Top 3 Skills Cybersecurity Project Managers Rely On
When people ask me about my experience as a project manager in cybersecurity one of the first things that come to mind is that I have been fortunate to work on some of the most exciting projects. And it has been a learning experience for me every time.
I wasn’t always in cybersecurity and I like to tell the story of what brought me to Exabeam. Credit goes to my coworker at the time for calling me about an opportunity at this up-and-coming cybersecurity company. I immediately researched Exabeam and learned it was making waves in the security industry. Women in cybersecurity are underrepresented and I saw it as a challenge to do something I hadn’t done before.
There was a lot of learning and it took me a few months to understand all of the cybersecurity lingo. I signed up for a bootcamp on my first week to understand more about the product. The more I understood the product—I wouldn’t say the easier it got—the better I was able to bring my project management skills to help the customer even more. Here’s the top skills I’ve had to use in my career and I wanted to share them with you.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
There are so many skills that a project manager needs, if I were to count them it would be more like 15—or even 20 important skills. But the top skill is, of course, communication. It’s very important that you know how to communicate internally to your team and externally to the customer.
Lead your team
The other critical skill is leadership because you’ve got to be able to lead your team and guide the customer. Project managers are leaders. If you don’t lead your team, they won’t follow, and then you can’t get the project done on time.
You must be versatile as a project manager, and be able to be fluid on the day to day activities. it takes on leading projects. So, communication and leadership are important. Projects will have issues and challenges, and you have to have that mindset that you are a problem solver. Being able to pivot and then solve the issue for a customer, or to know where to go to get the answer is important.
Solve the problem at hand
The third one, and for me personally, it’s about the ability to solve problems.
A project manager is essentially a problem solver and you often need to take it as far as you can. Frequently you’re managing laterally, you’re managing up, you’re managing down, and you have to be able to see the big picture and then drill down into the immediate things that need attention and prioritize the rest. The end goal is to try to achieve the positive result you need to achieve for that customer or that situation.
Skills to build on
Many people know you need hard skills to be a project manager, but there are soft skills that are equally important. If you don’t have those soft skills, it makes managing projects difficult no matter what industry you’re in.
For example, leadership is a soft skill because you can manage, or you can lead. Teamwork is a soft skill. Your worth ethic is another one. How do you work? Do you tell the truth when you create your status report?
Interpersonal skills, relationship management and flexibility are important, too. These are skills you can learn, but it’s easier if you recognize them as necessary for the job.
To be a great project manager, you need to have technical (hard) skills, of course, but soft skills are very important because it will help you maneuver and build relationships to be a truly great project manager.
Learn more about empowerment at Exabeam
We strive to support and empower the women of Exabeam, as well as women in the technology community at large, with career development, education and personal growth opportunities. Learn more about our ExaGals program.
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