Defining IT Project Management and Its Importance for Project Success

With the rapid growth of business IT, companies are implementing IT projects faster than ever. Back in 2019, Business Standard reported that the average number of AI projects alone would grow 9x. Therefore, it’s critical every IT project needs strong IT project management.

Many other projects such as cybersecurity, equipment upgrades, moving to the cloud, or even office moves have also become more important in recent times. That’s why it’s so shocking to learn that, according to a 2017 Project Management Institute study, 14% of IT projects fail, 31% don’t meet their goals, 49% are late, and 43% exceed their budgets.

With such bleak statistics, it’s clear that every significant IT project needs skilled management from experienced IT project managers. When we talk to clients about IT Project Management, we are often asked to describe exactly what it entails.

What is IT Project Management?

IT project management (ITPM) is the successful oversight and control of IT projects in an organization. The goal of IT project management is efficiently meeting an organization’s IT goals.

Unlike many other business projects, most executives understand the importance of having a dedicated and qualified IT project manager. This person will be accountable for the resources, timeline, and success of all technical implementation.

However, almost everyone fails to understand just how much discrepancy lies between the technical, business, and finished-product side of the project. It’s not uncommon to find users who don’t really understand what they need. Or, just as troublesome, IT experts who have no idea how to manage a project, and products users simply won’t use.

ITPM has to marry all these facets to ensure project success. At its core, successful IT project management is about creating order out of chaos.

How to Leverage ITPM For Successful IT Projects

A formal, structured plan for IT project management ensures success by preventing failure. Most IT projects fail due to avoidable problems such as:

  • Unclear goals
  • Communication breakdown
  • Vague or missing project requirements
  • Unclear goals and objectives
  • Lack of planning
  • Lack of project visibility
  • Expanding scope, eventually causing unrealistic demands on the project

These problems are more effectively countered by using an appropriate project management methodology. Among the nine common ones, the Waterfall methodology is probably the most popular.

The Waterfall methodology, which evolved from the Software Development Life Cycle, is mostly preferred because it is simple, ensures solid planning, and makes it much easier to deal with inflexible organizational structures.

This methodology mandates that project requirements are defined in full at the beginning, and work then cascades to each team in phases. After the initial plan is approved, the project’s scope and budget are fixed while the timeline might retain some flexibility.

Regardless of the methodology used, IT project management ensures success by defining each stage, the requirements for each phase, estimating the resources needed, and creating oversight and visibility. Most importantly, ITPM calls for a skilled, professional project manager.

Project managers receive critical training that helps to standardize project management processes. Important tasks such as team management, resource allocation, communication, and reporting must be maintained throughout the project, which only a skilled PM can enforce.

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