IT Project Management Success
By Claudia Vandermilt
Just as with any large-scale business project, IT project success depends on the careful execution of many individual elements. In this way, IT project management is not that much different from most other types of project management. However, due to the complexity of many IT projects, certain aspects of project management are more crucial to master when you’re trying to guide one of these projects to a successful completion.
Basics of IT Project Management
When creating an IT project management plan, you’ll need to include some key strategies for managing costs and keeping the project moving forward on schedule. IT projects are particularly susceptible to problems in these two areas, and building an awareness of this from the beginning will help you keep your project on track. Additionally, you need to have a clear definition of what a successful outcome will be for your project so that you will know whether or not you are headed in the right direction.
You also need to be able to measure your progress in some type of meaningful way. Without a system of measurement, you won’t be able to tell whether your IT project is moving along smoothly or heading for trouble. The earlier you can detect these types of problems looming on the horizon, the better your chances of avoiding them and keeping your project moving forward.
Boundaries and Deadlines
One thing that makes IT project management such a challenging process is the potential for scope creep into many other areas. You must make sure the scope of your project is clearly defined and understood by everyone on your team so that they will not be inclined to work outside of those parameters, intentionally or not. Expanding the scope of an IT project even just a little, can cause huge overages in terms of both cost and completion time.
Setting the proper project boundaries is very important when it comes to directing the work of your team members. It can be of even greater importance, however, when it is applied to the process of communicating with customers about the specifications and expected completion date of their projects. If you are close to the completion of a project and your customer suddenly decides they want to make a small alteration to the project, it’s important that whoever is communicating with the customer find out exactly what the requested changes will entail before agreeing to it. A seemingly small change can dramatically increase the cost of a project as well as extend the time line significantly. A key aspect of IT project management is setting customer expectations and making certain the customer understands how any changes will affect the budget and schedule.
Claudia Vandermilt is a skilled project manager with experience in internet marketing, travel, consumer goods and home necessities. She’s earned certificates in Applied Project Management and Advanced Certificate in Applied PM from Villanova and continues furthering her education and experience in project management across industries.