IT Project Manager Role: Myths and Realities

Balazs Refi

May 19, 2024

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Our "IT project manager role myths and realities" blog post will help you understand what PMs do. It is an easy way to learn about it.


I believe this blog post offers a clear insight into the IT project manager role. We dispel some common misconceptions and shed light on what we believe are the true responsibilities of an IT project manager. Of course, if you prefer a more traditional exploration of what an IT project manager does, we can assist with that as well. Take a look at our blog post dedicated to IT project managers, where we present the information in a conventional manner.

Below, we present 20 myths surrounding the role of an IT project manager, hoping you find it engaging. If you'd like to contribute your own insights, please don't hesitate to reach out to me on LinkedIn."


Myth: Agile methodology is always the best approach.

Reality: The best methodology depends on the project’s specific needs and goals.

„Evaluate the project requirements before choosing Agile, Waterfall, or another approach.”


Myth: IT project managers only need to deliver projects.

Reality: They also need to ensure the project provides long-term value.

„Focus on delivering projects that meet immediate needs and support future growth.”


Myth: A successful project means delivering on time and under budget.

Reality: Success also includes meeting the project’s goals and stakeholder expectations.

"Evaluate the schedule and budget together with the project outcomes and stakeholder satisfaction."


Myth: IT project managers only need to focus on current projects.

Reality: They also need to plan for future projects and potential risks.

„Engage in continuous planning and risk assessment to prepare for upcoming challenges.”


Myth: IT project managers only need technical skills.

Reality: IT project managers need strong leadership and communication

"Balancing technical knowledge with effective team management is key to project success."


Myth: IT project managers only need to report to senior management.

Reality: They need to communicate with all stakeholders.

„Maintain open lines of communication with everyone involved to ensure transparency and alignment.”


Myth: IT project managers should avoid risks at all costs.

Reality: Managing risks effectively is more important than avoiding them.

„Identify, assess, and mitigate risks to keep the project on track.”


Myth: A good IT project manager can manage any type of project.

Reality: IT projects require specific industry knowledge and experience.

"Specialize in a particular industry to handle its unique challenges and demands."


Myth: The project plan is set in stone.

Reality: The project plan must be adapted to changing circumstances.

„Regularly review and adjust the project plan to accommodate new information and obstacles.”


Myth: All IT projects are the same.

Reality: Each IT project has unique challenges and requirements.

„Customize your approach based on the specific needs and context of each project.”


Myth: Cost management is the sole focus of an IT project manager.

Reality: Time, scope, and quality are equally important.

„Balance all project constraints to deliver a high-quality outcome on time and within budget.”


Myth: IT project managers should avoid conflict.

Reality: Addressing conflicts proactively leads to better team dynamics.

„Mediate conflicts constructively to maintain a positive and productive team environment.”


Myth: IT project managers don’t need to follow up after project completion.

Reality: Post-project evaluation is critical for continuous improvement.

„Conduct a thorough post-mortem to identify lessons learned and improve future projects.”


Myth: IT project managers must micromanage every task.

Reality: Delegation is crucial for efficient project management.

„Empower team members to take ownership of their tasks while you focus on overall coordination.”


Myth: More meetings mean better communication.

Reality: Effective communication doesn’t always require frequent meetings.

„Give frequent updates and use clear channels to keep everyone informed without overloading them with meetings.”


Myth: IT project managers are responsible for all project decisions.

Reality: Decision-making should be collaborative, involving relevant stakeholders.

„Encourage input from team members and stakeholders for well-rounded decisions.”


Myth: IT project managers don’t need to understand user needs.

Reality: Understanding user requirements is vital for delivering a successful project.

„Engage with end-users regularly to gather feedback and ensure their needs are met.”


Myth: A project's success relies solely on the project manager.

Reality: Success is a team effort, involving contributions from all members.

„Foster a collaborative environment where everyone’s input is valued.”


Myth: The larger the team, the better the project outcomes.

Reality: Optimal team size depends on the project's scope and complexity.

„Scale your team appropriately to maintain efficiency and avoid unnecessary complications.”


Myth: IT project management is purely administrative.

Reality: It involves strategic planning and problem-solving.

„Balance administrative tasks with strategic thinking to navigate project complexities.”


Myth: Technology is the primary focus of IT project management.
Reality: The ability to engage and influence people is equally important.
"Cultivate interpersonal skills to effectively manage team dynamics and stakeholder relationships.”

This point is added by: Anne Shields, PMP, PMI-ACP

Anne Shields - PMP, PMI-ACP

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