IT Meets Project Management

Today our project managers must have knowledge on how to deliver timely, cost effective and productive projects, while being able to communicate the important IT related segments of the project to upper management. IT “lingo” can hinder the performance of a project simply because half the players understand what’s going on and the other half are lost in the terminology. Communication is a major part of PM and in order to effectively deliver a project involving an IT infrastructure, the PM must know the basic IT concepts to keep up. You can’t manage something you don’t understand, if PM’s have no idea what their administrators and programmers are doing. How can you effectively estimate slack time or critical pathways through projects without understanding the big picture? For example, the slack time on a project can be a good indicator of where in the project you have some extra time to play around with. The only way to estimate that time and plan for it, is to have reasonable assurance that you know the aspects of the task and how much, or how little, time it will take to complete it.

Project managers have to be able to address what is a database, what software do we need, do we have a team to create it, what constraints does our current IT structure place upon the project. This is an issue because there are more than just a few IT related projects being planned and implemented every day. PM’s with years of experience under their belt are now getting left behind because they are not IT savvy. Without knowing the details of how IT works within a project, you cannot manage it.

Having a clear understanding of IT within projects is a key way to avoid introducing IT related risks into the company. IT failures lead to expenses and costly business loss, such as compromised data, data loss, security issues or even something as simple as down time. This is one more reason the IT department is a crucial part of managing a project and keeping it cost effective. Often times the IT department will have problems communicating impossibilities within a project leading to costly consequences.

One popular IT infrastructure that has become very widespread is the cloud. So many companies have found the cloud more efficient and a better option due to the pricing, it is much cheaper than having to maintain and plan for your housing you own servers. Another example if RFID, although not as popular, RFID can be used for a variety of innovative business projects such as tracking inventory or marketing and advertising. Technology can also be used to bridge the gap of international incompatibility. There are numerous reason global companies struggle to find a business model that serves in the U.S. as well as overseas due to cultural, technological and legal differences.

The proper management of these projects is crucial to their success. Good management requires someone who is knowledgeable in the area (IT) and can be a good communicator as well, keeping upper management on the same page with the rest of the business. Ideally this will allow them to accomplish their business objective’s cost effectively and efficiently.

How important is IT becoming for business? Do you agree we need IT project managers to specifically address the implementation of more complex IT projects? Do project managers need so much insight into a project, maybe we are ok allowing IT to just keep PM’s in the loop?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *