IT Project Management

Projects vary in size, scope, and duration, involving anywhere from a single individual to thousands of people and spanning from a single day to several years. IT projects specifically utilize hardware, software, and networks to achieve a particular outcome. Examples include:

  • A healthcare network updating its systems to reduce hospital-acquired diseases.
  • Students creating and selling a smartphone application.
  • Development of a driverless car by a company.
  • A college upgrading its technology infrastructure for campus-wide wireless Internet and online access to academic and student services.
  • Implementation of a new system by a company to enhance sales force productivity and customer relationship management across various devices.
  • A television network enabling viewers to vote and provide feedback on programs via social media.
  • Development of a system by a government group to track child immunizations.
  • Creation of standards for environmentally friendly IT by volunteers from worldwide organizations.
  • Consolidation of systems and procedures by a global bank after acquiring other financial institutions.
  • Government-mandated monitoring of air and water pollutants.
  • Integration of information systems into an enterprise resource management approach by a multinational firm.

The diverse job titles within IT reflect the various technologies needed, making communication between professionals challenging. Differences in technical knowledge hinder understanding between specialists, such as hardware experts and database analysts. Similarly, security specialists may struggle to communicate with business analysts. Even within the same job function, individuals may use different technologies, like programmers who work with various programming languages. This diversity poses challenges for project managers in forming versatile teams. Moreover, the rapid evolution of technologies complicates projects, as new advancements can significantly impact project outcomes. Businesses must adapt quickly to these changes to effectively manage and produce IT projects and products.

The planning process group in project management involves various tasks such as defining the project scope, creating the work breakdown structure (WBS), developing the project schedule, and more. In the realm of IT projects, planning holds particular significance. There’s a common adage among those involved in large IT projects: “A dollar invested in planning upfront saves a hundred dollars spent after implementation.” This emphasizes the critical role of planning, as altering a system post-implementation requires substantial effort.

The executing process group is responsible for carrying out the planned activities to complete the project work. Its primary goal is to deliver the actual project work. For instance, in an IT project involving new hardware, software, and training, executing processes would involve leading the team to purchase hardware, develop software, and conduct training sessions. This group typically requires the most resources and should overlap with other process groups.