It’s not rocket science to create successful projects
Project Management is not rocket science
There is no worse thing than being a project manager at the end a failed project. As an IT project manager, that feeling is not pleasant. IT projects can be difficult to manage. There aren’t IT projects. Only IT-related projects.
These projects can be challenging because you’re often doing something new, unproven, or cutting-edge. Even though these projects are often a journey into unknown territory, customers expect a great result and not excuses. We have been building bridges for hundreds years so we know what it takes to build them. We know how things will unfold, what order they will take place and what the expected outcome is. IT projects are often not like this.
It is not difficult to avoid common pitfalls in IT project management. It is simply a matter of taking sensible steps. These are the five biggest mistakes in project management.
Who owns the project?
Change is a part of the nature of projects. Resistance to change is common. People don’t like change, so they need to be aware of its necessity and the benefits it will bring. Senior management must support a project in order to bring about change. Without this support, the project will be slowed down. The sponsor (senior manager) is the person who drives the change forward. The project is the mechanism for that change. Without senior management support, a project will fail.
Senior management must support you. Direct communication must occur between the sponsor and the stakeholders. The message must state, “We are serious, this is going to happen, so you are either with or you are not”, and warn those who aren’t.
As project manager, be careful that the sponsor doesn’t take over the project and become the project manager de facto.
Get Users Involved
A bad project is made worse by a lack of user input and participation. This could be due to the IT department’s “we know what we want” mentality or lack of customer interest. It must be avoided in any case.
Before recommending any technical solution, the IT department must spend time understanding the customer’s needs. IT departments often get caught up in the latest and greatest technology and try to fit the requirements into it. Customers must put in the effort and time to ensure a successful project. This includes interacting with IT and making sure that all requirements are clearly defined. Make sure you have met with all stakeholders to gather their requirements. They should also continue to work alongside you throughout the project.
Scope Creep: Stopping Scope
Scope creep is more common than any other reason for project failures. It is easy to fail if you don’t know what your project is trying to deliver.
Make sure that the business case, requirements, and scope are clearly defined. Make sure that all stakeholders are aware of them and agree to them. You must adhere to the scope. If changes are necessary, you should go through a change management process. Documentation and justifications are provided and then they can be agreed upon.
IT can be compared to a magic wand that you wave and then a miracle happens. Expectations can rise to ridiculous levels during a technology project. The project manager is responsible for managing expectations to a reasonable level.
This can be avoided by breaking down a project into smaller phases or pieces. This is similar to a sausage maker, where you feed the raw material at one end, and it comes out as small as possible.