IT Project Management - what makes it different?
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Christin Jessa is a Project Manager at CheckMobile, responsible for Hertz and DB projects at present. She joined CheckMobile's team in November, 2019. For such a short period of time, she has already established a structure in her projects and overcomes IT challenges on a daily basis. In this interview, you will get to know Christin, her background and core values of her work.
Tell us about your background as a project manager?
In terms of education, my formal studies were with more technical focus – Digital Media Designer for creating and managing websites. However, even before my graduation, I have always been active and took up several jobs on the way. It turned out that no matter what the work was, I was always responsible for the overall internal processes – it just happened naturally. For me, it was not that big of a deal, as this is part of my character. However, my first employer noticed something exceptional in my working style and gave me the initial idea of becoming a project manager.
So, I listen to his advice and started a job with a formal position as a project manager in an IT software company in the South of Germany. Back then, I was managing 10 customers at a time from the various industries.
What are the essential skills every project manager should possess?
As you have already noticed, my formal training is not as a project manager, but as a web designer. In my opinion, especially for IT project management is really important to have a technical understanding, good communicational skills (to connect with the customer), and to be able to ask the right questions. But these skills are something that first, you have to possess and second, to develop through real-life experience.
Are IT project different from the other types of projects?
Yes, absolutely! The challenges and obstacles are way more dynamic and unpredictable compared to any other industry.
What makes IT projects so much more challenging than the other company projects?
As a project manager you have to monitor the hardware design trends, security requirements and everything that has to do with technologies.
The customer expects you to be able to give informed advice when needed. You have to solve issues on both the design and software part.
Being able to communicate with your technical team possible solutions in a fast and efficient manner is crucial.
The simplest example – think about the hardware aspect of new app development. Smartphones change their hardware so quickly that between the order and the execution of the project, you have at least 2 changes of the mobile design. This is quite a lot. The dynamic of this technological progress makes it so difficult to adjust the interface. Today you have 16:9 screen, tomorrow you see the camera positioned as an interfering element on the top of the screen. This can create a lot of issues, which we have to be aware of and be able to react as possible.
It is different when you are a project manager at the customer side and being a project manager at a software company. In the second case (our case) you should be able to communicate with several customers at once, which could be sometimes tricky. Concentration, attitude and a good working discipline are your essentials.
What's your personal goal as a project manager at CheckMobile?
To create a structure. This is a key component, especially when you deal with several big players at once – as it is the case for me right now. I believe that delivering a high-quality product to the customer is an important part of establishing trust among business partners. Also, I would like to deepen the agile software development methodology we are currently using. Keeping up with our company’s established working culture, and developing, according to the rising trends, is my mission as a project manager in CheckMobile.