What Is Infrastructure Project Management?
Infrastructure project management focuses solely on infrastructure projects. However, it uses all the same standard methodologies and processes as other types of project management.
What are infrastructure projects?
Infrastructure is the basic structures, systems, and services required for operation. Think of infrastructure as the fundamentals that everything else is built upon.
The infrastructure of a community is called economic infrastructure. It includes roadways, sewers, railways, power lines, etc.
Here are some examples of economic infrastructure projects:
- Developing a new highway
- Installing underground power lines
- Replacing a section of the sewer system
There are also business and technology infrastructures. Business infrastructure can include facilities, operating systems, communication tools, and security systems. Some business infrastructure project examples are:
- Upgrading the phone lines in the building
- Installing a new sprinkler system
- Renovating the production facility
Technology infrastructure consists of hardware systems, software, network connections, and servers. These are some examples of technology infrastructure projects:
- Installing a new backup server
- Replacing all the computer hardware
- Upgrading the payroll system software
What is infrastructure project management?
While there are some similarities, there are also noticeable differences between technology, business, and economic infrastructure projects. A technology infrastructure project may follow the software development life cycle (SDLC) and require an Agile approach. Both of these are less likely to be used on an economic or business infrastructure project. Due to these differences, when discussing what infrastructure project management is, it’s important to specify the type of infrastructure.
Typically, someone interested in infrastructure project management would specialize in only one of the three categories. If your background is technology infrastructure, you’re less likely to land a project manager job in economic infrastructure — at least, compared to a project manager who already has that kind of experience.
Even within the broad categories, project managers often become more specialized. Some project managers only manage roadway and highway projects, while others only manage facilities projects. A technology company may have one project manager who only does hardware projects and another that only does software projects. While the basics are the same, specialization allows you to gain experience in specific project types.
This specialization can result in the following:
- Improved planning due to past lessons learned
- Better ability to problem solve due to experience with similar issues
- A greater understanding of the technical aspects of the project
- A reputation as an expert, which can lead to greater trust from your team and stakeholders
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