What is an IT project manager? Everything you need to know about project management and where it goes next

Starting Out in Project Management is your essential guide to the basics of project management. Written for anyone new to projects or wishing to progress their career as a project professional ‘Starting Out’ charts the journey of the APM project life cycle, from concept through to delivery and handover. But to be a highly effective as a project manager, you must be a strategic business partner fully vested in organizational success, and you must be able to roll with inevitable setbacks. Rosy, despite the rise of automation and continued changes in working practices. Research by the Project Management Institute and Anderson Economic Group expects growth in demand of 33% through 2027, or nearly 22 million new jobs. By this time, employers will need nearly 88 million individuals in project management-oriented roles.

what is a project manager

When it comes to working as a project manager in the IT industry, there are numerous potential entry points. There’s a strong chance you’re already working in IT and the experience you’ve gained – maybe as a developer, project coordinator or as a business analyst – has given you a taste for developing a career in full-time IT project management. Project managers can add qualifications in a methodlogy like PRINCE2 to develop a foundation in IT project management skills. Projects are separate from business-as-usual activities and occur when an organisation wants to deliver a solution to set requirements within an agreed budget and timeframe. Projects require a team of people to come together temporarily to focus on specific project objectives. When a large IT company acquires smaller companies, a key part of the project manager’s job is to integrate project team members from various backgrounds and instill a sense of group purpose about meeting the end goal.

Lean Project Management

When managing a project with this approach, the goal is similar to that of the lean enterprise production principle. The only resources that will be used on the project are those that directly contribute to its successful completion. Project management uses a type of triage process to keep everything moving smoothly, on time, and on budget. That means when the planned time frame is coming to an end, the project manager may keep all the team members working on the project to finish on schedule.

  • The project manager also makes sure the team has the resources it needs to build, test, and deploy a software product.
  • These are bar graphs that can show each stage of a project and, for example, the time when that stage will take place.
  • When managing a project with this approach, the goal is similar to that of the lean enterprise production principle.
  • They set a budget that includes sufficient funds to keep the project within budget even in the face of unexpected contingencies.
  • This is almost invariably a full-time position, but meeting deadlines and emergencies along the way can require overtime, sometimes unexpectedly.
  • This means you
    need to be curious so give yourself some time to reflect, and don’t avoid the
    pressures, they can really help.

Creative people can be significantly more detail orientated
than other project team members you have worked with, so it is important to
understand this and learn how to work with it. If you have a range of different
people on your team you may need to learn to adapt the approach that you use in
order to keep everyone on side. You may find going on a project manager course
that can help you with your communication skills would be a good idea to help
you with this. APM research shows the average salary of a project professional in the UK is £47,500. Payscale suggests the average salary for a project manager in the US is $66,137.

What is a project manager?

Some project managers will swtich between sectors and companies to take on broader roles. However, as in other areas of the IT profession, Gartner says the expectation is automation will boost performance, including the ability to analyse data faster, and allow IT project managers to focus on higher-value interactions. As standard data-based tasks get replaced by AI, project managers how to become a project manager will then start to manage the demands of AIs as new stakeholders. Project management is concerned with managing discrete packages of work to achieve specific objectives. Project management is the application of processes, methods, skills, knowledge and experience to achieve specific project objectives according to the project acceptance criteria within agreed parameters.

A fifth of project managers anticipate their team or organisation will seek new suppliers for software solutions. A successful project manager is in overall charge of the planning and execution of a particular project, and an IT project manager plays a crucial role in the day-to-day work of the tech department. Project management involves the planning and organization of a company’s resources to move a specific task, event, or duty toward completion. It can involve a one-time project or an ongoing activity, and resources managed include personnel, finances, technology, and intellectual property. We are a specialist project management training provider with a global reach. We give all of our clients a personal service, blending traditional and modern learning techniques to deliver a flexible training solution.

What is an IT project manager? Everything you need to know about project management and where it goes next

Consultant KPMG suggests IT teams in the future will need to work much faster than in the past, shifting from projects to products, scaling agile ways of working, and committing to automating core IT processes across the technology lifecycle. AI and automation tools could also have an impact on the project management role itself. Analyst Gartner suggests 80% of the work undertaken by project managers today will be eliminated by 2030, as AI takes on traditional project management functions such as data collection, tracking and reporting.

what is a project manager

Many types of project management have been developed to meet the specific needs of certain industries or types of projects. Approximately 471,800 project managers worked in the construction industry in 2018. While companies will be looking to start new IT projects that they might have paused through 2020, recent developments around the shift to remote working have left their mark on the profession.

Project management skills

Despite the tech industry’s obsession with the creation of customer-facing products and services, some things are genuinely either a programme or a project. “And there’s lots of change that still requires the deft skills of product and programme management,” says Soule. “Organisations still have those challenges and it’s an important role. But I think it tends to be focused on slightly different organisational challenges now.” “Some organisations are revisiting their projects portfolio and slowly starting to think about recommencing projects, but with a high number of contract project managers on the market, we are seeing a softening of rates and it is very much a buyer’s market,” says Yates. If you want to become a project manager, then you’ll need experience of working on projects, such as being part of a team supporting a project. Getting a taste for project management will help you to find out whether managing people and process is the right role for you.

This change in working practices raises important questions about how the role will evolve during the next few years. Rather than entering a period of demise, Bates believes the project management role is actually going through a renaissance. “I think some people said it was going to die or is going to be dead. I don’t believe that. But I do believe it is fundamentally different than it was before,” he says. The reason for that significance is simple – while the ongoing management of products and services is increasingly important in the tech world, the careful management of projects matters. “Change is still very much a reality for organisations. I think if you over-dial one way or the other, I don’t think you can answer all the needs of your organisation,” says Soule. A project is a unique, transient endeavour, undertaken to achieve planned objectives, which could be defined in terms of outputs, outcomes or benefits.