What is Project Management and its Importance in ITSM

Project Management, ITSM

Project management

Project management is the art of managing the project and fulfilling the goals of the project as per the defined time, scope, cost, and quality targets.

Project Management, Project Management and its importance in ITSM
Project Management

Note: Project is any temporary work that has a defined starting time and end time with some defined outputs.

Project management has become an integral practice in any organization, irrespective of the industry (like banking, health care, chemical, manufacturing, hospitality, construction, etc.).

Project management can be broadly classified into 5 phases as initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and closing.

Some of the prime processes that should be there in project management are scope management, risk management, cost management, procurement management, quality management, schedule management, communications management, etc.

Why do we need project management?

Project management practice is essential to follow a defined a process in initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling the project activities which meets the customer requirements and commitments as promised by the service provider.

Below are some more detailed points elaborating the importance of project management:

  • To ensure the project gets completed in time as promised to the customer
  • To ensure the project is not exceeding the planned budget
  • To ensure there is no scope creep.
  • To schedule the work in an appropriate order as per the priorities of customer
  • To identify the potential risks & dependencies in the project work
  • To provide a communication channel to the customer, who can provide the updates and progress on the project status.

Some of the important project management methodologies which are currently popular are Agile, Scrum, & Devops. Certifications that are available in project management are PMP (Project Management Professional), PRINCE2 (Projects in controlled environment), etc.

Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project management professionals can be primarily classified into two categories as project manager and project management coordinator.

Project managers are accountable for delivering the project outcomes, this role will have to plan and organize schemes, resources and people ensuring that the project work is on time, in scope and in budget. This role will have to track the work to be completed, set deadlines and delegate tasks to the project team, identifying any potential risks.

Project management coordinator/ officer works reporting to the project manager to assist and support specific teams on a project. Project Coordinator plans, organizes, and administers projects and coordinates the work assigned to associates on the project teams.

Responsibilities of Project Manager

  • Plan, monitor the work and set deadlines to make sure the project is on time, cost, scope and budget.
  • Motivate project team, co-ordinate the work, identify and manage risks and delegate tasks to the right human resources.
  • Act as a liaison with all internal and external stakeholders, and report regularly to management.

Responsibilities of Project Management Coordinator / Officer

  • Executing administrative duties such as coordinating and scheduling meetings, preparing agendas, and documenting minutes of the meeting.
  • Managing and tracking detailed tasks, milestones and risks in MS Project, Excel and MS PowerPoint.
  • Preparing and assisting the project manager in creating weekly and monthly status reports.

Project management in ITSM

Project management will play a very important role in IT Service Management, because even ITSM’s focus is on achieving outcomes that is customer satisfaction with respect to incident resolution and closure, service request fulfilment and closure, change implementation and closure, problem resolution and closure, etc. in defined timelines, cost, scope and quality parameters.

As project management has five phases initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and closure; in the same way, ITSM can be categorized into five phases as service strategy, service design, service transition, service operations, and continual service improvement.

Though we cannot map the five phases of project management to IT service management, yet the phases, processes, principles and best practices of project management can be implemented in all the 26 processes and 4 functions of ITSM.

For example, implementing and operating incident management:

To implement incident management as a process and execute the operations, you would need an incident manager and incident analysts as human resources, who can follow the resource management process in project management. To maintain quality in incident management, IT governance team can utilize the practices of project quality management from project management.

To maintain good communication to all the internal (problem manager, change manager, etc) and external stakeholders (like customer team), IT governance team can utilize and embed the practices of project communications and stakeholder’s management from project management.

Likewise, one can utilize other processes like risk management, integration management, cost management into the operations of ITSM.

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About the Author: Santoshi Para