What is IT Project Management?

IT Project Management

Project management can be defined as the “application of processes, methods, skills, knowledge and experience to achieve specific project objectives according to the project acceptance criteria within agreed parameters.”

The technology industry has rapidly advanced and to some extent, become an essential part of almost every business. This has resulted in a larger demand for individuals who can assist businesses with achieving their IT goals through planning and execution. We find IT project management skills are required in almost every sector, whether that’s a cyber security project manager in the financial services industry, or a project management professional specialising in software development for the retail space.

Whether an individual is undertaking a contract project management job or permanent position, they will carry out many different tasks that may include:

  • Development of different software and apps
  • Planning and expansion of the initial project idea
  • Assessing analytics and other key results
  • Maintaining the project schedule and budget
  • Understanding all technology services
  • Collaborating with all colleagues, shareholders and executive leaders
 
The key skills of an IT project manager:

In IT project management, it is a necessity for the individual to possess a complex set of technical and soft skills. The expertise necessary to become a successful project manager can be broken down into three categories.

Project management methodologies: A project manager should understand the different approaches and frameworks within project management. Recognising the different methodologies is important in order to successfully complete a project. These might include:

  • Agile
  • Scrum
  • Kanban
  • Lean

Project management processes: In order to effectively complete a project, the PM will direct the project through the lifecycle, this is usually broken down into five stages: initiating, planning, executing, performance monitoring and closing. The project management professional will understand the importance of identifying project stakeholders, budgeting, creating tasks and eventually analysing the project performance.

Technical IT skills: The individual must be aware of all technical jargon, hardware and software. This can include security, systems, cloud computing and programming. Knowledge of agile project management tools such as Gantt Charts or Kanban Boards can also come as a benefit to the Project Manager, as it can help dictate the order in which the project will be completed. There may be other technical skills needed, however, this depends very much on the project and what is necessary at the time.

In order for the project to become a success, there is usually a five step process that the project manager will follow:

The 5 step process to Project Management:
  1. Project Initiation- This is to understand and specify the project. It can begin with a business case. Sometimes the project manager will conduct research around the case, to familiarise themselves with every aspect of the project before the planning stage.
  2. Project Planning- The planning process is pivotal to a successful project. Creating a roadmap will ensure the team understands what they need to do at different stages and what is expected of them. Traditionally, the project manager will set goals so that they can be met at the end of the project.
  3. Project Execution- During this phase, the team decide on what they will cover and what targets they are going to meet.
  4. Project Performance and Monitoring- This process allows the project manager to assess progress and whether the targets are being hit via the use of key performance indicators.
  5. Project Close- Once everything in the project has been completed, the project manager will generally call for a meeting to evaluate its successes and failures. This includes what went well and what they can work on in the future.

 

There is no doubt that IT project management has its challenges, whether it be a lack of employees, budget constraints or the absence of accountability. However, with the utilisation of organisation, confidence and great leadership skills, IT project management professionals can have a significant impact on a business, meeting its IT goals and wider business objectives.

As a successful project management recruitment agency, we understand the importance of identifying these key skills and working with our clients to secure the perfect candidates. If you are interested in learning about the recruitment services we provide to the IT project management industry, please click here.

 

 

 

 

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