Seems like these two proposals have significant overlap, but I don't have a strong feeling on what to do with it.

How does the community feel?

Proposal: Project Management

Proposal: IT Management

5 Answers 5


No - IT Management is the art of managing IT staff and projects

Project Management is far more general, and applied to construction, IT, engineering, etc - but shouldn't overlap [too much] into people management

  • 3
    +1 Totally agree with @warren. IT Management has project management as one of its core fields(as mentioned).
    – vpuri
    Feb 1, 2011 at 19:32
  • @vupri "IT Management has project management as one of its core fields(as mentioned)." - so your arguing that they should be merged? Feb 1, 2011 at 19:38
  • 3
    @Mark No, while project management is an important part of IT management, project management in general extends beyond IT.
    – vpuri
    Feb 1, 2011 at 19:46
  • @Warren: I'm not sure what you mean by "shouldn't overlap [too much] into people management". Project Management is almost entirely the management of people. There is management of assets and other resources as well, but without the aspect of people management, there is nothing. Did I read what you were saying the wrong way?
    – richard
    Feb 5, 2011 at 3:56
  • +1 Personally, I've worked on a job with a PM who handled a team of, Electrical Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Software Devs, Grunt Workers, Business People, Construction People, Architects, all on one project. The PM is usually the glue who brings it all together and manages the team (morale, scheduling, communication, etc). Although, they are used a lot in IT, their skills are specific and applicable to many fields. Lumping them with IT management would be a mistake since IT management usually refers to IT infrastructure management/maintenance. Feb 7, 2011 at 2:14
  • 1
    @warren - so to clarify, IT projects aren't "normal" projects and typical project management guidelines don't apply? Or is it that the definition is more like what Evan Plaince is talking about: IT management refers to '''infrastructure management''', which often is conducted as an on-going task and does not fit the typical definition of a 'project'. When an IT team has a project, as they sometimes do, then they would run those activities like a project, with requirements, a start, middle, and end. At that point, they are the same, but it's all the other activities that make IT different? Feb 8, 2011 at 1:40
  • 1
    @Richard DesLonde, there is a vast difference between managing people's time as a resource, which is what a Project Manager does, and managing the people themselves, which is what an IT (or other department) manager does. If a Project Manager is managing the people directly something has already gone wrong. Feb 11, 2011 at 2:38
  • @John Gardeniers: Any project manager, in any industry, who approaches a project thinking that all he has to do is manage "time as a resouce" is doomed to failure. Relationship management, people management, soft skills, are the most difficult and essential part of any project...IT or not.
    – richard
    Feb 11, 2011 at 17:56
  • Project Management provides a set of general guidelines, methodologies and strategies cover all projects under different domains. PMP certificate is not specific to IT project management. It has the broad persepective focusing on over-all management.
    – bonCodigo
    Jun 1, 2014 at 7:28

See my update below that I am for the merge after the first few days of private beta.

I'm not sure I agree that project management isn't about people. People are perhaps the most important aspect of any project, and knowing how to communicate with them, motivate them, and create an environment of mutual respect is absolutely critical for the success of the project.

A project manager, in any industry, who loses respect from the technical personnel below him or her will fail.

I would say that it wouldn't be a good idea to merge IT and PM because the example questions are different, and if too many moderators try to assert their influence by closing too many questions they consider off-topic, we'll see a lot of conflicts of interest, frustrated folks in meta, and people who are fearful of asking questions knowing they'll likely be closed.

If the two were to merge, the moderators with interests in both areas would have to agree to let the community handle close votes so that it takes at least 5 to close the questions.

Since there won't be any 10k users, they would have to agree to make comments and only close the questions if they see at least 3 comments suggesting the question doesn't fit. If that doesn't work, I'm sure the community can come to some kind of agreement to how to effectively handle the merge.

UPDATE: After being involved in the private beta, I am for the merge. Project management by itself so far is proving to not have enough depth. Many questions are too basic and academic type questions instead of real world. Merging IT Management with Project Management will give us more options to choose from, which increases the number of great, thought-provoking questions.

The people asking questions are trying their best, but I feel we need some real-world questions that are more specific and less general.

  • I completely agree that PM is hugely about people. Since people are the most important resource on any project, the management of people is the most important aspect of any project. I don't understand your logic re: not merging them. Just because the example questions are differenct? Regardless of the example questions, these two topics are too overlapping. PM is already specific enough of a topic. We don't need to them parse it out into every relevant industry that uses PM.
    – richard
    Feb 5, 2011 at 19:50
  • @Richard - My point was that if we try to merge them together, we may find that there are different groups of people who see the direction of the site much differently. I'd hate to see this fail because the two groups of people had differing opinions on what questions were considered off-topic. Some of the off topic questions, like How to Motivate the Programmers to Write Comments in the Code and Documentation, are questions that I consider very important in my role as a project manager.
    – jmort253
    Feb 6, 2011 at 22:01
  • @Richard - As long as the moderators of both groups agree to work together, then merging them might be okay. But it's important that those groups avoid conflicts.
    – jmort253
    Feb 6, 2011 at 22:06
  • @jmort253: The problem I see here is that we don't have people looking at Project Management correctly. If they were, they would see that Project Management is encompassing of IT Project Management, and that the question How to Motivate the Programmers to Write Comments in the Code and Documentation is VERY MUCH relevant to the topic of Project Management. The only problem I can see with that question is that it might be a duplicate of another question like "How to Motivate my resources to fullfill banal tasks".
    – richard
    Feb 7, 2011 at 0:55
  • @jmort253: That questionis is CENTRAL to project management, the management of resources (of which people are the most important). We need to get out of the thinking that we are only programmers. If we want to just be programmers, and only concentrate on SE sites that are for programmers, then we need to get rid of the others like English, Photography, Guitars, etc. So again, I submit, if we break out IT PM, then we should break it out for every industry that claims it runs projects completely differently from the others (which is EVERY industry, because they all DO implement PM differently).
    – richard
    Feb 7, 2011 at 0:58
  • After being involved in the first few days of beta, I am for the merge. As long as the questions are thoughtful and attract more experts into the community, that's what really matters. We need more depth, and merging the two might be a big help.
    – jmort253
    Feb 9, 2011 at 8:08
  • Many proposals here have the same problem but proponents just ignore because they are blind and just wanna see their proposal launched. Even when the proposal is launched and shows weakness, users avoid to discuss possible solutions. Currently we can see 3 or 4 unsuccessful proposals having solutions being discussed but reject by users. Worst, solutions are being ignored.
    – Maniero
    Feb 9, 2011 at 10:36

Definitely should be the same topic. The only reason I see for breaking them out is that the SE sites in general tend to cater to the software/tech community. Otherwise, from strictly a topic standpoint, Project Management encompasses IT Management, so IT Management overlapes Project Management.

Otherwise, maybe we should also have Proposals for . . .

Construction Management
Engineering Management
Industrial Management
Car Manufacturing Management
Widget Management
SE Proposal Managemeent
Lemonade Stand Management

  • Project Management isn't a superset of IT Management. Projects are a temporary utilization of resources. IT Management covers on-going usage and support activities. While there is some overlap of the two fields, neither is a complete subset of the other. Jun 26, 2011 at 4:01
  • @Huperniketes: I see your point. Maybe I missunderstood the OP's question. I subconsiously inserted the word Project into the question, i.e. IT [Project] Management, which I now think isn't correct.
    – richard
    Jun 26, 2011 at 7:21
  • @Richard, when I started learning the managerial perspective of The Right Way® to manage projects I learned that too. I think software development has done it so poorly for so long we think what should be separate projects for new releases are one constant project. Jun 26, 2011 at 8:00

Project Management is a huge, broad field that has many sub-specialties, practice areas and standards.

IT Management, whether you're talking about the management of IT projects or the management of information technology itself, is its own specialty. It may be a sub-domain of project management or have its own domain specific techniques.

But overall, these are two separate topics.


IT Management has some unique properties:

  • new methodologies every 10 years
  • highly diverse temperaments (introverted developers included)
  • highly variant knowledge work (rather than the same thing again and again)
  • little in the way of professional accreditation, so hard to find good people
  • an extremely fast-moving, pervasive and specialised domain
  • a massive history of failure
  • huge amounts of support and material online, including Open Source.

For these reasons, I'd like to see an IT Management site kept separately from Project Management. I can't imagine most non-IT project managers being interested in database migration strategies or KPI measurements for testers, just as I can't imagine non-retail managers being interested in expected Christmas sales and anti-theft strategies. For specialist domain concerns, having an industry-specific site makes sense.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .