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Overview of IT Project Management

By Thomas Eklund

I like to handle project management in a goal oriented manner. This applies pretty much to every type of project management, including computer application development.

As much as feasible, I prefer to specify with the customer what we want to achieve and learn about the users needs and wants before I start the application production process. "Feasible" is an important word here - in most cases I continue to explore and learn about the users needs and wants throughout the project development process and may continue to do so after the application installation as well.

However, the information that is collected during the initial business analysis should be sufficient enough, so that I can put together an initial project development plan that is divided into milestones, which contain initial or "default" project development component options, each of which is implemented unless a better alternative is specified.

Further, I like to allocate extra resources (time and labor) to completion of each milestone. During the actual application production processes, the extra resources should be used up only when needed, and as much as I can, I save them and move or "roll them over" from one milestone to another.

This type of an approach provides a structure that helps to reach the project development objectives, leaves room for exploring alternative solutions, and contains flexibility that may be needed for handling unexpected circumstances and problems.

It's not a perfect system or method, but it works pretty well.

This section's articles provide additional information on project management related topics.

  • Leadership, Management and Development: Theory - Identifying how leadership, management and development differ can help to pick project participants and increase the likelihood that project will be successful.
  • Leadership, Management and Development: Personal Experience - Based on personal experience I can say that leadership, management and development task areas can be distributed between different project participants in different ways. Further, it is important that all three task areas are being addressed.
  • Who Should Manage IT Projects, Subject Matter Experts or IT Professionals? - Based on personal experience I can also say that IT professionals, who have hands-on software application development experience and expertise, make better project managers than do subject matter experts, or IT professionals, who do not have hands-on software application development experience and expertise.
  • Optimization Management: Quality, Cost and Schedule - Project participants are better off when they agree upfront, what the priorities should be between the three areas addressed here. For example, when I can, I prefer to optimize the outcome for quality. This, however, can affect cost and schedule.
  • IT Project Problem Areas - Well, the heading says it all. The most typical IT project planning and management problem areas are listed in this article.
  • Running IT Projects Like Small Businesses - I have noticed, that each individual project's management requires addressing the same areas that business management does. However, I myself have also made the mistake of not addressing all of them for all the projects, and that usually has negative consequences.
  • Working with Offshore Partners: Opportunities, Challenges, Cultural Issues - There are some pretty big differences between working with, for example, Eastern European contractors and Indian contractors.

Additional Relevant Resources