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How Information Technology and Project Management Work Together

For most companies, even a routine information technology (IT) project can shut things down if the project goes wrong. For medium and large corporations with immense digital infrastructure, this signals a strong need for qualified professionals. In particular, companies will desperately need IT professionals who can efficiently manage projects to ensure their success while communicating with both C-suite executives and employees working on the project.

Those interested in gaining these in-demand skills can pursue programs like the online Master of Science in Business Informatics (MBI) – Security Management from Northern Kentucky University (NKU). That said, let’s examine the nuances of project management in IT as well as a few ways for rising professionals to separate themselves from other applicants in the job market.

What Is Project Management in Information Technology? defines IT project management as “the planning and execution of information technology-related initiatives for an organization. This includes software, hardware, security, and infrastructure.” Most commonly, these IT-related initiatives include transitioning to new software tools, addressing potential security risks, upgrading networks and much more. If you’re interested in an IT project management career, you can expect to oversee major digital infrastructure projects.

Along the way, you’ll be responsible for communicating with management to understand the main goals of a project, creating a timeline and budget, and managing a team to ensure the project finishes on time. According to work management company Asana, Inc., most companies break projects into five steps:

  1. Initiation: Receive a project outline from upper management or create one yourself.
  2. Planning: Determine core goals and risk factors and initiate a timeline and budget.
  3. Execution: Define key milestones and communicate them to stakeholders.
  4. Monitoring: Oversee project completion and ensure adherence to key milestones.
  5. Closure: Evaluate progress and deliver results to the company’s management team.

But, like most things in life, managing an IT project is much easier said than done. This is especially true considering the vastness of certain projects, like migrating an entire company to a new system.

The Best Strategies for IT Project Management

There are varying schools of thought on the best ways to attack longer-term projects. IT project managers must be especially careful with company-wide projects, considering that most people are not technologically savvy, which can throw unexpected wrenches into the timeline. According to, there are four common strategies to use when planning how to approach a project:

  1. Waterfall method: The team completes tasks logically and sequentially until the project is complete. This is typically the most straightforward way to complete a project.
  2. Agile method: The team freely adapts the project during development based on different updates. This can be a valuable strategy when working with a team of more senior employees.
  3. Scrum method: The team works in short cycles known as “sprints,” which typically last one to two weeks.
  4. Hybrid method: The team combines the waterfall and agile methods to complete the project.

Additionally, Indeed recommends five strategies that can help infrastructure technology project managers put their team in a better position to be successful:

  1. Host pre-project meetings: This ensures all team members are on the same page and allows employees to offer thoughts or feedback on project timeline improvements.
  2. Outline concrete flows of communication: Creating a flow of communication helps ensure all team members know who to report their updates to. This can prevent the project manager from getting inundated with dozens of updates.
  3. Define and delegate tasks: Completing an IT project is a team effort, so your team members must know their specific responsibilities.
  4. Set realistic goals and deadlines: There’s a time to push your team, but setting unrealistic goals can also overwhelm them, leading to resentment and less motivation.
  5. Request feedback from team members: Assume that no system is perfect and encourage your team to offer feedback on the project’s workflow to eliminate bottlenecks.

Exploring a Career in IT Project Management

Pursuing a career in IT project management will make you highly employable as you follow a fulfilling career path. As an IT project manager, you can expect to enter an exciting leadership position responsible for collaborating with everyone from upper management and other employees to vendors and freelancers. This means you’ll need to understand the perspectives of C-Suite executives and specialists alike.

To learn these skills, many students pursue an advanced business informatics degree with a security management focus. For example, NKU’s online MBI in Security Management program offers an Information Technology Project Management course. This course teaches students the most up-to-date project management practices and methodologies, including topics such as technical project personnel management, project management tools and techniques, and project outsourcing issues.

Learn more about Northern Kentucky University’s online Master of Science in Business Informatics – Security Management program.

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