IT project management faces additional challenges compared to other disciplines. These can be summed up by the “first-time, first-use penalty” – it is impossible to determine the costs of undertaking something new for the first time. This is a fundamental principle of IT management. Along with hardware, software and firmware, an IT system is also impacted by the data it manages and the users engaged with it.
Even for something as routine as updating security software, the specific environment in which it’s being done presents unexpected factors. Advances in technology during the course of the project can introduce new issues, as well. Because of this, risk identification and mitigation are among the most valuable skills an IT team can have; identifying and approaching the first-time, first-use penalty is a subject that impacts all points of the project timeline.
What is an IT Project?
IT projects include any sort of project that utilizes or aims to develop information technology or infrastructure, whether as a product that a company is developing for a client or customer base or as an internal project to facilitate an organization’s other goals.
As information technology advances and becomes more relevant to our society and economy, businesses and other organizations increasingly must consider the IT projects they will face, even if their primary goals do not involve IT development. For businesses that don’t have dedicated, in-house IT professionals, hiring consultants, project managers and coordinators is vital to staying relevant.
IT Project Management Methodology
As defined by the PMI, “A methodology is a system of practices, techniques, procedures, and rules used by those who work in a discipline.” IT project managers, such as at ETS, operate by way of these frameworks, using them as guidelines to approach the complexities of IT projects.
Even though each system and scenario differs, these methodologies enable teams to smartly allocate resources, time and expertise to accomplish goals. There is no universal methodology that fits every project, but identifying a good methodology and being able to tune it as necessary is the mark of a successful IT project manager and team. Some management teams may develop their own methodologies, too, based on a mixture of “best practices” among industry standards.
Typical IT Project Management Activities
Many of the key aspects of IT project management line up with project management in other disciplines. Activities that an IT project manager typically takes on include:
- Engaging with the client to gather information on project objectives, requirements, and expectations, then assessing whether the project can be reasonably completed
- Identifying the scope of the project, as well as establishing a budget and schedule
- Assigning tasks and resources and setting project milestones
- Producing documentation and/or deliverables as the project progresses
- Risk identification and management, including changes to the schedule and costs as necessary
- Facilitating communication between team members and with the client
- Measuring and reviewing project results, both during and at the conclusion of the project
- Assessing the final results and communicating them with the client, then deploying the project
- Providing post-deployment support as necessary
IT Project Management System
IT project management system that perfectly fits every project. However, a good system is flexible and scalable, able to be utilized for various project scopes and compatible with multiple methodologies, rather than having a single one built in. It should also account for all stages of project management and not just the execution. Additionally, it should be easy to use, facilitating collaboration rather than interfering with it.
Enterprise Technology Services provides the professional expertise, developed methodology and management tools to help companies achieve their goals. Contact us to learn more and see what we can do for your next IT project.