IT project management can be a complex undertaking that requires an in-depth understanding of various techniques, processes, and tools. Prior to project execution there are key driving factors that, if established correctly, can reap favorable results. Top factors include how project deliverables will be tracked, the process of recognizing and deflecting scope creep, and delivering effective communication with stakeholders. A disciplined approach to each of these throughout the entire project lifecycle will garner greater success when it comes to staying within the projected timeline, mitigating risks, and managing expectations.
Other important driving factors for project success can include:
Project Management Software
Selecting a dynamic project management software that meets your needs, is adaptable, and allows your teams to easily collaborate and track progress against milestones.
A well-defined and enforced documentation policy to keep data current and eliminate confusion regarding decisions made or action taken during previous phases.
Conducting a thorough stakeholder analysis in addition to an effective communication plan will help identify who needs what, how each will be affected by the product, and how cross-collaboration may be beneficial to each division.
With Gantt charts you can plan tasks in sequential order helping to create a timeline for completion. They can also help identify potential problem areas, overlaps, and resource deficits before they become roadblocks.
Once you have defined the necessary driving factors and laid the framework for your project, key components to closely track throughout execution are cost, schedule, and performance. It is important to ensure all three elements stay aligned until the end. Keep in mind that technology changes rapidly therefore be agile enough to adapt quickly and efficiently as needed. Risk assessment, with emphasis on security, should also be conducted periodically to identify potential issues that may arise so that appropriate mitigation strategies can be developed ahead of time to minimize disruptions and delays.
No doubt about it, managing an IT project takes dedication, discipline, and proper use of resources at every stage, from conception through delivery. When done correctly, it can lead to an outcome that may very well exceed your own expectations.
Greg Olivares, DTSI Account Executive