What abilities or personal qualities do you believe contribute most to success in this field/job?
generally what would be the best qualities that regardless all employers look for
#computer-software #management #programming #project-management
Peter Van Dyck
Be willing to learn all the time, even when it's outside your comfort/interest zone
Be open for change, the industry is constantly changing
I started off 33 years ago as a warehouse clerk (while I had a programming degree), but the company I wanted to join (Wang Belgium) had openings for warehouse clerk and not for programmers. By doing the job I was the best possession guy to provide inside info on how we could do things different (and eventually better). My manager allowed me to advise him on certain changes. After 2 years we reorganized the way the warehouse worked from order entering to order picking and distribution, so that we could reduce the amount of people working on the job & the time needed to move parts around.
After this I got the opportunity to work as a Order intake admin for Wang EMEA (mostly African & Middle East) countries. In those days orders from these continents still came via Telex later Fax and needed to be inputted in a USA database. Here as well I started several projects in automating the order in keying & order follow-up.
Later in my career I got the opportunity to work in the Marketing division of Wang EMEA to promote Desktops, Networks & Printing (mostly to English Speaking African Countries & The Middle East). I created an onsite training package which I have given in several African & Middle East countries for about 2 years.
Due to the crisis in IT at those days, almost 1/3 of all Wang Personnel was made redundant. During this period I refocused myself in order to be able to do a job outside of IT.
In the purchasing division of Wang Europe, they were looking for a Buyer of Computer Supplies (toner, diskettes, ribbons, tapes,…), by taking this opportunity I learned, setting up Pan-European agreements with suppliers, negotiation skills, understanding better how a business on his own works.
When even more people got redundant at Wang, I was able to move into the Wang Belgium organization, where I was first Logistics responsible, later Logistics Manager. Due to more and more people leaving the organization, more and more functions got combined. So after 4 years I was Logistics Manager + Purchasing Manager + Asset Controller + Project Manager
After more than 12 years of Wang I decided I needed to have a other career swap. I solicited for a position as Account Manager at Dell.
During the first 2 years I was an account manager for Dell Computers – Belgium, but in the meantime, due to my programming skills, I was able to automated part of the logistic follow for Partners of Dell.
In the past 16 years I was able to be a Technical Sales Representative & a now a Bid Manager
As you can see “We are living in an ever changing world” and “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adapted to change”
Cathy (Cat) Smith, PMP, CSM
Definitely, communication is one of the main ones. This will change in each role and company, so you'll need to be flexible with that. You'll have your own style, yet it may need to change slightly based on the tools used as the company, the people (some prefer chat vs. email or vice versa), your workload, and the location of your team members (global? local?). Keep communications with folks concise, yet informative. Some people write so much that the message gets lost (and no one will read it nowadays because it's way too long). Keep it short and organized. The higher up you are communicating with, the fewer words you use. Remember to be clear though and think about questions the person/people may have so you can answer the main ones in your first message. Apologize when you need to. We all get stressed and may have tone or say something that isn't as nice as we should be through the day. An apology can go a long way. Just make sure you don't have to do this every day or week though because that can be a problem!
Organization skills are also a main one. This will also change with each job (and sometimes projects too). You'll need to be flexible on how you organize your work and your team's work. Again, this depends on the tools available and the amount of work you need to track. If a system doesn't work, then change it up. Find what works. I had to change the way I managed work in one position every 3-6 months as the workload continuously increased. It worked! Be known for not letting anything fall between the cracks.
Being friendly and fun works for me. Teams love when we treat them like people rather than just a resource or number. You can open your meetings talking about what you all did that weekend and celebrate personal successes. Remember to keep it short though. No longer than 5 minutes. Maybe shorter if only a 30-minute meeting. Being this way with my teams has set me apart from other project managers. My team has actually looked forward to meetings (mainly Sprint Retrospectives) because I make them fun. Remember that your attitude on a call will set the mood for the whole meeting.
Be aware of some shortcomings on the team on calls and in meetings.
For instance, make sure you include everyone. If someone isn't talking, find a way to bring them into the conversation or get their feedback on something. You can simply ask them what they think or if they have anything to share. This doesn't have to be on every call, yet be sure to include them over time.
Another example is when you're going to ask someone on a call to answer a question, start with their name, pause, then ask the question. This prevents embarrassment when the person has been multi-tasking and needs the question asked again because they weren't listening.
These are just a few, but I see them as the main points and some tips for when you do get into that position!
"Being able to think out of the box." One way of communicating doesn't always work for everyone. As a Program manager when the project/program stalls, you have to be persistent but patience while using all your tools of knowledge to figure out how to get it back on track.
Few must have qualities are learning capabilities, openness to change, good team player, very good communication skills (presentation/listening/writing skills).
With the COVID pandemic, tech industry is undergoing rapid change - including the way they work and it is important to focus on improving your skills in:
1) Flexible working
2) Working with virtual team
3) Remote management
5) Learning agility keeping a growth mindset
6) Ask for the right question at the right time
7) Time management and discipline
8) Use of technology to collaborate virtually (use of multiple collaboration platforms)
9) Social intelligence
10) Find your pace and prioritize
Regardless of the field you enter, you need to do the basics well: show up on time, communicate clearly and succinctly (both in writing and when speaking), meet your commitments, and be a team player. You'll get brownie points for going the extra mile on a project - not just doing the minimum - and for coming up with solutions to problems without being specifically asked to do so.
Having a mindset that's open to learning new technical things as trends change is extremely important. On top of learning new technical things, being open to input from others, regardless of the source, is so valuable at any level. Good ideas can come from anywhere, so be open to an idea, even if it challenges the current state of things.
Lots of great suggestions above. I would emphasize communication skills. If you can craft a complete, syntactically correct sentence, you have a huge advantage over many of your peers. Communicate clearly and effectively.
In my opinion, the best way to get ahead is to be a team player. Always try to help others. Show them you are willing to go above and beyond. Be the go-to person. Share the credit. I rarely say I did... I usually say We did or the team did. Other important skills include listening and understanding.
Best of luck!
Transparent & Trustworthy
Collaborative - Team Player
I am sure there are many more but these are qualities I have looked for while hiring in the software/SaaS industry for many years.
Being a well communicator it is key. I believe this is a skill you can work on and improve throughout your career but I've learned two important rules that have served me well: 1) know your audience, you need to adjust your message depending on who you are talking to. Those executive level stakeholders in your project probably don't need to hear all the small details. Keep your message succinct and to the point vs. those you work day to day, that need to understand all the ins and outs. 2) be honest. There are times as a PM you will have to deliver bad news. As long as you're honest and have a plan to move forward, you are good.
Just brainstorming a few qualities (in addition to the ones already mentioned);
Master Microsoft Office skills. You'll be surprised how few people thoroughly know how to put together great letters in Word, advanced spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations. Typing skills are also critical. Whenever I see an educated person struggle through work with the mentioned tools I cringe.
Learn how to lead a meeting. Be prepared, keep notes, make sure it is worth everybody's time, make your objectives clear, don't allow to get off topic.
Have good working relations. Be respectful, open, trusting, have fun!
Make your boss successful and he/she will make you successful.