What Are The Responsibilities Of an IT Project Manager vs. an IT Manager?

by HSG on Feb 19, 2014 in Articles from Software Fans

When businesses are trying to expand and require professionals to lead teams, terminology may get in the way of who performs what roles. When it comes to information technology (IT), new and vital professionals may seem hard to differentiate between one another. However, there are key differences between specific professionals needed with IT departments. Here are the responsibilities that differentiate between an IT manager and an IT project manager.

IT Managers

IT managers are the leaders of the entire IT infrastructure a business has to function properly. The IT manager must lead the entire IT department to regulate and maintain the IT network for the business. As a manager, this IT professional corresponds with other departments in the business about how the IT department is implementing the goals the business is aiming toward. In addition, the manager must be fiscally responsible and answer to executives and financial officers in the business the reasons behind certain costs and investments. Because of the dual computer technology and business acumen this profession requires, many IT managers have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) related to information technology.

IT Project Managers

An IT project manager is an individual who is focused on a specific goal within the IT department. Because IT departments have vast bureaucratic needs, like security or development, the project manager is focused on a particular facet of the IT network. In addition, IT project managers may be the leaders of very contingent and temporal requirement in the IT department. For example, say an immense update is needed to an IT network. The IT manager may appoint an IT project manager to lead a team that specifically helps with this update. Similar to an IT manager, the IT project manager must keep the project within budget. However, business experience may not be required for IT project managers. Since they are focused on IT duties more so than interacting with other departments in the business, IT project managers typically have a computer science academic background only. The IT project manager will need to coordinate and report to the IT manager from time to time.

A Matter of Scope

IT managers have to lead an entire department that meets the needs of the business' bottom-line. They are there to execute orders for every IT personnel to follow. IT managers are always focusing on how their department meets the goals of the overall business. IT project managers are typically subordinates to the IT manager and project managers focus on unique task that need to be completed by a deadline. IT project managers are focused on initiating and executing their endeavor so that their project fits into the grander scope of the IT department. Once a project is over, the IT project manager may monitor how the endeavor is progressing or they may be re-assigned to other tasks. IT project managers may lead smaller groups or could work alone on a project. IT managers are in command of all IT personnel at the business.

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