Best Practices for IT Project Managers
Without good IT project management, many things can go wrong. There are many statistics in the industry about how many IT projects fail. Depending on the source it falls between 30-95 percent. So how do you make sure your project will not be one of the failures? Read below for ways to ensure project management success.
Develop a standard process and concrete project definition.
Developing a standard process may seem like a no brainer. While it’s the most basic place to start, it is also important to remember to get it right. Doing this correctly will help you follow a streamlined process to get and keep the project on track. Not doing this will increase chances of project failure. You will not be able to define and measure the success of your project without these basic standards. Having a standard process can get rid of many issues that may crop up later such as failures with the roles and responsibilities, as well project scope. If you have a standard process as well as clearly defined project requirements and objectives, you will have created a great foundation for a realistic plan that the entire team and project can reference to ensure success. If you do not have a standard process and concrete project definition, it is hard to successfully execute the project.
Stick with the process.
Once you have a process that works for your workflow, it is important to keep it up and running. This can be done with up to date technology and software to centralize information and visibility for the project. Having a system and process in place helps team leaders and project managers stay in the loop with the team’s progress and keeps open communication within the team. This will help keep the project on track and maintain visibility regarding what everyone is working on, ensuring forward progress and a view of any additional tasks as needed. If something goes wrong or the project goes astray, managers can take immediate action.
Hire the right team
To get the best work, you need to hire the best people. No matter how well prepared you are with ideas, planning or technology, without the right people and skillsets, your project will not succeed. Having the right project management platform will provide additional security for your project by allowing you to evaluate and oversee the team you have assembled. If you do not have the talent in house to assemble a team with the best skills, you should consider outsourcing various components of the project. Another option is to put the project temporarily on hold while you hire new IT staff for the project team.
Clear and Concise Communication.
Setting realistic goals and schedules and communicating often and well about them is a major component to successful project management. Rushing a project can lead to failure. You will need enough time to test the project objectives and to communicate them to all users. An effective project manager will be a good communicator and need to push back against any unrealistic expectations or deadlines. You may receive pressure to hurry the job up or meet unrealistic costs constraints. Being a successful project manager includes not only communication between the team, but also with the powers that be. This can be done with clear communication that includes projecting project risks and success detriment.
Always make sure everyone on your team as well as those financing the project are kept well informed. It is important to communicate clearly and concisely by being articulate, and checking to make sure your communication was received and understood. Following up is also essential. If you can keep a steady communication stream, the process and workflow will lead to success.
Having a clear direction, timeline, deadlines and expectations from stakeholders will also help your project. You will stay on track, you will have everything documented and you will keep your project on the road to success.
Knowing what to expect in a project, how to get involved, having a solid planning process, good communications, adjusting for risk management and resolutions and planning ahead will ensure success in your IT project management.