Managing IT Projects

Module description

Project management in the modern organisation is a complex team-based activity, where various types of technologies (including project management software as well as software to support group collaboration) are an inherent part of the project management process. Project management involves the use of resources from within the organisation and contracted from outside. In this module you will learn about the processes, methods, techniques and tools that organisations use to manage their information systems projects. You will gain project management skills by applying systematic methodologies for initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing projects, including PRINCE2 and agile project management methods.


You will also practice useful personal skills including CV writing, presenting and participating in interviews, and you will learn about aspects of IT professional practice through a series of “guru lectures” by leading IT practitioners from prominent organisations.

Full module specification

Module title:Managing IT Projects
Module code:ECMM417
Module level:M
Academic year:2014/5
Module lecturers:
Module credit:15
ECTS value:


Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

The aims of the module are:

  • To introduce you to the fundamentals of project management, as applied by organisations in information systems projects.
  • To help you develop effective communication skills, which you will need in many of your modules and in professional practice.
  • To give you practice in employability skills that will help you succeed in applying for IT jobs.
  • To give a flavour of the work done by IT practitioners and the IT-related problems faced by real organisations

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. outline the foundations of project management and describe the processes, methods, techniques and tools that organisations use to manage information systems projects.
  • 2. identify and use suitable software tools in support of project management
  • 3. plain the legal and cultural issues pertaining to complex project contexts including external acquisition and working with global teams
  • 4. demonstrate an appreciation of current issues faced by IT practitioners
  • 5. apply PRINCE2 at Foundation level.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 6. demonstrate an ability to manage a project (typically less than six months, no inter-dependency with other projects and no strategic impact) including the rescheduling for deviations, the handling of review meetings and the management of problems and escalation processes
  • 7. construct a project plan for a multi-threaded project
  • 8. create and manage a risk register
  • 9. take account of basic management considerations: prioritisation, task versus responsibility management, managing up the organisation, people considerations
  • 10. follow a project management methodology
  • 11. make use of the concept and application of deliverables
  • 12. demonstrate the use of critical path planning and managing dependencies

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 13. demonstrate good interpersonal communication and teamwork skills
  • 14. apply for a particular IT job opportunity and participate in the interview process
  • 15. communicate fluently in writing, with the ability to articulate complex issues, taking into account the reader’s viewpoint
  • 16. make concise, engaging and well-structured oral presentations, arguments and explanations of varying lengths by using various methods, with and without the use of media, taking into account the audience viewpoint at all times
  • 17. summarise and critique

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities20Lectures and tutorials
Guided independent study25Individual assessed work
Guided independent study25Group assessed work
Guided independent study76Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Student presentations5 hours13, 16, 17In-class feedback
In-class PRINCE2 test (demonstrating that a foundation certificate could be obtained; additional conditions must be met to attain to obtain the award).5 hours preparation; 1-hour test 5Individual marks

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Project management exercise (team-based)2512.5 hours1-3; 6-12 (15)Group marksheet
Seminar journal for guru lectures157.5 hours4, 17 (15)Individual marksheet
PRINCE2 exercise2512.5 hours5 (6-11, 15)Individual marksheet
Interpersonal communication skills exercise (team-based)2512.5 hours13Group marksheet
Job application exercise105 hours14-16 (4)Individual marksheet

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
As AboveCourseworkAllTimescale to be determined by examiners board - September or December referrals possible.

Re-assessment notes

Since this is assessed entirely by coursework, all referred assessments will be by the assignment of a new piece of coursework.

Deferred assignments will be done by the original piece of coursework combining elements of the module.

Syllabus plan

 Communication skills

  • Effective writing (academic and professional)
  • Presentations: making, summarising and critiquing
  • Interpersonal communication: interviewing, teamwork, facilitation

Employment skills

  • Finding an IT job
  • Applying for a job (writing CVs and cover letters)
  • Participating in interviews

Guru lectures

Content to be advised

Introduction to Project Management

  • Project management terminology
  • Project failures and project successes
  • Unique features of IT projects
  • What is project management?

The Project Management Lifecycle

  • What is the project management lifecycle?
  • Project management and systems development or acquisition
  • The project management context
  • Technology and techniques to support the project management lifecycle
  • Project management processes

 Managing Project Teams

  • What is a project team?
  • Project team planning
  • Motivating team members
  • Leadership, power and conflict in project teams
  • Managing global project teams

 Managing Project Communication

  • Managing project communication
  • Enhancing team communication
  • Using collaboration technologies to enhance team communication

Project Initiation and Planning

Managing Project Scope

  • Project initiation
  • How organizations choose projects
  • Activities
  • Developing the project charter

Project Scheduling

  • What is project scheduling?
  • Common problems in project scheduling
  • Techniques for project scheduling

Managing Project Resources

  • What are resources?
  • Types of resources (human, capital, time)
  • Techniques for managing resources

Managing Quality

  • What is project quality?
  • What are the threats to project quality?
  • How can we measure project quality?
  • Tools for managing project quality

Managing Risk

  • What is project risk?
  • What are the threats to project risk?
  • Tools for managing project risk

Project Procurement

  • Alternatives to systems development
  • External acquisition
  • Outsourcing-domestic and offshore
  • Steps in the procurement process
  • Managing the procurement process

Project Execution, Control & Closure

  • Managing project execution
  • Monitoring progress and managing change
  • Documentation and communication
  • Common problems in project execution

Managing Project Control & Closure

  • Obtaining information
  • Cost control
  • Change control
  • Administrative closure
  • Personnel closure
  • Contractual closure
  • Project auditing


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading


Module notes given by Lecturer(s)

Project Management for Information Systems, James Cadle, Donald Yeates, 2007, Prentice Hall, 2007

Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2, Office of Government Commerce, 2009, Stationery Office Books, 2009

Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


Last revision date