That is why, in the present article we are going to fully cover the topic of IT project management by answering the following

– What is IT project management?

– What are the 6 phases of IT project management?

– Which are the main IT project management methodologies?

– 4 tips to execute IT project management effectively.

So, let’s start with the principal term.

What Is IT Project Management?

IT project management is the process of planning, developing, managing and implementing a project related to an information technology (IT) issue.

It is applied for the execution of daily tasks of any IT professional e.g. MSPs, IT risk managers, app developers, software engineers, information and communication technicians, etc.

Although it bears some basic similarities with general project management, IT project management involves the resolution of much more complex issues standing as a skill that necessitates specialised practice and knowledge.

That is why, it is worth looking at the project management process in more detail by analysing the 6 phases of IT project management and the IT project management methodology.

What Are the 6 Phases of IT Project Management?

The 6 phases of IT project management merely coincide with the phases of general project management.

Phase #1: Initiation

The initiation phase includes the determination of whether the project is needed and the identification of the project proposal.

In this context, the IT team must assess the feasibility of the project in terms of timing, resources, difficulty level and skill set needed for its execution.

Phase #2: Planning

After the plan has been considered feasible, all specifications are outlined at the planning phase.

These specifications may refer to the finalisation of project objectives, the determination of subtasks, the assignation of subtasks to a particular professional or group of professionals, and the decision-making over budgeting issues.

Phase #3: Design

Next, the design process involves the arrangement of each individual action needed for the implementation of the project.

More often than not, an IT team must consider multiple solutions for a project and, thus, design the process of each solution available. Only in this way can the suitable solutions be found for each case at hand.

Phase #4: Development

In the development phase, all necessary logistics are set.

On the one hand, IT professionals equip themselves with the right necessary IT “materials” meaning either hardware components or software programmes. On the other hand, they ensure the necessary organisational means for the implementation of the plan, such as the IT project management tools we will be mentioning below.

Phase #5: Implementation

After all the above preparatory steps, the implementation phase aims at the delivery of the project.

All IT members execute the tasks assigned, record their progress, report any issues occurred and make any adjustments required on the spot.

The success of the implementation of the project heavily depends on the deliberate execution of the previous phases that help IT professionals to prevent possible hindrances on the process of the project delivery.

Phase #6: Wrap-up

Just as importantly, IT teams should pay attention to the phase following the implementation of the project: the wrap-up phase.

At this stage, IT should provide any support related to the project, e.g. configuration, installation, end-user training or problem-solving.

This not only benefits the client of the IT team either in-house or outsourced but also the team itself by serving as a “how-to” guide for future instances.

Moving onwards, let’s look at the second factor that renders IT project management special: methodology.

Which Are the Main IT Project Management Methodologies?

At this part, we will be segregating the methodologies followed for IT project management in 3 categories.

Methodology #1: Waterfall methodology

The most traditional methodology of IT project management is waterfall methodology.

The waterfall approach involves mapping the steps of a project in linear sequence meaning that IT professionals move to a task only after the previous one has been dealt with. This kind of “movement” from the previous or higher task to the next or lower one imitates the motion of a waterfall.

However, such an approach effectively adapts only to IT projects whose steps can be defined separately without overlapping. Therefore, it becomes obvious that it cannot respond to the requirements of modern IT issues with higher complexity.

Methodology #2: Agile methodology

Because of the “rigidity” of waterfall methodology, agile methodology has gained ground.

Agile methods get implemented through the use of specific project management softwares that allow multiple branchings and directions of the IT project path.

For example, they allow tree-shaped project management paths, the duplication of tasks, moving both forwards or backwards and pivoting throughout the IT project.

Great examples of agile methodology are the systems Scrum, Kanban or lean methodology.

More specifically, lean methodology stands as a special branch of agile methodology focusing on implementing IT projects with the least amount of resources, time and steps needed.

The aim of lean methodology is to complete a project that will satisfy the customer’s need without overdelivering or exploring unnecessary alternatives.

Methodology #3: Hybrid methodology

Nonetheless, most modern IT teams apply a hybrid model combining waterfall and agile methodology.

Hybrid methodology enables both the simplicity of waterfall methodology for straightforward IT projects and the versatility of agile methodology for more laborious ones.

Having concluded with the last category of IT project management methodologies, let’s proceed to a more practical issue; what does one need to execute IT project management effectively?

4 Tips to Execute IT Project Management Effectively

Although each professional handles IT issues of a different nature, the following 4 tips can contribute to any IT project management process.

Tip #1: Get to know IT project management methodologies

As an IT expert, you should get accustomed with the different IT project management methodologies there are in order to set out a project. Each approach differs from the others and suits projects with a special set of requirements and complexity.

Therefore, you must be prepared to answer “what methodology do I apply?” and “when do I apply it?”.

Tip #2: Familiarise yourself with the use of IT project management softwares

At the same time, modern times call for modern solutions. The characteristics of contemporary IT and IT projects necessitate tools that can ensure their quick and efficient resolution.

These kinds of tools come in the form of specialised IT project management softwares or general project management softwares that adapt to the nature of IT issues.

Jira, Asana, and are some of the most commonly used programmes for IT project management integrating a variety of features that cover IT professionals’ needs.

Tip #3: Gain experience

Another important factor to consider is whether you have enough experience in IT project management.

It is necessary to jump into opportunities through which you may acquire practical knowledge on the IT project management process. These may include accepting a professional offer for a project assistant role, initiating and managing your own IT project or taking part in workshops where you are tasked to deliver a final IT project.

Tip #4: Acquire IT skills

Finally, yet importantly, managing an IT project requires that you have the appropriate IT skills to analyse and deal with the IT issue at hand.

You must ensure that you have the appropriate skill set to understand the project you have been assigned and, thus, to effectively set out the phases for its execution.

Your skill set should not only pertain to the general use of IT, but also to specialised knowledge needed to resolve specific IT issues or handle specific programs.

For example, if you are tasked with deploying a data breach prevention and compliance system within the IT infrastructure of a business, you should have acquired a very good understanding of identifying possible sources of such breaches and the methods of ensuring information security, e.g. with appropriate hardware or software installation.

Οne way to achieve that is by participating in specialised IT training programs, such as those offered by Orthology.

Orthology offers specialised hands-on training that can be fully customised, according to your IT project or solution requirements.

It aims at IT or network administrators that wish to familiarise themselves with the configuration, administration and the provision of support relating to the applied solution (apps, softwares, devices, etc.)

Our certified engineers and technicians guide you through the process of gaining the appropriate IT skills, as well as consulting you on how to adopt potential IT improvements yourself.

Therefore, if you wish to further specialise in IT and make use of your skills in IT project management, don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about the support we can offer!