Career Pathway: Technology Project Management

Pathway Overview

Why Technology Project Management?

  • Trusted advisor
  • Tech facilitator
  • Product impact

Technology project management (TPM) roles are the mortar to the bricks in the business world when it comes to scaling — TPMs are innovators, strong communicators, data-driven facilitators, and problem solvers who lead and inspire others. They develop connections in every department making them trusted advisors to their executive sponsor.

TPMs understand development processes including requirements analysis, software design,  testing strategies, etc. Successful TPMs are also skilled at budget analysis, schedule management, and making data-driven decisions. Each day is different for these non-glory seekers; they allow their coworkers to better focus on their core work.

Note: TPM job titles are not always referenced with consistency. You will likely see any of the following used: IT Project Manager, Technical Project Manager, Technical Program Manager, Technology Manager, etc. Likewise, the term “IT” may be used to mean “technical”.

Pathway Certifications

*Note: Gaining certifications is an added bonus in this landscape and they may differ based on specializations and role descriptions. However, they can help candidates become more competitive. Some employers are willing to help candidates with strong skills attain certifications. 

Also, some certifications are high in cost and time intensive.

CertificationDefinition/PurposeAssociated Roles
ACPPMI-Agile Certified PractitionerAgile certificate for tech companies in management tasks/roles.
CASMCertified Associate in Project ManagementCertificate in project management tasks/roles.
CAPMCertified Associate in Project ManagementFor showing mastery in project management.
CBAPCertified Business Analysis Professional.Certificate for business analysis in PM leadership roles.
CSMCertified Scrum MasterAgile certificate for tech companies in management tasks/roles.
PBAProfessional Business AnalystCertificate for business analysis in PM leadership roles.
PfMPPortfolio Management ProfessionalCertificate for portfolio management roles.
PMPProject Management ProfessionalFor more corporate paths in tech project management.
PPMProfessional in Project ManagementCertificate for project management tasks/roles.
PSM IProfessional Scrum MasterValidates fundamental level of Scrum mastery for project management tasks/roles.

In-Demand Skills

 *Ultimately, your ability to land a specific role will come down to your proficiency in these in-demand skills and your willingness to learn new ones. Specializations will depend on specific job tasks; refer to job descriptions to understand what each role entails.

The list below encompasses technology project management as a whole.

Field-Specific Skills

  • Scope Management
    • Work Breakdown Structures
    • Requirements Elicitation and Documentation
  • Communication Management
    • Meeting FacilitationTechnical Documentation
  • Schedule Management
    • Gantt ChartsRelease and Sprint Planning
  • Resource Management
    • Team BuildingConflict Management
  • Cost Management
    • Resource BudgetingCost Tracking
  • Risk Management
    • Risk Register Creation and MaintenanceRisk Analysis
  • Stakeholder Management
    • Stakeholder Communication Planning
    • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Integration Management
    • Project Charter Creation
    • Documenting and Tracking Lessons Learned

Transferable Skills

  • Ability to lead teams
  • Active listener
  • Administrative skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Collaborative
  • Critical thinker
  • Data-driven decision maker
  • Innovator
  • Life-long learner
  • Negotiator 
  • Organized
  • Positive attitude
  • Problem solver
  • Rapport/relationship builder
  • Self-motivated
  • Strong communication verbal and written
  • Strong in customer service

Job Descriptions

*Note: Below is a basic guide to kick-start your exploration of technology project management roles; not a complete list of all options and paths within each level.

Entry-Level:

Junior Business Analyst

The liaison among stakeholders, including the business client, sales consultants, product management team, and technical organization. The goal in this role is to produce quality solutions through strong planning, requirements documentation, testing, and analysis for documented business problems. Partnership rapport and project implementation drive both productivity and revenue. Tags: Business Process Analyst, IT Business Analyst, SAP Business Analyst, Business Solutions Analyst, etc.

Relevant Certifications: Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP), Professional Business Analyst (PMI-PBA), Agile certifications.

Previous Roles: Account Manager, Customer Success Manager, Financial Manager, Training Professional.

Future Roles: Sr. Analyst, Business Operations, Product Manager, Product Owner, Lead Project Manager or industry-specific specialized roles.

Project Coordinator

Oversees a project’s development, including timeline, schedule, cost, and technical aspects while also managing its execution to meet client or customer goals and objectives. Provides leadership to develop solutions for emerging operational changes and helps a company and its leaders choose the best path forward. Works closely with engineers and product teams to analyze strategies and risk management. Tags: Lead Development Manager, Lead Integrator, Project Coordinator, Strategic Project Administrator Lead.

Relevant Certifications: Agile certifications.

Required Certifications: PMI-CAPM, PMI-ACP or PMI-PMP, CSM.

Previous Roles: Analyst, Client Service Manager, Program Coordinator, etc.

Future Roles: Lead, Manager, Director, Development Manager, Change Manager.

Project Scheduler

Implement and oversee project schedules with high-level organization skills to collaborate with project managers and technical experts. Implement tasks and monitor timelines and prepare project updates. Identify potential project schedule delays and facilitate solutions. Responsible for documenting project schedule processes and maintaining records. Tags: Program Scheduler, Master Scheduler, Schedule Analyst, Operations Planner.

Relevant Certifications: PMI certifications.

Previous Roles: Project Coordinator, Business Analyst.

Future Roles: Director, lead, manager or senior level, Project Manager, Operations or Process Manager or specialized by industry.

Customer Success Manager

Responsibilities include building strong rapport with customer stakeholders and expert knowledge of products. Serves as a primary advocate for the product and internal customers. Must be able to work collaboratively in a cross-functional environment with engineers, product team, operations, sales, marketing, and other teams to deliver on measurable goals. Overall, has a growth mindset, and is willing to share best practices, technical expertise, and business acumen with others in the team. Tags: Service Manager, Client Services Manager, Account Manager, Customer Relations Specialist.

Relevant Certifications: N/A

Previous Roles: Client Services, Sales, etc.

Future Roles: Sr. Manager, director, Operations or Solutions Manager.

Mid-Level:

Technical Project Manager

Manage the project lifecycle including, scoping, project planning, resource planning, project kick-off, execution, tracking, deployment, and stabilization. Through strong working relationships, build team commitment and trust with internal business partners in accordance with established budget, work plan, and scope. In addition, provide internal communications pertaining to project status, updates and enhancements, and possible end-user training. They also identify, analyze, prioritize, and manage project risks and related documentation, including presentations. Tags: IT Project Manager, IT Infrastructure PM, IT Program Manager, Project Manager.

Relevant Certifications: Agile certifications, PMP, CSM.

Previous Roles: Business Administrator, Advisor, Analyst, etc.

Future Roles: Senior or director title, Program Manager.

Product Development Manager

This is a results-driven role that guides a team’s technical decisions and priorities. Spearheads the tactical work of a team to identify the tools, technologies, and processes needed to make fundamental changes. Ensure retrospectives, scrums, and sprints are all run effectively, follow agile processes, and possibly work one-on-one to strengthen professional development. Responsible for achieving revenue and participant goals, overseeing the budget, adhering to timelines, event logistics, and expansion of possible events that build and strengthen connections to potential and existing stakeholders. Tags: Delivery Manager, Technical Delivery Manager, Product Manager, etc.

Relevant Certifications: CSM, Agile certifications, etc.

Previous Roles: Business Solutions, Human Resources, Sales, Client Services, Marketing, etc.

Future Roles: Specialized roles such as: Learning & Design Manager, Business Development Manager, Organizational Development Manager, Talent Development Manager, or Senior/Director level.

Agile Project Manager

Deep understanding and experience with a variety of agile approaches to navigate pain points in both technical and business solutions with teams and stakeholders as Scrum Master or Agile Coach. Responsible for managing the overall planning, execution, and delivery of assigned projects. Facilitates the day-to-day coordination of tasks and removes blockers while adhering to standards and prioritization of objectives. Responsible for tracking work status and supporting team automation. Uses team feedback and metrics to manage issues and risks while facilitating continuous improvement or growth for optimal outcomes. Tags: Agile Program Leads, Agile Delivery Leads, Agile Project Coordinator, Scrum Master

Relevant Certifications: CSM, CSP, PMI’s ACP, SAFe, PMP, PSM I, PSM II.

Required Certifications: Often agile certifications, CSM. Sometimes SAFe or willing to be certified.

Previous Roles: Agile Coach, Engineer, Project Lead, etc.

Future Roles: Director or Senior title, Operations Manager, etc.

Operations Manager

Responsible for managing safety, quality, and productivity in operations. Role include master scheduling, efficient service delivery, revenue management, and timely operational planning. Collaborates with all support teams such as Engineering, Quality Assurance, and Human Resources to meet business objectives. Works closely with direct reports and clients daily to ensure customer and employee satisfaction. Overall, focuses on smooth transitions, process stabilization, and sustained distribution by delivering innovative productivity solutions. Tags: Field Operations, Operations Lead, Operations Specialist, Risk Manager.

Relevant Certifications: PMP, Agile certifications.

Previous Roles: IT, Human Resources, Client Services, Marketing Manager, Supply Chain, Logistics.

Future Roles: Specializes by industry or Director/Senior title.

Portfolio Manager

Leads a portfolio in strategy, program management, technology implementation and process innovation to deliver significant impact. Ensures the success of the overall portfolio by partnering to drive adoption, communication, training and change management across various initiatives within the company. Provides day-to-day oversight and quality assurance for programs and tasks, anticipating, escalating, and resolving issues to advise on readiness to launch. Leads and motivates regular cross-functional interactions to ensure alignment on deliverables, timelines and status. Tags: Diversity Portfolio Manager, Portfolio and Planning Manager, Portfolio Risk Manager, Product Portfolio Manager.

Relevant Certifications: Any project management certifications will apply; PMI – PfMP.

Previous Roles: Associate level, Project Lead, Project Manager, Program Manager.

Future Roles: Change Management, director or global levels as well as industry-specific titles.

Senior Level:

Enterprise Portfolio Manager

Responsibility to establish and maintain the methods, practices and teams for technical resources for the business with high-level facilitation skills. They work cross functionally on projects in the Agile framework to support and enable programs and structures that add value to current strategies and goals of the organization that are set by executive leadership. Though they influence process improvements, they also create connections between teams serving as a vital pipeline for communication and escalation of risks.  Work towards a goal to improve across the organization by tracking and reporting plans and expectations of technical initiatives. Tags:  Portfolio Manager, Enterprise Portfolio Management Lead.

Relevant Certifications: PMI certifications. 

Future Roles: Director or global levels as well as specialized by industry or project.

Senior Project Manager

Lead, scope, plan, and execute client-facing, large-scale implementations and proof of concepts while cross-collaborating with internal teams. Manage the day-to-day operations of projects by gaining alignment on the scope, schedule, assumptions, and price for projects to drive deliverables and meet expectations with quality outcomes. Minimize risks by pragmatically and collaboratively removing blockers and/or issues. Also provides project updates and progress via reports and communication to various stakeholders throughout the lifecycle. Tags: Senior Business Development, Senior IT Project Manager.

Relevant Certifications: CSM, PMP, PSM II, PSM III.

Previous Roles: Technical Project Manager, Project Manager, Partnership Manager, Senior Client Services Manager.

Future Roles: Director or global levels.

Director, Technical Program Management

Provides technical program management and oversight from initiation and planning through implementation, launch, and post-launch support. Ensures objectives are clearly defined and aligned across the organization in accordance with program budgets and schedules. Provides technical leadership and guidance to team members to reach initiatives and goals. Captures and tracks program risks, and works to mitigate those most critical. Communicates program milestones, schedules, and risks to the technical team and manages a portfolio of technical projects that have broad impact on the organization. Tags: Technical Program Manager III, Advisory Technical Program Manager, Program Director.

Relevant Certifications: CSM, any; PMI Program Management Professional (PgMP)

Previous Roles: Technical Project Manager, Senior Technical Program Manager, Program Manager.

Future Roles: Specialized or global title.

IT Process Engineer

Interacts with technical team(s) to help translate functional specifications into technology solutions. Understands technical issues and their implications to the business and communicates them with other stakeholders. Tracks and monitors the project lifecycle while identifying, prioritizing, and communicating risks and issues that may require suggested changes of plans or scope. Tags: Business Process Engineer, Quality Assurance Manager, Operations Process Engineer, Process Architect or Manager, etc.

Relevant Certifications: CSM, any.

Previous Roles: Operations Lead, Business Process Manager, etc.

Future Roles: Lead, Engineering Manager, or by specialization or industry.

Senior IT Change Manager

Develops and executes change management plans, provides stakeholder influence, and constructs supporting messages associated with assigned projects. Ensure a smooth transition by minimizing employee resistance, enhances change adoption, and delivers desired employee experiences. Provides analysis and guidance for the design, development, and delivery of training programs and support materials with quality standards implementation across all functions. Partners with business leaders and teams to develop and execute through sustained and measurable metrics. Tags: Change Management Lead, Engagement Manager, Functional Change Manager, Senior Manager-Organizational Change, Strategy & Change Manager, etc.

Required Certifications: N/A but agile and all others are helpful.

Previous Roles: Project Manager, IT Manager, Operations Manager, Change Analyst.

Future Roles: Director of Change Management/Organizational Change, global title, etc.

Career Support

Learn how you’re supported as an enrolled boot camp student using the Intro to Career Support: Technology Project Management.

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