Project Management in IT: Scope and Application Redefined
B.V.R. Mohan Reddy

Project management is essential for India to achieve its overall growth targets.

Today, India needs to create infrastructure like never before. By 2030, India will have more than 1.5 billion people and to provide necessary infrastructure for all of them is a top challenge.

Ambitious government plans like Make in India, Digital India, and Smart Cities have high dependency on infrastructure to make them successful. Multiple mega projects will need to be executed at a high speed to cope with the demand. And project management is critical for the successful execution of such large projects. We have seen time and again how infrastructure projects worth several billion dollars have gone into time and cost overrun. Effective project management is critical to complete projects that deliver value against the investment made within the stipulated cost and time framework.

Unlike processes or operations, projects have a finite characteristic. Projects have set beginnings and ends, and clearly defined outcomes. For this, we need specialized skills which are not taught in-depth in business schools. PMI is doing a great job by up-skilling this talent pool to fuel the India growth story.

Integral to industry's growth, recognition
Managing an IT project is not an easy job and is quite slippery because of the constantly changing business environment. Generally all projects are constrained by time, cost, and scope, and for any project to be successful, these three constraints must be in symmetry. If any constraint is out of equilibrium, the project has a higher chance of heading towards disaster. In the IT industry, all projects move through the five phases in the project management lifecycle, i.e. initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. Each phase consists of processes that move the project from idea to implementation. This calls for the adoption of project management to manage the project and resources efficiently, in a time-bound manner.

It is difficult to imagine the industry without the contribution from project management which has helped many IT companies execute multi-billion dollar projects for global companies with operations in multiple locations. Quality, on-time delivery, and affordable costs are critical for a customer. The IT industry recognized these imperatives early on in its journey and has since been meeting these customer expectations by adopting project management. The value in adopting project management has led IT companies over the years to enlarge its scope and refine its application.

The IT industry works almost entirely on project basis. From planning and scheduling to managing critical interfaces with users and vendors, project management is increasingly being recognized as a critical area in the Indian IT industry.

Thomas Alva Edison, who invented the light bulb, said invention is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration. He emphasized the importance of the creative element in achieving success. Today, IT companies employ people who are creative and are capable of producing a product or service that is unique and special. But what will make that product competitive is the company's ability to market and deliver it on time and within budget. And this can only be achieved with project management to meet the global standards that their customers follow for products and processes.

Trends that are affecting project delivery
Project management has evolved during the past decade and now there are various tools and new trends that are shaping the future of project management.

Agile project management techniques will continue to gain popularity in IT projects. They are cost-effective, rely on selforganizing teams, and appeal to human needs like autonomy, mastery, and purpose. And in order for them to be successful, they rely on constant feedback. Their ability to cut costs will continue to appeal to businesses as they struggle through the recession.

Mobile collaboration will be the king. For project managers, it means that they will have to deal with a workforce that is constantly on the move, telecommuting, and maybe even working irregular hours.

Risk management will continue to be the buzzword. Risk management is already an incredibly popular topic for project managers. But with the growth of agile project management techniques, risk management will become a necessity for project professionals. While there is software available to help identify risks, they will still have to hone their ability to identify potential budget or scope overreach and maintain organization over their projects.

Cyber security will be at the front and centre of organizations. We have seen how companies and government organizations suffered malicious attacks this past year. With cyber attacks anticipated to increase, security will become an important area for project managers. It may not necessarily be the technology that goes into a project, but project managers and their team will be responsible for ensuring that the deliverable is secure.

India National Programs
Holistic Approach to Save Tigers
By Panchalee Thakur

In 2015, when the Government of India announced that the tiger population in India surged 58 percent in seven years, it was a moment to cheer the efforts put in...Read More

Breathing Life Back into Humayun’s Tomb
By Panchalee Thakur

The unveiling of a new gold and copper finial on top of Humayun's Tomb in New Delhi on 19 April caps the closure of a long and complex restoration project of th...Read More

Understanding the Basics of Smart Cities
By Debabrata Samanta

In recent times, there has been a buzz around smart city projects in India as cities are considered the growth engines of a country. Smart city projects not onl...Read More