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Everything You Need to Know About IT Project Management

Posted: 26 Jul 2017

Everything You Need to Know About IT Project Management

Project management is something which happens across all industries and is usually used, as the name suggests, to complete projects rather than “business as usual” work.

It is usually comprised of a number of stages, from developing the initial idea, to planning, implementing and analysing the success of the project. However, there are many ways of completing a project, and although most organisations use methodologies to complete projects, some have their own way of working which can be difficult to get your head around.

We have looked at some of the most common methodologies you would face in IT project management jobs and how they may differ from other industries:

Agile (Scrum)

Agile is a very team-based project management methodology, with communication and collaboration forming the basis of everything. The traditional tools and processes are replaced by individuals and interactions, the way the work is completed is more important than the documentation accompanying it, and everything revolves around responding to change rather than sticking to a rigid plan.

This is a more evolutionary way of working, which makes it more flexible for projects that are likely to adapt over time.

Lean

Lean is a way of developing products quickly. It is very responsive to change like Agile and aims to be the most efficient way of developing as possible, as the name suggests.

This method goes as far against one of the formal project management principles as it possibly can, by stating that ruling decisions should be made as late as possible. Although this means the method is very responsive and adaptive, the late decision making can put organisations off using it.

DevOps

DevOps takes elements of Agile and lean project management methodologies. Due to being so flexible, it is quite often the most favoured methodology when it comes to technical projects, such as application development.

DevOps dictates that software and developers should work together with IT departments via streamlined communications, much in the way that Agile works. However, the team should focus on getting services and products on to the market fast, which comes from the lean philosophy.

This is a relatively new practice in comparison with the older methodologies, but it is quickly being adopted in organisations that operate mostly on the cloud, due to its room for scale and flexibility.

Waterfall

As the name suggests, the waterfall method is a project management technique which occurs in stages that flow downwards. Each stage is fully completed before the next starts, and stages include conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction, testing, production and/or implementation and maintenance.

The waterfall philosophy originated in manufacturing but has since moved to cover software development. This adaptation has led to some companies stating it isn’t the most effective project management method.

PRINCE2

Projects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2) is a qualification-led methodology and works by taking a project and breaking it down into controllable stages and more manageable sections.

It was originally developed by the government for IT projects, and due to this specific design purpose, it is said to be more effective than waterfall project management techniques for app and software design.

PRINCE2 is led by processes and principles which makes it a much more structured way of managing a project than some of the others listed above. The processes included in this method are as follows: Starting up a Project, Initiating a Project, Directing a Project, Controlling a Stage, Managing Product Delivery, Managing a Stage Boundary and Closing a Project.

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