What Is a Technical Project Manager?

Updated Oct 25, 2022.
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In a digital world where most organizations carry out their activities and projects online and physically, a technical project manager offers technical expertise to organizations.

An experienced technical project manager is of great value to an organization and the project team in ensuring project execution, mainly because of the additional qualifications that come with the job title.

Technical project managers tend to produce excellent results while managing a project because of their technical know-how and other project management skills such as communication, self-motivation, and technical skills.

Let's get started.

What is a Technical Project Manager?

An individual who focuses on the technical aspect of project management is regarded as a technical project manager.

Project planning, management, and ensuring the compilation of specific projects based on budget and a specific time frame are part of a technical project manager’s job.

Regarding leadership and important aspects of a project, technical project managers are considered inspiring and vital in the success of every project.

What Does a Technical Project Manager Do?

Technical project managers have various tasks and general responsibilities they have to carry out to ensure the success of a project.

1. Brainstorming

A technical project manager is vitally involved in the initial ideation stage and brainstorming session at the project initiation phase of the project management life cycle.

Every important detail is being deliberated upon among technical personnel to establish the most appropriate way of carrying out the project.

2. Planning

A technical project manager must create a feasible project timeline, recruit and assemble the right project team, recognize potential risk factors, determine important resources required, and establish project milestones.

The planning process comes up after the project outcome has been determined and approved. You must review the scheduled projects to ensure they are still on track. 

3. Proper Designation and Scheduling of Project Tasks

Technical project managers carry out their activities with a larger team that requires proper management to function effectively in different aspects of the project.

Their job involves designating tasks and allocating resources to teams and team members. These team members may include managers, team leaders, or technical teams.

4. Execution of Project Phases 

After every point, important deliberation has been done concerning the execution of the project plan.

The technical project manager may not be vitally involved in the daily activities to complete each task. Still, they ensure that each project phase is executed and completed as due. 

5. Budget Management

Budget management, otherwise known as financial management, is a vital segment within the scope of a technical project management responsibility.

In most cases, unexpected costs and project requirements may arise, which may cause the initial budget to be adjusted for the budget to meet up with the project needs.

6. Communicating with All Stakeholders

Stakeholders are major players in a project's execution and are vital in project management. These stakeholders play vital roles in a project’s success.

They may include non-technical stakeholders, investors, the company’s board of directors and CEO, or in the case of project management and IT-related projects, the company’s client.

7. Working Together with Department Heads to Achieve a Common Goal

Collaborating with other team members requires more than technical skills such as software engineering but vital leadership qualities.

These in-demand skills include communication skills, problem-solving skills, project managing skills, and organizational skills. They make it easy for the technical project manager to collaborate with team heads while working on a large project that involves multiple teams.

A technical project manager has to review project proposals and coordinate projects across multiple teams.

8. Organization of Regular Technical Team Meetings

While executing a project, certain challenges and unanswered questions may arise, which must be addressed to ensure the project is completed as scheduled.

The technical project manager holds regular technical team meetings to solve these issues appropriately.

9. Research

The technical project manager is responsible for researching and carefully evaluating software and hardware technology options that would work perfectly for each project embarked upon by the project team. 

10. Recruitment and Training

Technical project managers are responsible for the recruitment and training processes to ensure that future employees are qualified to fulfill positions within the technical department.

What Skills and Qualifications Do Technical Project Managers Need to Have?

You require certain vital skills and qualifications to function effectively as a technical project manager. 

These qualifications and skills needed include:

  • Accountability: A technical project manager must possess a strong sense of personal accountability regarding the supervision of teams while carrying out their given tasks and important decision-making. 
  • Foresight: Technical project managers accurately predict obstacles and challenges and conduct an effective risk analysis. 
  • Organizational Skills: Top-notch organizational skills, efficient time management, and experience establishing guidelines in these specific areas for others are vital skills needed by a technical project manager.
  • Understanding of Project Management Basics: A strong understanding of project management processes, vital strategies, and methods are important qualifications for a technical project manager. 
  • Training Others: A technical project manager must be experienced in training and developing rising talent to play vital roles in the technology department.
  • Problem-Solving Skills: Strong managerial experience in problem-solving and analytical thinking is crucial.
  • Collaboration: Experience in working in a high-level collaborative environment and encouraging a strong teamwork mentality is invaluable for a technical project manager. 
  • Academic Qualification: You need a Master’s Degree in project management or other relevant technical fields to be certified as a technical project manager.
  • Professional Project Management Certification: Project management certifications from an accredited certification institution that teaches technical project management are vital. 

7 Tools Every Technical Project Manager Needs

Here are some vital tools designed to make the work of a technical project manager easier and more productive. 

1. Monday.com

Overall Best Tool for Technical Project Managers

Monday.com - A platform built for a new way of working

With the work OS on Monday.com, an open platform, a technical project manager can create the necessary tools to get the job done. 

Monday.com is a top project management tool that allows you to customize the solution your team requires to get the job done. 

Best Features

  • Customizable Columns: This feature allows you to create a project management board suitable for your project needs.
  • Task Assignment: Monday.com allows you to assign tasks to employees and keep every team member updated on the project's progress. 
  • Communication: This tool helps the technical project manager to communicate with project team members. Monday.com supports cross-border collaboration.
  • Workload Evaluation: The technical PM can easily access the workload for effective resource management.
  • Problems and Issues Management: The tool enables the Technical PM and teams to track issues and bugs affecting the project process.

Pros

  • Open API integration for adding relevant custom integrations 
  • Great tracking features
  • Excellent customer support
  • Ready-made templates that cover the project life cycle

Cons 

  • No free plan
  • The mobile app needs improvement

2. TeamGantt

Best for Project Organization and Scheduling

TeamGantt - Get a top-rated gantt chart for free, forever

With TeamGantt, a technical project manager can plan, schedule, and manage complex projects. This Gantt project management tool is user-friendly with various benefits that enhance productivity and help the technical PM to stay organized with various tasks and goals.

Best Features

  • Managing Projects and Timelines with Ease: With TeamGantt, planning, building, and adjusting project timelines is done quickly with just a drag and drop scheduling. 
  • User Friendly: You can update project tasks easily with just a click. TeamGantt makes the project process easy for the technical project manager with its wealth of automation features. 
  • Assign Tasks and Monitor Project Hours: Technical project managers can easily assign tasks and company resources to project teams and monitor hours logged on every task to ensure the project is still in line with the budget. 
  • Built-in Collaboration Features: TeamGantt helps manage collaborations between the project manager and stakeholders. This tool helps project managers address various issues and challenges during project execution.
  • File Sharing: With TeamGantt, you can share files, upload important documents, and effectively communicate with your technical project team. 

Pros 

  • Easy to learn and use
  • Suitable for mapping and tracking project dependencies
  • Efficient project progress and performance tracking 
  • 20% discount on yearly subscription

Cons 

  • Lacks a budget section
  • High cost for large teams

3. Predict!

 Best for Risk Management

Predict! - Beautifully Simple Software

With Predict!, risk analysis becomes more effective and feasible. As a technical PM, this tool will help you accurately predict challenges and future risks affecting the entire project lifecycle. 

When handling complex projects, it is natural for risks and challenges to arise, but a technical PM can foresee them and prepare for them with this project management tool.

Best Features

  • User-friendly Interface Predict! has a simple and user-friendly interface, which makes it easy for a technical project manager to use and get desired results. 
  • Risk Analysis: A technical project manager can carry out the project activities with its configurable risk analysis feature. 
  • Performance Evaluation: This risk management tool allows users to measure performance against key performance indicators (KPIs)

Pros 

  • Foresee potential risks
  • Increases the likelihood of project success
  • Encourages accurate project projections
  • Easily configurable to your project management process

Cons 

  • Impossible to anticipate every possible risk factor 
  • Adding complexity to processes may lead to more possible points of failure

4. Slack

Best for Effective Communication

Slack - Great teamwork starts with a digital HQ

The success of every project largely depends on how effectively the technical project manager communicates with the team leader, external contractors, employees, and stakeholders, who also play vital roles in the project's success.

Project managers use Slack, a team collaboration software, to foster greater teamwork and collaboration among team members.

Best Features

  • Chat Functionality: Slack offers an effective group and one-to-one chat functionality. The project manager can communicate important information to individual members and groups involved in the project process. 
  • Document Sharing: You can share important documents with your team members about the project's progress and what more needs to be done. 
  • Evaluation and Assessments: Slack helps you access your history and use the information to make necessary adjustments. You can make new decisions to improve communication and the project at large. 
  • Flexible Communication: This tool helps you share GIFs which can help to strengthen communication and enable the receiver to understand the information better. 
  • Dedicated Workflow Builder: Slack’s workflow builder can help you successfully automate routine processes into dedicated workflows.
  • Enterprise-Grade Security: Slack helps to secure the organization’s data at every level. 
  • Easy Identification of Project Keywords: This tool allows the project manager to identify where important project keywords are mentioned and react to them appropriately.

Pros 

  • Encourages sharing vital information and collaboration with ease
  • Socializing and sharing information off-topic help the team bond and become more effective
  • Data security

Cons

  • Shared information and conversations get deleted after 14 days. 
  • Minimum file storage

5. Zoom

Best for Video Conferencing

Zoom.us - Say hello to Zoom One

With Zoom, a technical PM can conveniently organize a video conference call with every team member present, irrespective of where they may be.

Zoom is a video conferencing software that allows the technical PM to rise above the limitations of instant messaging and engage in a one-off video call with the team. This tool improves the individual’s technical project management performance.

Best Features

  • Schedule Meeting: Zoom allows you to properly schedule your meetings and grant your team members access to participate in the meeting.
  • Private Chat: You can send private information to any team member during the meeting without other members being aware of the content of the chat.
  • Phone Calls and Contact Storage: Zoom allows you to make private calls apart from the video call option. You can store relevant contact on the platform for easy access. 
  • Integrates Well With Other PM Tools: Zoom works well with other relevant project management tools to help the technical project manager effectively execute a project. 
  • One-off video conferences: With the video conference feature, you can effectively communicate the project scope, goals, and tasks by sharing your screen and explaining how to carry out technical projects to your team members.

Pros

  • Supports a large audience
  • Free features
  • Google Calendar support.
  • Scaleable for any business size ( small, medium, and large)

Cons 

  • Absence of control in the comment section
  • Inconsistent cloud file size

6. Google Workspace

Best for Google Users

Google Workspace - grow and run your business more efficiently

Google Workspace contains a collection of relevant cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools produced by Google.  

Below are some useful tools from Google Workspace that technical project managers use to enhance productivity. 

Best Features

  • Google Sheet: A cloud-based spreadsheet software that is easy to use and essential for monitoring project plans, storing and manipulating data, and creating in-depth reports about project progress. 
  • Google Docs: A cloud-based word processing software that makes team collaboration, productivity, and creativity easier and more effective. With Google Docs, you can create and distribute project plans, milestones, and product roadmaps and technology roadmaps to keep the team updated about the project process. 
  • Google Drive: A cloud storage and file sharing tool that technical project managers can use to store, organize and distribute files, documents, and digital assets at little cost and easily make them available for team members.

Pros 

  • File sharing. 
  • Backs up files with ease
  • Industry-leading enterprise security
  • Easy admin governance

Cons 

  • Limited storage for a free package
  • Time-consuming

7. Evernote

Best Note-Taking App for Technical Project Managers

Evernote- Tame your work, organize your life

Evernote is a note-taking app that can organize your note to ensure productivity properly. Due to the ease experienced while using this tool, a technical project manager can take advantage of its features to improve work-based productivity.

Best Features

  • Project Organization: Evernote allows technical project managers to effectively organize and group people, information, resources, goals, and tasks for easy execution. 
  • Communication Channels: This online application makes communication seamless and allows project managers and team members to find records of all discussions and decisions when needed.
  • Tracking Clear Deliverables and Milestones: Evernote enables the technical project manager to track tasks, deadlines, and to-dos and ensure every team member stays on task. 
  • Task Reassignment: With this tool, a technical project manager can make necessary adjustments and reassign tasks to ensure that the project aligns with the project plan. 

Pros

  • File security
  • Notebook features
  • Ease of data entry
  • Integration with other third-party applications

Cons 

  • Expensive premium plan

FAQs 

What is the Difference Between a Project Manager and a Technical Project Manager?

The significant difference between a project manager and a technical project manager is that the latter offers technical background knowledge and expertise. On the other hand, a project manager may only have experience in basic project management. 

Typically the major difference is the knowledge in the technical field. 

What Makes a Good Technical Project Manager?

Some basic skills a good technical project manager needs include a proper combination and mastery of hard and soft skills and the ability to remain calm under pressure and solve problems while carrying out project tasks. 

A good technical project manager must have refined coaching and training skills, be an inspiring leader, and use their expertise and industry expertise to improve every aspect of the project. 

How Do You Become a Technical Project Manager?

Becoming a technical project manager requires pursuing a postgraduate course in project management after acquiring background knowledge or a Bachelor’s degree and expertise in a technical field such as Science, Engineering, Computer Science, Technology, and IT.

You can also ask a project manager to let you in on the projects and mentor you on how to function effectively as a technical project manager. 

You can serve as an assistant project manager to learn all the details of the technical project manager’s job description. 

How Much Do Technical Project Managers Earn Per Year?

Technical project manager salary differs based on organization and industry. According to Glassdoor, the average technical project manager’s average salary in the US job market is $120,389 yearly.

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Anastasia Belyh

Editor at FounderJar

Anastasia has been a professional blogger and researcher since 2014. She loves to perform in-depth software reviews to help software buyers make informed decisions when choosing project management software, CRM tools, website builders, and everything around growing a startup business.

Anastasia worked in management consulting and tech startups, so she has lots of experience in helping professionals choosing the right business software.