How To Become It Project Manager and What Are The Roles And Responsibilities?

How to become IT Project Manager

In this Article

Can you imagine working without technology in this digital and fast-paced world? Many can't. Most businesses today are dependent on technology to ensure smooth and efficient working.

Almost all the businesses and organizations have high-tech equipment to run their business. Hence most of them have an IT Department to manage these technologies.

Take, for example, Google, every year they roll out a newer chrome version or Google updates which is better and faster than the previous versions. Microsoft's Windows is also a prime example of software and systems that always need an upgrade to maintain security.

Many significant projects have IT component in them even if they are not technology related.

Every company is continuously upgrading or modifying software; hence, IT Project managers' demand never goes away.

» What is an IT Project Manager?

The IT Project Manager is an individual whose works revolves around the IT requirement of the organization. IT Project managers are responsible for planning, controlling, and executing IT projects.

As an IT Manager, you will be required to assemble the team, mainly comprising IT Specialists, developers, and system analysts to understand the project's needs and start planning.

Unlike project managers in another field, IT Project managers' job descriptions often included specialized knowledge in its technology structure.

» What does an IT Project Manager do?

IT Project Managers have various tasks to be accomplished throughout the day. Mostly their day-to-day includes upgrading the technology, securing the company's networks, checking for data risk, database management, and this list goes on.

One of the most critical responsibilities, IT project manager checks for security risk every day. Why? Most top organizations and businesses often contain sensitive information and intellectual property, which can wreak serious havoc in the company if it fell into the wrong hands.

There have been many instances where the company's users’ sensitive information leaked due to low security.

Take Zoom's example. Around 500k user's information was leaked and sold on the dark web, which caused severe damage to their reputation and loss of their trust in the company.

Zoom is the prime example that shows that the IT Project manager must check for security threats regularly.

IT Projects are notorious for running over their budgets. Hence as an IT project manager, you may need to work with IT equipment vendors to control or reduce the cost for keeping the project under budget.

IT Project Manager Roles and Responsibilities

Communicate with Stakeholders to know about their IT requirements.
Make sure that the changeover from the old IT system to the new system is done correctly.
Monitor the budget, timing, and resources and make sure that quality standards are met.
Update senior management and stakeholders about the project's progress
Access the risk for unforeseen circumstances
Supervise the team members and perform strategic analysis
Organize and motivate team members and increase their productivity level

» What is IT Project Management?

IT project management is a field in project management that deals with planning, execution, controlling, and processes of the IT projects such as IT infrastructure, information systems, or computers. IT project management will help in accessing the company's technical requirements and plan and execute them accordingly.

IT project management is quite a large field that includes many variants such as

Database management
Computer and networks security
Network configurations
App management
Web development
Software development
Hardware installations

As an IT Project Manager, you will have to decide which process to use for your current project. The process can differ from projects to schemes; hence choosing the right methodology must ensure the project is completed in a smooth and timely manner.

» How to choose the correct IT Project Management process?

Before you jump in to decide the project methodology, make sure you know the project's requirements and what will be the final deliverables.

For example, if you have the final deliverable's exact idea, it will be more helpful to choose a structured process such as the Waterfall process.

On the other hand, if your vague idea of the final deliverables and if the project requires large and diverse teams, it will be a good idea to choose a more flexible and iterative approach like Agile.

You should also take resources, timeline, budget, stakeholder's interest, and project type into consideration before choosing the final methodology for your IT Project.

Types of IT Project Management Process

There are many types of IT Project management processes, such as Agile, Scrum, Kanban, Waterfall. But there is no one size fit for all processes and project managers must choose these processes based on various factors involved in the project.

› Waterfall:

The waterfall process is a traditional project management process that maps out each phase into a distinct and sequential structure. The new phase begins only when the previous stage is complete. However, this method does not allow much room for changes, making it difficult for an ever-changing IT environment.

Also, it does not allow much transparency with stakeholders as they are allowed to provide feedback only after the project is complete. Thus, this can significantly reduce customer satisfaction.

› Agile:

Agile is the most popular and widely accepted IT project management process because it allows room for change during the whole process and follows the iterative approach.

Agile follows the principle of working more efficiently as compared to the Waterfall method.

The main benefit of using an Agile process is, it allows transparency with clients during the whole process cycle rather than getting feedback at the end. This helps in increasing customer satisfaction.

› Scrum:

Scrum is a framework of Agile. The scrum method breaks down the project into smaller parts called Sprints.

Sprint is then subdivided into three categories

Product backlog
Spring backlog
Spring Goals

This process is more suitable if your project is geared towards software development as it follows the iterative approach and makes changes easier to apply. The scrum process helps in ensuring that the team remains on track while following the scrum principles.

» How to become an IT Project Manager?

IT is a very vast domain that comes with many subsets. Before you decide to enroll in any certification or Project management programs, determine what IT niche you will like to work in. This is important because it will help you choose a project that will start your IT Project management career.

IT Project managers are different from project managers in other fields, mainly due to their extensive knowledge in the particular IT domain. Just think about it, will you be able to solve a problem if in the first place you have no idea how it works, what is the root of the causes.

There are many entry points to become an IT Project Manager. Suppose one is already working in the IT Sector as a developer, business analyst, or project coordinator. As these individuals have already gained some expertise in the IT Domain, they may transition from their current role to project management roles.

Those who have never worked in the IT sector can also enter the IT field. IT managers must have extensive knowledge in the IT domain, such as installing the firmware, integration, updates, etc.

When hiring IT project managers, top IT companies look for PMP or similar certification related to Agile development because they want to ensure that Project Manager knows ins and out of what the project will entail.

Hiring managers often look for experienced project manager skills and abilities to plan, monitor, and execute the IT projects and various soft skills such as leadership, communications, teamwork, and negotiation.

Either way, it is beneficial to get certified in IT Project Manager courses.

Below are the steps you can follow to become an IT Project Manager

› Decide on the type of certification and Get certified:

Your first towards becoming IT Project Manager is to get proper certification. You can start by

Getting certified in Certified Associate in Project Management ( CAPM) and the Project Management Professional(PMP) certifications, both are offered by PMI.

For those who want to pursue project management in IT, below are the top certifications to get a headstart.

Compt tia+
Prince 2 foundation
Certified Scrum Master
Information technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI- ACP)

› Get experience:

Merely having the certification won't do you much good. Real-life experience is valuable for becoming an IT project manager. Volunteer for organizations or local PMI chapters to accumulate real-life project strategies and expertise in tackling the obstacles.

› Maintain your certification:

Most project manager certifications require you to appear for the exam every two or five years to maintain it. Maintaining certifications helps in continuously learning new things, avoiding stagnation, and keeping up with the IT field dynamics.

› IT Project manager career path:

As an IT project manager, you will probably start with becoming the Project coordinator.

The project coordinator is the entry-level position which helps project managers in planning.

After the project coordinator comes, the Assistant Project Manager works closely with project managers to work with clients and develop plans to allocate resources.

After the assistant project manager one finally reaches the position of Project Manager. Project Manager leads and plans the projects.

Managers with more experience who cooperate with C suites can more likely be promoted to the top of the organization and can also take the role of Chief technical officer.

Others who don't want to work in a corporate IT environment can start their consulting firm to work with various clients as freelancers.

» What skills do IT Project Managers need?

IT Project Manager’s skill description include:-

› Attention to detail and laser focus:

IT Projects need minute attention to detail, leaving very little or no room for mistakes. As a Project Manager, you must have an eagle eye for more information and a laser-like focus to avoid making mistakes.

› Leadership qualities:

This is the top quality that project managers should possess or develop. Why? Because as an IT Project Manager, you will be responsible for handling large teams and ensure successful project completion. You must be able to motivate your team members whenever necessary. A leader is a glue that holds the project and team members together.

› Effective communication:

Effective communication enables putting across your points in clear and concise manners without beating around the bush. As an IT project manager, you will have to communicate with your team members and all those related to your projects, such as contractors, stakeholders, vendors, and senior management. Regarding the project's progress and hence should be able to communicate effectively.

› Can negotiate like a pro:

Negotiation skills are not only helpful for business but also in project management. Negotiation skills will also help you negotiate the costs of material with vendors and other contractors when necessary.

For example, if the stakeholders suddenly change their mind about any aspect of the project, you must diplomatically negotiate such that it's a win-win situation for both parties. Finding a deal that satisfies both parties is hard, but a professional negotiator can handle such a situation.

› Multitasking abilities:

Project Management involves many responsibilities such as controlling, monitoring, executing, budgeting, motivating your team members, regular checks up, and the list is never-ending. A good IT Project manager is the one that can juggle several tasks without decreasing the productivity and quality level of their work.

› Handle Stress:

IT field is stressful; it is widespread for IT people to work after hours for completing the projects on time. Systems might crash, security threats can emerge, networks will be down such situations can increase the stress levels, and as an IT Project manager, you must handle it with a calm mind and not lose your patience.

› Critical thinker:

Critical thinking is the ability to reason, clearly, and understand logical connections with ideas. As an IT Project manager, you will face complex situations every day, and you must solve those problems without allowing your emotions to get the best of you. Project Managers must be unbiased in their judgments and think logically rather than emotionally.

Rather than working on autopilot absentmindedly, a critical thinker will question everything and understand whether it fits the situations,

› Accountable:

It is your responsibility to ensure that the project completes on time successfully without must problems. But in case the project fails to hold himself accountable and not play a blame game. Acknowledging successes and areas that could use improvement is the best way to build accountability within your team members.

› Tech Savvy:

Last but not least, you must be tech-savvy!. As technology is changing rapidly, IT Project manager must learn new technologies quickly and practice. You will have the responsibility of upgrading the organization's computer networks and systems.

» What is IT Project Management Software?

IT Project Management Software helps in planning the IT Project portfolio of the organization. You can plan software and hardware installations, upgrades, rollouts, and other IT portfolios. The software gives real-time visibility into the project's progress.

It also provides the best IT Project Management tools to manage your projects such as Gantt charts, scheduling calls, preparing reports, creating backlogs, and managing the project teams.

Benefits of IT Project Management Software

Reduce change-related disruptions in the project and cost overruns by knowing how the processes and applications are connected.
Understand the consequences of changing the plan down the road.
Minimize the repetitive tasks and ensure that all the resources are used inefficient manner.
Use data, collected over time to make data-driven decisions instead of accessing each project separately.
Creative executive ready reports.
The smoother communication process with stakeholders and team members.
Central dashboard to maintain project transparency
Tracks live project progress.

For more information on IT Project Management software and comparisons, visit our list of IT Project Management Software.

» What is the difference between an IT project manager and a technical project manager?

There is significant confusion around the IT Project managers and technical project managers. Although they might work in the same field, the scope of their job varies significantly. An IT Project manager typically handles the 'back end' IT infrastructure of the organization. A technical manager typically manages the 'Front end'.

› What is a technical project manager?

A technical project manager closely works with the engineering team to manage the technical aspects of the projects. Their primary responsibilities include delivering and maintaining the engineering project timeline, defining and prioritizing the cross-functional needs, and improving the projects' success rate.

For example, technical managers can work as part of an SEO team in digital marketing. Their prominent roles could include maintaining websites, increasing conversion rates, and analyze data.

› PM VS TM - Are they same?

Project managers are responsible for planning the projects and managing the project teams while the technical managers will generally be focused on the engineering aspects of the projects.

» What is the IT project manager's salary?

The average IT Project Manager salary reported in the United States is $83,834.

According to PayScale's research, IT project managers take-home salary varied based on their experience level, meaning the more the experience, the higher the pay.

The entry-level IT Project Managers with less than one year can expect to earn around $61,353.

Early career IT Project Managers with experience between 1-4 years can expect average compensation of around $72,419.

A mid-career IT Project Manager with experience between 5-9 years can expect an average salary of $89,164

An experienced IT Project Managers with experience between 10-19 can expect an average salary of $102,329.

Late career IT Project Managers with more than 20 years of experience earn an average of $111,105 per year.

Project Manager skills description:

Project Managers with skills such as Business Analysis, Agile Software Development, and Microsoft Project earn above-average salaries. In contrast, those with Project Management and Project Coordinating Skills earn a below-average salary.

Moreover, IT project managers’ job description also includes staying updated with the latest technology and technology changes. They must ensure that the technology complements the company's goals, strategies, and practices through research and studying similar organizations.

Organizations with top IT Project Management Salary:

IBM Corp topped the IT Project Manager salary where the median pay is $109,743 followed by Booz, Allen, Hamilton, and Kaiser Permanente, where the salary averaged between 109,615 and $96,419 respectively. Hewlett Packard (HP) reported the lowest wage, with an average pay of $73,562.


Despite what they say, IT Project manager's jobs are easy by no means. IT Project manager's roles and responsibilities are more complex than project managers in other fields. An IT Project manager's job description often involves hands-on technical expertise and the ability to manage long-term projects.

Due to the global health crisis in 2020, most projects were put on the back burner due to movement restrictions. However, there is a silver lining for the IT project management field. Many new digital projects were launched during a pandemic to cater to the demand for work from home situations.

According to PMI's research, IT project management jobs will rise by 33% by 2027. The demand for IT project managers is beginning to increase as more organizations learn about IT project management's importance.

There is no better time than now to get started with an IT Project Management career.

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