the number and complexity of the projects increases throughout the world, we can say that the demand for a skilled technical project manager will not stop diminishing.
The requirement of a management persona varies from company to company, even for different projects. So, various names fit the technical project manager job description, like Agile project manager, technical program manager, etc. But more or less, the technical project manager roles and responsibilities are the same irrespective of the industry or company. How they operate and organize may differ, and their boundaries and obstacles may be divergent. But it is always true that no other roles can ever replace how they support, maintain the total system, and run the projects smoothly.