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Top Tips to Ensure Smooth Sailing in IT Project Management

Author: Andy Korza Posted In: Project Management

Imagine leading an information technology (IT) project as if you are sailing a big ocean. Project managers (PMs) are the captains steering their teams through tricky waters. The success of the journey depends on how good the PM is at leading. This article looks at some of the challenges in IT and ways that PMs can lead teams to work well together, ensuring everyone feels responsible for the project. Let's dive into this journey and explore how to lead through changes and tough times.

3 Challenges in IT

Think of IT like a big ocean with tech storms, tricky resource islands, and fast-approaching deadlines. There are 3 main challenges that PMs face:

  1. Technology is always changing. PMs need to keep up with the latest tech trends to keep their projects up to date. A PM might have to decide or lead their team through the decision process on whether to use a new technology that just came out or stick with what they know.
  2. Managing people and tools can be confusing. PMs need to use their budget and time wisely to keep everything going. For example: a PM with a tight budget must decide whether to hire more people or spend money on an important tech tool.
  3. There's always pressure to finish IT projects quickly. PMs must make sure to finish on time without sacrificing quality. In other cases, PMs might have to speed up a project because the market suddenly changed.

Addressing the Challenges

To handle these challenges, PMs should look to continually grow their leadership skills in key areas. This is common project management knowledge, that PMs can work on those areas and become better leaders:

  1. Gain Tech Knowledge: It is true that PMs don't need to be tech experts, but knowing some technology terms and skills will help you make smart decisions about the project. PMs with good tech knowledge can guide the project toward better solutions.
  2. Communicate Well: Clear and honest communication is always crucial. PMs need to explain techie stuff to people who might not understand. The PM, like a good guide, talks to the whole team in a way that everyone understands.
  3. Manage Risks: PMs must be good at spotting and solving problems before they become big issues. A smart PM sees a potential problem coming and takes action to keep the project safe.

To make a big difference in projects’ leadership style, consider conducting teamwork planning with the whole team. Plan the project together, thinking about both tech and non-tech parts of the team. Make sure everyone is heard, engaged and on the same page.

Additionally, empower teamwork by creating a place where everyone feels free to share ideas. This makes the team feel like they own the project, and more diversity of thoughts leads to more creativity.

Finally, allow for flexible work methods to adjust to changes quickly. This helps the project stay in line with what's needed, despite rapidly changing business environment.

Strategies for Great Leadership

As captains of the project ship, PMs can use simple strategies to work well as a team, keep the team happy, and make everyone feel responsible for the project:

  1. Clear Goals: Say clearly what the project is about and what each person needs to do. Understanding of dependencies between each other’s tasks helps the team work together.
  2. Recognition and Cheers: Thank people often for their hard work. This helps morale of the team and keeps them excited. PMs must remember to thank the team for their efforts, helping individuals stay happy and motivated.
  3. Sharing Decisions: Let everyone have a say in decisions so they know they are a big part of the project. That doesn’t exactly mean voting on every decision; rather the PM, seeing someone in the team who is good at something, lets them decide on an important thing.
  4. Meetings Together: Have regular meetings to talk about the project. This keeps everyone informed, is useful to surface any new risks and issues, and helps the team work together.


In the big sea of IT projects, being a great leader is like having a good compass. By facing challenges, focusing on leading better, and using advice from experts, PMs can guide their teams through successful project journeys. As captains in the IT ocean, PMs must bring their teams together, keep them happy, and handle any disruptions that come their way.