Is it normal to start to lose your IT skills when transitioning to a PM or EM?

N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
I was just wondering if any of you all have ever experienced this.

On one side of the token I am learning a ton about Project Management, Service Transition, Business requirements, deliverables, etc.

Then on the other side I am seriously losing a lot of my technical skills. I am consistently in high level meetings working with management, stakeholders, and other consultants. We are always discussing design and transition. Along with those mentioned, business requirements and other service level documentation. By the time I get out of the meetings and step back into tech world I am not effective technically. However, like I said earlier I am gaining a ton of knowledge in the other parts of IT service.

Anyone ever gone through this type of career metamorphosis???


  • millworxmillworx Posts: 290Member
    I have not experienced this personally since I am not a manager. ButI feel this is most likely the case. My direct manager was an engineer for close to twenty years, but after being a manager for the past 7 years he's lost a lot of the nitty gritty stuff. While he still knows all the terminology and the concepts behind everything and a high level grasp of how everything works, a lot changes configuration wise, hardware wise etc. Not to mention if you dont use it you lose it.

    This is my biggest fear about eventually becoming a manager. I love working networking gear, learning new things. If I get out of management, how much of that low level knowlege will I retain? Not to mention with all the command changes etc that can happen over years. So I dont think I would ever want to make that transition personally.
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  • MickQMickQ Posts: 628Member
    Depending on how long away from doing things, yes you will lose it. It's just like the old adage - use it or lose it.
  • NOC-NinjaNOC-Ninja Posts: 1,403Member
    i know some PM and directors that used to be CCNP's. They dunno how to troubleshoot anymore. it happens since they dont stay updated w/ technology.
  • HypntickHypntick Posts: 1,451Member
    Talked to my bosses boss about this actually. He's got quite a few certs and broad range of experience under his belt. However he's been losing it since he's doing management now for so long. Not to say that he doesn't know his stuff, was taking a CEH class not that long ago, but he's not as current as he'd like to be. I'm torn myself actually, I know that PM and other management can get you paid pretty well, but i'd also like to keep my hands dirty. Then again i've got a few years before I can even worry about it.
    WGU BS:IT Completed June 30th 2012.
    WGU MS:ISA Completed October 30th 2013.
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    Thanks for the replies. Just was trying to get a feel for things.

    I just feel helpless sometimes when a tech ask me a question and I forget the answer lol.
  • NinjaBoyNinjaBoy Posts: 968Member
    In my own experience "Yes", the more I develop and concentrate on the management path, the less I use my technical skills.

    Even though I am more technicially certificated, my senior tech is already starting to surpass me in some technical areas (I'd never tell him that though :) ).

  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,597Mod Mod
    Management sucks up a lot of time. In a lot of cases it's a given that you will fall behind on new technology and forget some of the stuff you could do with one hand tied and your eyes closed. I know someone who used to be a Network Admin and now has a hard time troubleshooting the most routine Win 7 issues.

    At my old job I got a glimpse of this as they exposed me to a management position. I absolutely hated it and knew right there that at this point in my career management is not my thing. I feel I have so much more to learn, thing that would never happen if I transitioned to a manager role. There's always a price to pay.
  • earweedearweed Posts: 5,192Member
    You'll unoubtably lose some of your technical savvy but just remember that as an IT manager or PM you'll be looking at more of the "big picture" and try to use common sense as much as possible. A lot of the projects where I'm working are lagging behind or at standstills because the PMs in charge just haven't got a clue about managing.
    I'm sure you'll do OK as you transition and the fact that you're worried about losing your technical chops shows you'll probably make a good manager.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
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