Best IT Project Management Guide of 2023: How To's & What To Do

Jarrod Koch

CEO and Partner of DivergeIT

October 23, 2023

Ever wondered how to keep your IT team at the forefront in this rapidly advancing digital era? In today's age, it's not just about understanding technology but managing it effectively. That's the charm of IT project management.

For any IT staff or business, mastering this is akin to holding the key to the tech kingdom. As 2023 races forward with relentless tech innovations, it's easy to feel the world is changing at warp speed.

But fear not! With this IT project management guide at your fingertips, you're not just keeping up—you're setting the pace. It's more than a handbook; it's your secret weapon.

By harnessing its knowledge, you ensure that you and your team remain agile, adaptive, and ahead in this exciting tech journey. Ready to be the tech maestro of 2023? Dive in. This guide's waiting to empower you. 

Man handles the IT project management

What is an IT project management guide? 

A guide on IT project management is a specialized area of project management where the focus is on planning, organizing, and overseeing technology projects. Unlike general project management, IT project management is specific to information technology initiatives.

Some of its examples are software development, hardware installations, network upgrades, or cloud computing projects. 

Meanwhile, the IT project manager plays a pivotal role in ensuring that tech-related projects are completed on time, within budget, and meet the specific requirements and standards set for the project.

This involves coordinating with IT professionals, stakeholders, and often cross-functional teams to achieve the project's goals. In essence, IT project management merges the principles of project management with IT-specific challenges and needs.

IT staff does the common IT projects for the best project management guide

10 most common IT projects: Why do you need a project management guide?

Alright, so you're diving deep into the IT project management guide. But with so many types of projects out there, where do you start? Let's simplify things a bit. 

1. Software development

This one's a biggie. Whether you're launching a new app, a game, or a piece of software to boost productivity, software development projects are the backbone of many IT endeavors. This can range from creating a small mobile app to developing complex enterprise software. The goal? Crafting a digital tool that meets a specific need.

2. Network setup and management

Ever wondered how organizations stay connected, both internally and externally? A lot of it boils down to networks. Setting up and managing networks, be it local (LAN) or wide-area (WAN), is essential for seamless communication and operations.

3. Cloud migration

The cloud isn't just some fluffy white thing in the sky; it's the future of data storage and management. Moving from traditional servers to cloud platforms like AWS, Google Cloud, or Microsoft Azure can streamline operations, enhance scalability, and boost security.

4. Cybersecurity initiatives

In our connected world, threats lurk in many corners. Protecting digital assets from cyber-attacks, data breaches, and phishing scams is of paramount importance. Cybersecurity projects may involve setting up firewalls, establishing secure communication protocols, or even training employees on best security practices.

5. Hardware upgrades and deployment

Sometimes, the physical components of IT need a revamp. Whether it's rolling out new computers for your team, setting up servers, or integrating smart devices, hardware projects ensure that everyone has the tools they need to excel.

6. Data analysis and business intelligence

Data is often termed the 'new oil.' But raw data in itself doesn't offer much. Converting this data into actionable insights is where the magic happens. Projects centered around data analytics or business intelligence tools (like Tableau or Power BI) can help organizations make informed decisions.

7. E-commerce platforms

Shopping online isn't just a trend; it's a way of life for many. Setting up or optimizing e-commerce platforms, be it on Shopify, WooCommerce, or custom-built systems, enables businesses to tap into the vast online marketplace.

8. IT infrastructure audits

Sometimes, it's all about taking a step back and evaluating where you stand. An IT infrastructure audit assesses the current tech landscape of a company, identifying strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. It's like a health check-up but for your IT systems.

9. Digital marketing systems

Reaching out to customers digitally has its own set of tools and platforms. Implementing or optimizing systems like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, email marketing software, or automation platforms falls under this project category.

10. Mobile device management

With the surge in remote work and the proliferation of mobile devices, ensuring that all devices accessing company data are secure and compliant is crucial. Mobile Device Management (MDM) projects help in overseeing this aspect.

How are IT project management different from project management tools

IT project management vs. project management tools: How are they different? 

Stepping into the world of project management, you might think, "Isn't managing a project... just managing a project?" Well, while there's a foundational layer that's common, managing an IT project has its own quirks compared to general project management. Let's break this down for you.

First off, the pace. In the dynamic realm of IT, things move fast. Really fast. Technologies evolve, software gets updated, and what was groundbreaking a month ago might be old news today.

So, as someone managing an IT project, you're not just keeping track of tasks; you're sprinting alongside the rapidly changing tech landscape. On the other hand, in general project management, while deadlines and pace are crucial, you might not experience the same whirlwind of change.

Then, there's the specificity. IT projects often involve highly specialized knowledge. Whether it's coding, network configurations, or understanding complex software ecosystems, the devil is in the details. General projects, while equally important, might not always demand such intricate technical know-how.

Don't forget about risk management. IT projects, given their technical nature, are prone to unique risks. Think of software bugs, cybersecurity threats, or compatibility issues. In general project management, risks might be more about timelines, resources, or stakeholders. While both require robust risk management strategies, the nature of risks in IT projects can be a tad more unpredictable.

Lastly, communication is key in both, but in IT project management, translating technical jargon into understandable bites for non-tech stakeholders is an art in itself. In general projects, you might not encounter the same level of 'tech-speak.'

In essence, while both IT and general project management aim to get from point A to B efficiently, the path they tread can be quite distinct. So, if you're diving into the IT side of things, brace yourself for an exciting (and sometimes challenging) journey armed with tech tools and a thirst for innovation. And remember, it's this unique blend of tech and management that makes IT project management a fascinating field to venture into.

Bosses share stories as project managers

What are the benefits of having a project manager? 

Now that you have a grasp on what IT project management entails, let's delve into its importance and having a project manager, especially for mid-sized businesses. Here are some of its benefits: 

Streamlined operations

Imagine a world where your business's tech projects run smoothly from start to finish. That's precisely what efficient IT project management can offer. By setting clear goals, allocating resources appropriately, and monitoring progress, you ensure that your operations run like a well-oiled machine.

Cost savings

Who doesn’t want to save money? When projects are managed efficiently, you're less likely to encounter unexpected costs. Proper planning and monitoring mean fewer mistakes and costly last-minute changes. For a mid-sized business, every penny counts. With robust IT project management, you're not just saving money; you're investing wisely.

Timely project completion

Ever been frustrated by projects that seem to drag on forever? With a focused approach to IT project management, projects are more likely to be completed on time. This punctuality can significantly boost your business's reputation and client trust.

Enhanced team collaboration

A successful IT project management guide isn't just about technology; it's about the people behind it. Effective project management fosters an environment where team members collaborate seamlessly. They're on the same page, understand their roles, and work in unison towards a shared goal.

Adapting to change

The tech world is notorious for its rapid changes. One day, you're in; the next day, you're out. With IT project management, your business gains the agility to adapt to these shifts. It prepares you to pivot when necessary, ensuring you remain at the forefront of your industry.

Risk management

Let's face it: every project comes with its set of risks. However, instead of leaving things to chance, IT project management allows you to identify, assess, and mitigate these risks. It's like having an insurance policy for your projects.

Customer satisfaction

At the end of the day, the success of your business hinges on your customers. When projects are executed efficiently, the end product is of higher quality. This invariably leads to happier customers who are more likely to stick around and even refer others to your business.

Peace of mind for business owners

With a strong handle on IT project management, you can sleep a little easier. Knowing that your projects are in competent hands, that risks are being managed, and that your team is working cohesively can provide an immeasurable sense of relief.

Best IT project management guide for businesses

7 phases of successful project management: What does my IT project management team do? 

If you've ever wondered, "What does the roadmap of an IT project look like?" you're in the right place. Here, we're about to embark on a journey through the seven phases of IT project management.

1. Idea initiation: The aha! moment

This is where it all begins: the birth of an idea. Maybe you've spotted a gap in the market, or perhaps there's an internal business problem that technology could solve. Whatever it is, this phase is about understanding the ‘why’ behind the project. You'll be asking questions like:

• What's the primary goal of this project?

• Does it align with broader business objectives?

• What resources might we need?

2. Planning: Plotting the course

Once you've got a clear idea, it's time to chart out the path. This is the phase where you'll set clear objectives, outline deliverables, and estimate resources like time, budget, and manpower. Remember, a well-laid plan can be the difference between smooth sailing and choppy waters. This stage is about:

• Setting realistic timelines.

• Estimating costs and budgets.

• Identifying potential risks and planning how to manage them.

3. Design and development: Crafting the blueprint

Now that you have your plan in hand, it's time to dive deep into the nitty-gritty. This phase is all about designing the solution and starting the development process. Whether it's a software application, a network upgrade, or an IT infrastructure overhaul, you're essentially:

• Creating detailed designs or wireframes.

• Choosing the right technologies and platforms.

• Beginning the coding or configuration process.

4. Testing: Putting it under the microscope

You wouldn't want to release a product full of bugs or glitches, right? That's where testing comes in. This phase is dedicated to ensuring that whatever you've developed works as intended, without any nasty surprises. You're essentially:

• Running multiple tests to catch bugs.

• Getting feedback from potential users.

• Making necessary tweaks and improvements.

5. Execution: Rolling it out

This is the "go live" phase. Your product or solution is ready to be rolled out to end-users. It's a big moment but also one that requires meticulous attention to ensure a seamless launch. Here, you're:

• Implementing the solution.

• Monitoring its performance.

• Handling any initial challenges or issues that might pop up.

6. Monitoring and control: Keeping an eagle eye

Launching your IT project doesn't mean your job is done. It's crucial to continuously monitor its performance and make sure everything is running smoothly. Think of this phase as a regular health check-up for your project. You're:

• Regularly reviewing performance metrics.

• Comparing actual results with initial plans.

• Adjusting and optimizing as needed.

7. Closure: Wrapping it up

All good things come to an end, including IT projects. Once your project has achieved its objectives and is running smoothly, it's time to wrap things up. This phase isn't just about ending things; it's about learning for the future. Here, you'll:

• Document what went well and what didn't.

• Gather feedback from your team and stakeholders.

• Celebrate your successes and plan for future projects.

IT team meets for the most important phase in project management plan

What's the most important methodology in the 7 phases of a project management plan? 

So, you've just ventured through the seven phases of IT project management. Impressive, right? But here's a burning question: which phase in this IT project management guide holds the crown? If you had to pick just one, which would it be?

Let's drumroll, please: It's the testing phase.

Surprised? Let's break it down. Sure, every phase has its own significance. But the testing phase is where your IT project truly proves its mettle. Think of it this way: you wouldn't buy a car without test-driving it, right?

Similarly, no matter how robust your idea is or how meticulous your planning has been, if your project hasn't been put under the microscope and scrutinized for flaws, you might just be setting yourself up for some unpleasant surprises.

During testing, you get to catch those sneaky bugs, understand user feedback, and make essential tweaks. It ensures that what you deliver to your users is not just functional but exceptional.

So, next time you're navigating the waters of IT project management, give the testing phase the attention it truly deserves. It might just be the difference between a project that's good and one that's truly great.

Woman faces laptop while using a project management software

Top 3 project management software of 2023: Using project management resources the best way! 

Do you know what tools to consider when starting your 7 phases in an IT project management guide? Here are the top three contenders that stand out from the pack, promising to make your IT projects smoother than ever:

1. Jira by Atlassian

If agility is your game, Jira is the name. This tool is highly renowned in the IT world, especially among Agile practitioners. From creating user stories to tracking sprints, Jira offers a complete package. It provides customizable workflows, real-time collaboration, and integration capabilities that make managing complex IT projects easier.

2. Microsoft Project

Being one of the veterans in project management, Microsoft Project has consistently evolved to cater to modern needs. Its intuitive interface, combined with robust scheduling and planning tools, makes it a top choice for IT managers. Plus, with seamless Microsoft 365 integration, it aligns perfectly with other enterprise tools you might be using.

3. Trello

For those who love visual management, Trello is like a dream come true. Its card-based system is excellent for IT projects where team members prefer a simple, drag-and-drop approach. With numerous power-ups and integrations, Trello ensures you get both simplicity and power in one package. 

What do you need in an IT team?

Crafting your IT dream squad for different types of project management

You've now probably understood how IT project management works and why having the best IT project management guide is a must. Let's assemble the best people you should get for your IT team

• Seek diversity: Start by gathering a mix of talents. Remember, a blend of fresh perspectives and seasoned experience can work wonders. It’s like making the perfect smoothie: a bit of this, a dash of that, and voila!

• Skills matter, but so does attitude: When hiring, of course, you’ll focus on technical know-how. But don’t overlook the power of a positive attitude. Enthusiasm and adaptability can be game-changers.

• Communication is key: Ensure everyone speaks the same language, and I'm not talking about English or Python! Open dialogue, transparency, and the ability to convey complex ideas simply can make or break a project.

• Invest in training: The tech world moves fast. Offering regular training sessions keeps your team updated, hungry for knowledge, and ahead of the curve.

• Foster a collaborative spirit: Encourage brainstorming sessions and team-building activities. A cohesive team, where everyone feels valued, is the secret sauce to success.

Choose DivergeIT for the best IT project management guide

DivergeIT's stamp of excellence in IT project management guide

Picture this: You're browsing through the top IT management companies, and one name keeps catching your attention - DivergeIT. Wondering why? Our awards speak volumes. Just this year, we secured a spot as the #24 MSP/MSSP USA by CloudTango 2023. But it's not just about awards; it's about our real-life results.

Having been in the industry for 21 years, we've managed to master the art of exact-fit solutions. With expertise stretching from financial services to entertainment and media, we have seen and done it all, providing services to businesses across 28 states in America.

Ready to improve your IT team and project management software?

Ready to diverge from the rest?

If you're looking for an IT project management guide that'll lead you through the maze of modern IT, look no further than DivergeIT. We're not just another IT company; we're your IT partner, waiting to align with your business vision.

Interested in learning more? Dive into our offerings at or shoot an email to 

Frequently asked questions

What are the most common project management methodologies used today?

In today's dynamic business environment, a variety of project management methodologies are utilized. One prevalent methodology is Agile project management, which differs significantly from traditional project management. Additionally, Kanban project management offers another approach that many teams find beneficial. To choose the right methodology, understanding the project objective and project scope is essential.

How does one define a good project?

A good project is one that meets its defined objectives within the constraints of time, budget, and resources. It should have a clear project roadmap and a comprehensive project plan and should be executed with precision during project execution. Ultimately, the project must achieve its project goal, provide value to stakeholders, and lay the foundation for the next project.

What are the primary responsibilities of an IT project manager?

The responsibilities of an IT project manager encompass a broad range of tasks. Their main objective is to ensure the project is on-time completion while adhering to the project timeline. The project manager’s job also involves continuous communication with the project team, maintaining the project roadmap, and providing regular project updates to stakeholders. Additionally, they often draft the project proposal and oversee the entire project life cycle.

What resources can help in managing IT projects effectively?

When it comes to managing IT projects, there's a wealth of resources available. The guide to project management offers insights and best practices, and there's the ultimate guide for those seeking in-depth knowledge. Tools offering a free trial can provide hands-on experience. Plus, insights on Kanban project management or the benefits of an Agile project can be instrumental. Ultimately, project managers must be proactive in staying updated with the latest methodologies and tools.

Interested in learning more? Click the button!

Contact Us