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What is IT Project Management?

Article Details
  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 18 February 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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IT project management describes the entire process of planning, organizing, and managing an information technology (IT) project from beginning to end. This term is used to represent a special skill that can be obtained through post-secondary education and training. The project manager is responsible for leading a team of subject matter experts, software, infrastructure and hardware specialist to complete a specific task.

In information technology, the skills required for any type of project are distributed across several different roles. The depth and breadth of information required to be a professional in information technology prevents any one person from holding all the knowledge. The type of professional required varies depending on the project requirements, time lines, and complexity.

There are four major roles in IT project management: management, SMEs (subject matter experts), business analyst, and technical expertise. All four are required to add their contributions to the project, sharing knowledge and experience with the group to help achieve the common goal. The effectiveness of the team is determined by their ability to meet project milestones on time and to complete the project as required.

The project manager is responsible for controlling the budget, time line, resources, and communication. He is expected to meet with senior management or project sponsors to provide updates on the project status and communicate any decision that needs to be made during the project. The appropriate allocation of resources, managing staff and ensuring continual progress is made forms the bulk of the project manager’s day.

SMEs are also known as business process owners. They are employed full time working in their area of expertise, and participate in the IT project management process to provide important information, guidance, and testing. They are usually the end user of the process, so it is very important that they are deeply involved in the project right at the beginning.

The business analyst plays a very important role in IT project management. They are responsible for documenting the current process, designing the proposed or re-engineered process, coordinating the changes, testing, training, and communication with the end users. A skilled business analyst is required to use business process modeling software and provide valuable insight into best practices and the options available, while supporting the project.

Technical expertise is a term used to describe a wide range of information technology professionals. This may include hardware, software, and infrastructure staff. It is the responsibility of the project manager to determine which resources are required during the project and to ensure they have all the information required to complete their tasks in an efficient, effective manner.

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