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Getting Started as an IT Project Manager

I decided this year to come up with a 6 part series to explain what IT project management is about. This write-up will particularly be beneficial to anyone aspiring for a career in this path. In this 6 part series, I have addressed most of the questions I have gotten from people as well as other questions I believe will be beneficial to all aspiring IT PMs.

Part 1: What is Project Management and how is IT Project Manager unique from project management in other industries.

In the section, I discuss project management in general citing the concepts portrayed in the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide. I further explained how these concepts are applied to IT projects and why IT projects are considered unique and therefore more complex than project management in other industries.

Part 2: Examples of business cases for the implementation of IT projects

In this section, I discuss in detail five of the thousands of business cases for the implementation of IT projects in an organization. As we all aware, most business endeavors are geared towards one thing which is profitability. This section discusses how these five IT projects will ultimately improve the bottom-line of the organization implementing them. Keeping the end in mind has been known to motivate teams and individuals to succeed while implementing IT projects.

Part 3: Your Team roles and responsibilities

In this section, I discuss the importance of recognizing the skill sets, roles, and responsibilities that should be present on a team to deliver an IT project successfully. I discuss most if not all the roles and responsibilities of the team members delivering an IT project. As an IT project manager, your ability to recognize the role gaps in your team and raise red flags when any is lacking could make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful project.

Part 4: End to End: Different phases of a sample fictional IT project.

In this section, I discuss the different phases of a fictional IT project. I have used a fictional project name for this project because I am not at liberty to disclose client information. However, note that the different phases discussed in the section were used in most of my software development and implementation projects. This will give you an idea of the different processes that go into delivering a successful project from conception, design to Go live (release to the business end-users)

Part 5: Technology is important, but more important is its alignment to the business goals and end-users.

In this section, I discuss the importance of ensuring IT projects are aligned with the organization’s business goals and that key stakeholder’s sentiments are considered throughout the process. This section also further explains various ways of avoiding this pitfall.

Part 6: Required skillsets to successfully lead IT projects.

Finally, I wrote this section in response to those who are curious about the required skillsets, certifications, or knowledge is needed to be an effective IT Project Manager. I have broken down the requirements into 3 sections and elaborated on them. These 5 parts are business acumen; facilitation and presentation skills; technology domain knowledge; PM best practices, method, process; and PM tools.

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