IS project manager : what role and responsibility in an IS project?

The IS project manager is responsible for managing any project related to the information systems of a public organization or a company that may be specialized in IT. He must be present at each step, during the needs analysis and the commissioning, but also to design the specifications, to constitute a steering committee, to supervise the team, to set up a technological watch and to follow the project progress. Find out more about its role.

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The IS project manager, a specialist in information systems management

One of the tasks of an IT project manager is to manage a project and bring it to a successful conclusion on time and within budget, using various management methods. The project manager plans, coordinates and monitors progress to achieve the set objectives, acting as the point of contact between the organization funding the project and all parties involved in its implementation.

Within the framework of a project related to the company’s information system, the IS project manager must use the most appropriate method to fulfil this mission (i.e. deliver a product or service in accordance with the specifications). It is generally a agile method that facilitates the collaboration of multidisciplinary teams.

Project planning as the main task

The project manager cannot act alone to work on the project. It must therefore call on resources already present in the company, especially if they have the technical expertise to help. If these skills are missing, it is necessary to organize the recruitment of new employees or to consider a contract with service providers, as is the case with some technical consultants. Once the team is in place, the mission can be explained. The roles of each person are assigned by the project manager, but when using agile methods, it is the team that self-organizes according to specific rules.

Objectives should be presented in a clear manner so that all staff can work while minimizing outside interference. Meetings can be organized from time to time to review the situation. In general, the project manager monitors the progress of the work and intervenes when it is necessary to reorganize tasks or reshape the team. It also manages contacts with all external parties, such as suppliers, customers, investors and stakeholders.

Budget management

A project also includes effective budget management. To do this, the project manager must anticipate what he will need financially. It must consider the costs of the various materials, but also of personnel, marketing and logistics. In short, all expenses must be planned and included in a budget forecast. During project implementation, the manager must continue to monitor expenditures to ensure that there are no overruns. If not, a portion of the project will have to be modified to make up for the costs not initially anticipated.

    Time management

    In addition to managing human resources and the project budget, the project manager must also manage time. Indeed, the manager must foresee in advance the time that the realization of the project will take. It is essential to stick to it and thus monitor the progress of the project to make sure that the projected schedule is followed scrupulously. As with the budget, it is essential that the planned deadlines are met.

      Other roles of the IS project manager

      It is the available data that determines the activity of the information systems project manager. His task is to collect all the information that can be useful to him in order to avoid problems. It is from this data that it is able to generate key performance indicators (KPI). This work base guides him in the follow-up of the project. He can ensure the overall progress of the project in relation to the planned deadlines and costs. He is therefore able to make the necessary changes to adapt the project to the actual situation.

      One of the key roles of the IS project manager is the creation of documentation and reports. These documents are essential, as they allow communication between stakeholders. Indeed, some stakeholders need to know if the project is progressing and want regular feedback on the elements developed and what remains to be done. Choosing to work with methods like Scrum facilitates this regular communication. The written documents are also a good way to archive how the project was carried out so that the experience gained can be reinvested in the future, especially for dealing with new issues.

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