7 Important Project Management Concepts To Understand When Looking For An IT Consultant

Companies often seek out IT consulting when they’re beginning a project that involves incorporating new technology or software into their production processes. Because of this, IT consultants are accustomed to working with project management personnel to achieve a set goal. 

Knowing some important project management lingo is important when you’re discussing your goals with an IT consultant. The following are a few important concepts that you should understand so you can express project goals to consultants you’re considering contracting with:

Cost variance

Don’t assume that IT consultants are just focusing on technical aspects of the project and won’t feel responsible to show any concern for budgeting matters.

The cost variance of your project is the difference between how much a project has cost the company and how much it has brought in earned value (EV). This is a concept that’s absolutely pertinent to an IT consultant’s concerns and should be discussed with the consultant throughout the project. 

Gantt chart

Gantt charts are frequently used when discussing projects with an IT consultant. These charts show different steps of the project as different blocks. They create a sort of an outline that illustrates how a forecasted project is expected to progress. 

Critical path

If you’ve got a strict deadline regarding a project that requires IT consultant assistance, you need to devise a critical path to make sure that the project gets done on time.

A critical path shows the sequence of accomplishments that need to take place- as well as when they need to take place by- to get a project completed on deadline.

The critical path is generally considered to offer the most time possible for completing specific phases of the project while still meeting deadline. 


A deliverable is any possible outcome that can result from the project in question. A deliverable could be a plan, building, document, computer system, network, or any result. 

An IT project could involve one or several deliverables. Planning your critical path will typically focus on how and when these deliverables must be achieved. 


The lifecycle of the project is simply the path to reaching the desired deliverables. It can roughly be defined as a “timeline”. The lifecycle of an IT project will generally include the separate project phases of planning, analysis, design, implementation, and optimization. 

Project definition

One of the most important concepts to have clearly worked out in your mind before discussing with an IT consultant is a project definition or charter. This project definition will clearly state every possible objective of the project and detail deliverables, risks, assumptions, and justification of a project.

If you compare your project to an entire business venture, the project definition is analogous with a business plan. 

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