itContracting Quick-fire Q&A: IT Project Manager
Project Management is one thing – but IT Project Management can be a particularly complex and technically demanding role. We spoke to IT Project Manager Ayoub M’himdi to find out what it takes.
Name: Ayoub M’himdi
Position: IT Project Manager
Can you tell me about your technical experience and how it brought you to your position at Evros?
I started in Project Management 11 years ago supporting operational change in medium and large organisations, primarily through software implementations and process improvements initiatives. My two main tools are Project Management and Lean Six Sigma methodologies. Being trained in both, I used these methodologies on a daily basis to filter ideas and create achievable plans. I joined Evros in 2017 working initially on internal projects, one of which was the development of IT contracting’s current website! Shortly after, I had the opportunity to transition to client facing projects – which I took.
What are the key technology skill requirements for your position?
Communication, planning and scheduling are fundamental skills in project management, so any tool that helps with this is essential to me.
Microsoft Project, Visio, Teams, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as Visual Studio for Agile projects, are the main tools I use on my projects.
How did you acquire these skills?
Through a combination of practical experience and education. Managing software implementations taught me about the software development lifecycle. I found that acquiring project management certifications helped me to gain exposure to different methodologies and also opened up more opportunities. I also have a fairly long commute to work, so listening to podcasts every now and then keeps me interested and helps me think of different ways to approach situations that I sometimes face on my projects and how I could do things next time.
What was the most challenging part of the journey to your current position?
In terms of professional development, transitioning to client facing projects was a step I wanted to take.
Most of my experience in project management prior to joining Evros three years ago, was focused on delivering internal projects. It was a valuable experience, having the benefit of knowing a company’s operations is really helpful to manage and execute internal projects. Now, although the constraints of working on internal or external projects are essentially the same, the stakes are much higher when projects are tied to commercial contracts.
It is my role to get involved in every aspect of a project from the initiation stage (and sometimes even earlier) and to demonstrate strategic decision making as well as leadership and PM technical skills. It can be a complex and stressful role at times but no matter how challenging a project can be, we always pull everything together successfully.
What advice would you give to someone looking to do what you do?
If you are interested in Project Management and don’t know where to start, I would encourage you to connect with experienced Project Managers in your organisation, to seek some mentoring, identify project opportunities and volunteer to lead them. And if you haven’t yet, take a formal PM education as to work in a client facing environment especially, certifications will certainly help you and tend to be a pre-requisite anyway.
What do you love about your job the most?
There is no typical day, I love the flexibility my job gives me, whether I work at a client’s site, from the office or remotely, I organise my days to best suit project requirements. I take pride in my work and like to leave my own stamp on projects, as well as making connections by meeting with clients or working each day with technology experts who bring their experience and skills – without which, projects could never be delivered.