Manage, motivate, plan, solve - and lead the the project to success.
Project management is an important discipline in all types of industry. In IT, it comes with unique challenges, but also unique opportunities. Project management tasks in IT vary from project to project.
Successful requirements management ensures that an IT project delivers what the client expects. In many IT projects, requirements engineering and management are routinely overlooked - phrases like 'better start implementing now while we think about what features we want' are quite common and often intended to avoid delays. The usual result is proof that high quality requirements are the basis of good implementation and save time and money. A good project manager recognises the gaps in existing specifications and helps the project sponsor with filling them - not only for functional requirements, but also for the often overlooked nonfunctional requirements, specifying necessary performance, the number of users a system must be able to deal with or maximum resource usage.
During implementation, the project manager plans the tasks ahead, the way the team works and keeps tabs on progress. Depending on project methodology (e.g. when agile methods like SCRUM are used, where the project manager may double as SCRUM master), frequent meetings with team and project lead are equally frequent tasks as adapting planning to changing requirements.
Another important aspect is the management of versioning and staging. Especially in larger projects, migration projects and when changing systems in production, proper versioning and staging methods are invaluable.
Project Management and the Team
Equally important for success as technology and methods is the motivation of the team members and the ability of the project management to discover and help solve discord and emotional problems equally fast as functional and technical issues. Especially in projects with high time pressure and complex technology, a competent project manager increases efficiency in collaboration.