Academic Master

Management

The expertise and strategies needed to lead an IT project successfully

A project manager ensures the success of a project. However, the process of becoming a successful IT project manager is not a walk in the park. A good project manager must understand the difference between project management processes, knowledge areas, and skills and behaviors. IT Project managers must have a clear understanding of project management. It is a situation where project managers must initiate, plan, execute, and control the work of a group of people toward achieving some set goals.

Moreover, project management must use various tools, methodologies, techniques, knowledge, and skill sets. The main objective of a project manager is to ensure that the set goals are achieved based on the given constraints. Each project has a starting point and an ending point therefore by nature it is considered temporary. A project in the field of IT has four identified elements.

  • Scope- It involves the size of the project, the goals that the project hopes to achieve, and the requirements for the project
  • Resources- This refers to the tools, materials, equipment, people, workforce, and equipment needed to execute the project.
  • Time-This refers to the duration that the project is supposed to take, the schedule, dependencies, and the critical path.
  • Money-This includes the costs and benefits involved in the project

The scope is the most important element of a project since it also incorporates other elements. Therefore, the scope of a project should be well managed. However, the four elements must be well managed because they are related, and ignoring one can greatly affect the other elements.

Approaches to Project Management

  • Project Planning

Most IT projects fail because of poor decision-making, which leads to expensive resources and costs. This is because the manager did not create a project plan and if he did the plan was not valid or well implemented. Therefore, project plans need to define the activities of a project, as well as its dependencies, tasks, and time frame.

  • Project Goals

This is defined as what the project hopes to achieve. Must incorporate the needs of the people targeted by the project and even stakeholders.

  • Deliverable

This involves the things that the projects want to deliver to the people. Therefore, the deliverables must be in line with the project goals.

  • Project Schedule

Each activity in the project must have a given duration in which it is supposed to be completed and the set resources that need to be used.

It is also necessary for the leader to understand a project life cycle because the project team and project manager have only one thing in common which accomplishes the set objectives of a project. A standard project has to follow the following set of phases: initiation, planning, implementation, and closure.

Initiation Phase

At this point, the objective of a project is identified. Good responses to the said objectives have also been determined. A feasibility study is later conducted to ensure the stated strategies are valid for the project’s goals. Once this is done a project manager is chosen to oversee the project.

Planning Phase

In this phase, the project team develops well-developed strategies to achieve a project’s objectives (House, 2014). All the activities to be done in a project are identified. This includes resources and tasks. This is commonly referred to as scope management. The planning phase mostly involves identifying work to be done, preparing a schedule, and estimating the cost.

Implementation Phase

In this phase activities in a work plan start to be carried out. During this period effective communication, recording, and control is essential to ensure that each operation is carried out within the stipulated time and with said resources.

Closing Phase

This marks the end of the project. It involves the project documents, terminating contracts with suppliers, and releasing the project’s resources.

On the other hand, project managers must possess the following skills to succeed.

Leadership Skills

Leadership skills are essential for every project manager. A leadership skill involves leading a team towards achieving the set goals, coaching others, serving the team, setting visions, and inspiring others. A project manager is supposed to lead from both operational and strategic perspectives. He needs to be the person who will communicate the vision, resolve conflict, evaluate performance, set goals, and make sure team members have space, money, tools, and what it takes to carry out the project activities.

Communication

Another essential project management skill is communicating and being well-understood. Excellent communication is vital for any relationship. Therefore, when a project manager can effectively communicate, he positively impacts the team members and stakeholders.

Planning Skills

Project scheduling is critical to project management. Project managers need to concentrate more on the schedule and monitoring to ensure everything is per the project plan. This makes planning skills essential in project management.

Time Management

A good project manager must be a good time manager he must be able to define how a team will efficiently manage time. He must recognize that only good things can be considered as best. Therefore, they should be given priority. However, he must efficiently learn to suspend essential stuff because of urgent issues. Therefore, he must differentiate between the necessary and best issues.

Risk Management

Project managers are always to blame when projects do not accomplish their goals. People expect that a project manager should be able to foretell whether or not a project will succeed. Also, donors and those who finance the project do not want to lose their money. Therefore, a project manager must be a good risk manager.

In conclusion, a good project manager must create realistic plans to estimate time, effort, and budgets. However, being organized and keeping your workers updated are also vital for the success of a project. The project manager must be well-equipped with the skills to achieve all this.

References

Berg, M. E., & Karlsen, J. T. (2014). How project managers can encourage and develop positive emotions in project teams. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 7(3), 449–472.

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