What is a Project manager?
A project manager is the person responsible for
accomplishing the project objectives. Key project management responsibilities
defining and communicating project objectives that are
clear, useful and attainable
procuring the project requirements like workforce, required
information, various agreements and material or technology needed to accomplish
managing the constraints of the project management triangle,
which are cost, time, scope and quality
A project manager is a client representative and has to
determine and implement the exact needs of the client, based on knowledge of
the organization they are representing. An expertise is required in the domain
the Project Managers are working to efficiently handle all the aspects of the
project. The ability to adapt to the various internal procedures of the client
and to form close links with the nominated representatives, is essential in
ensuring that the key issues of cost, time, quality and above all, client
satisfaction, can be realized.
IT Project Manager
IT Project Management generally falls into two categories,
namely Software (Development) Project Manager and Infrastructure Project
Software Project Manager
A Software Project Manager has many of the same skills as
their counterparts in other industries. Beyond the skills normally associated
with traditional project management in industries such as construction and
manufacturing, a software project manager will typically have an extensive
background in software development. Many software project managers hold a
degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, Management of Information
Systems or another related field.
In traditional project management a heavyweight, predictive
methodology such as the waterfall model is often employed, but software project
managers must also be skilled in more lightweight, adaptive methodologies such
as DSDM, Scrum and XP. These project management methodologies are based on the
uncertainty of developing a new software system and advocate smaller,
incremental development cycles. These incremental or iterative cycles are time
boxed (constrained to a known period of time, typically from one to four weeks)
and produce a working subset of the entire system deliverable at the end of
each iteration. The increasing adoption of lightweight approaches is due
largely to the fact that software requirements are very susceptible to change,
and it is extremely difficult to illuminate all the potential requirements in a
single project phase before the software development commences.
The software project manager is also expected to be familiar
with the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). This may require in depth
knowledge of requirements solicitation, application development, logical and
physical database design and networking. This knowledge is typically the result
of the aforementioned education and experience. There is not a widely accepted
certification for software project managers, but many will hold the Project
Management Professional (PMP) designation offered by the Project Management
Institute, PRINCE2 or an advanced degree in project management, such as a MSPM
or other graduate degree in technology management.
IT Infrastructure Project Management
An infrastructure IT PM is concerned with the nuts and bolts
of the IT department, including computers, servers, storage, networking, and
such aspects of them as backup, business continuity, upgrades, replacement, and
growth. Often, a secondary data center will be constructed in a remote location
to help protect the business from outages caused by natural disaster or
weather. Recently, cyber security has become a significant growth area within
IT infrastructure management.
The infrastructure PM usually has an undergraduate degree in
engineering or computer science, with a master’s degree in project management
required for senior level positions. Along with the formal education, most
senior level PMs are certified, by the Project Management Institute, as a
Project Management Professional. PMI also has several additional certification
options, but PMP is by far the most popular.
Infrastructure PMs are responsible for managing projects
that have budgets from a few thousand dollars up to many millions of dollars.
They must understand the business and the business goals of the sponsor and the
capabilities of the technology in order to reach the desired goals of the
project. The most difficult part of the infrastructure PM’s job may be this
translation of business needs / wants into technical specifications.
Oftentimes, business analysts are engaged to help with this requirement. The
team size of a large infrastructure project may run into several hundred
engineers and technicians, many of whom have strong personalities and require
strong leadership if the project goals are to be met.
Due to the high operations expense of maintaining a large
staff of highly skilled IT engineering talent, many organizations outsource
their infrastructure implementations and upgrades to third party companies.
Many of these companies have strong project management organizations with the
ability to not only manage their clients projects, but to also generate high
quality revenue at the same time.
The Project Manager is accountable for ensuring that
everyone on the team knows and executes his or her role, feels empowered and
supported in the role, knows the roles of the other team members and acts upon
the belief that those roles will be performed. The specific responsibilities
of the Project Manager may vary depending on the industry, the company size,
the company maturity, and the company culture. However, there are some
responsibilities that are common to all Project Managers, noting:
- Developing the project plans
- Managing the project stakeholders
- Managing communication
- Managing the project team
- Managing the project risks
- Managing the project schedule
- Managing the project budget
- Managing the project conflicts
- Managing the project delivery