The Importance of Having (at Least a Little) Technical Knowledge
I’ve often asked myself, does coming from a technical background—or making the effort to learn technical concepts—help you while managing and delivering projects, especially from offshore locations (where the project life cycle is pretty much around design, development and testing)?
I decided to research this, reading many articles on the topic and comparing it with my own experience in the industry. There are a variety of opinions, but most articles mentioned that it depends on the organization and what the expectations are from the project manager. Here are my tips, with some simple examples to show how much it helps to know technology basics:
1. Prioritize and plan better: As a PM, you may think a task is easy, but the developer mentions that it’s complex—and thus may lead to under/overestimating. By knowing technical basics, you can judge for yourself, too—helping you to plan and prioritize better. For example, you may think a task to remove white spaces on an HTML page is easy—but the developer explains you will run into alignment issues. If you understand these technical aspects, it will help you better plan for the task.
2. Balance between actual vs. expected estimates: Knowing technical basics allows you to review estimates with greater precision. You can suggest adjustments and plan
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