Project management grows in IT

Project management is one of the fastest growing professions and is flourishing in the IT industry, according to the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM).

Leigh Cunningham, executive director, AIPM, said a project manager role in the IT sector is one of the highest paying technical positions in the industry, with an average salary of $107,727 or $80 an hour, according to the 2001 Icon Recruitment trend index.

Cunningham said the growth pattern is strong both here and overseas. "While construction and engineering account for most employment opportunities, the profession is flourishing in other areas such as IT," she said.

According to Cunningham, increasingly, project managers are sought who can take on projects that have not been tackled before, such as the implementation of a CRM system.

"We often hear from senior people in the industry that while their staff are technically very good, they have no project management skills," she said.

Cunningham said a project management approach has advantages in the current economic climate as it forces organisations to be more productive and more flexible in the IT era. Where permanent employees may lack the skills required, or cannot be spared from regular duties, top-talent specialists can be hired for the duration of the project, which sees the best teams for each project formed, she said.

"E-business particularly depends on successful project management. More than ever, this success is directly tied to effective involvement of business executives and the speed at which decisions and actions are taken."

The AIPM, with around 3500 members, and a rapid growth of 15 to 16 per cent over the past three years, will hold its biennial national conference in Sydney from October 14 to 17.

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