An IT Project Manager has many of the same skills as their counterparts in other industries. Beyond the skills normally associated with traditional project management in industries such as construction and manufacturing, an IT Project Manager will typically have an extensive background in Software Development or Infrastructure Services. Many Project Managers hold a degree in Computer Science, Information Technology or another related field.
In traditional project management a heavyweight, predictive methodology such as the waterfall model is often employed, but IT project managers must also be skilled in more lightweight, adaptive methodologies such as DSDM, SCRUM and XP. These project management methodologies are based on the uncertainty of developing a new software system and advocate smaller, incremental development cycles. These incremental or iterative cycles are timeboxed and produce a working subset of the entire system deliverable at the end of each iteration. The increasing adoption of lightweight approaches is due largely to the fact that software requirements are very susceptible to change, and it is extremely difficult to illuminate all the potential requirements in a single project phase before the software development commences.
The software project manager is also expected to be familiar with the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). This may require in depth knowledge of requirements solicitation, application development, logical and physical database design and networking. This knowledge is typically the result of the aforementioned education and experience. There is not a widely accepted certification for software project managers, but many will hold the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation offered by the Project Management Institute, PRINCE2 or an advanced degree in project management, such as a MSPM or other graduate degree in technology management.