Management is important in almost every field, from marketing or business to IT projects. Find out how to perform successful IT Project Management and what you should focus on.
First, let's answet the question: What is an IT project?
An IT project is a type of project that is connected to infrastructure, information systems and computers. IT projects are often involved with web development, software development, database management, etc. Basically it covers all the topics related to information technology.
That leads to another question: What exactly is IT project management?
IT project management defines all the elements that need to be done in order to make a service or product a success. That means planning, scheduling and monitoring of all IT projects. What is important, IT project managers often have to deal with issues, such as risk, necessary software updates, etc. That is why IT projects require slightly different skills and management tools in comparison with typical projects.
The six phases of an IT project are based on the six phases of project management, which are used in conjunction with the IT phases to manage the project. The phases are:
The first phase is responsible for defining why is the project needed, and more specifically what are it's objectives. After that, we create a project proposal, which includes a written business plan, that has to meet the main needs of the project.
After the project proposal approval, we go to the definition phase, in which all the objectives of the project are being finalized along with all of project requirements being idetified. We can also outine the project scope and create a plan. In this phase, it is also common to set budgets and determine resources.
The third phase - design, happens when the team sits together and finds the way to achieve their set goal. Design phase is full of creating different designs and prototypes and choosing the one that fits the project best.
Next phase is development. It begins when the development team has assigned all the tasks and selected project management tools that they will be using. This phase focuses on making the plan very clear, so it can help avoid issues in the next phase, which is implementation.
When the final deliverable of the project is developed, we are in the implementation phase. The project team is now ready to comlete their tasks and IT project manager is there to monitor their work, having control of the project: recources, cost, risks and quality.
The team is done with the implementation and the final project is delivered to the client or stakeholder. Now starts the follow up phase, which includes setting up support team, training to end-users and finally, ending the project.
Most IT projects are managed with a traditional, waterfall methodology. An agile framework however, enables to minimize risk and increase functionality.
An IT project manager is responsible for overseeing an organization’s IT department and managing teams to run IT projects efficiently - on time and within budget. Some of IT project manager tasks are:
Setting project goals and creating plans
Maintaining the project schedule and budget
Assigning tasks to team members
Developing strategy to deliver projects on time and within budget
Using IT project management tools to track progress and performance
Leading regular meetings with team and stakeholders
IT project managers should have advanced knowledge of operating systems and network administration. They also should have well-developed communication skills and be able to explaing technical issues in a clear and undertstandable way. Other required skill is good scheduling, budget setting and planning.
A visual tool to organize tasks in essential for IT teams. It helps them with prioritizing, being up to date and later on - successful delivery of the project.
There are many ways to manage an IT project, though some of the elements are quiet universal. Take a look at some of the essential elements of IT management:
Before even starting the project, you need to define its scope, create a budget and find out what are the stakeholder's requirements. It all needs to be written down and attached to the particular project file.
Once you've collected the project's requirements, you can start creating a team. What you should focus on is choosing people with accurate skills and experience for the project.
Use a kanban board to keep control over the workflow during the project.
The project need to be monitored, to make sure, that it goas according to the plan.
Projects are ever-changing. When the stakeholders require certain changes, you and your team need to apply them.
During the project, it is important to track the progress and keep both your team and stakeholders updated.
As you can see, IT project management is similar to regular project management, yet it requires specific skills and tools, that are characteristic for software development. Therefore being an IT project manager requires knowledge about infrastructure and web development. To practice those skills and increase your knowledge about IT management, sign up for one of our training in IT service management field and become a successfull leader.
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