If you’re in charge of managing technology implementation within your enterprise, it’s a fair assumption that you are hard-pressed for time. While this lack of time is completely understandable, it isn’t something that you have to resign yourself to. With a couple of our project management tips, you’ll be able to save time and ensure that your IT projects are a success.
There’s No Such Thing as Too Much Planning
When you’re implementing new technology, you need to have goals, an efficient plan of attack, as well as contingency plans in case situations arise that are not ideal. You should clearly outline your goals, the path to reach those goals, and the tools and resources you’ll need to get there. The idea is that through intensive planning, you will be able to meet your goals without too many problems. It’s suggested that project managers spend at least 70 percent of their time on planning out the project to ensure it goes off without a hitch.
Lead By Example
If there’s one thing that being a leader is all about, it’s inspiring others to reach the pinnacle of their potential. The only way to do this is to put as much time into the project as you expect others to invest into it themselves. This type of leadership shows your team that you take the project seriously, and suggests that they do the same. After all, you can’t expect them to work their hearts out on a project that you’re not invested in.
RAID is an acronym that stands for: Risks, Assumptions, Issues, and Dependencies. A project manager who understands RAID will be more likely to respond favorably to problems that might jeopardize the future of the project or organization. You should create a logbook that details the risks you expect to encounter throughout the implementation process, the assumptions you have about how your solutions will work, the issues that might arise during implementation, and what the success of the project success depends on. Keep this logbook close at hand so as to monitor them throughout the implementation procedure.
Communication is crucial for all levels of project management,especially for large IT implementations. Your customers want to know exactly how their assets are being used by your organization to fuel their needs. Thus, there needs to be communication between the customer or vendor and the project manager. The project manager then delegates tasks and information to the rest of the project management team as needed. The importance of communication cannot be underestimated, especially internally. You can set up “feedback checkpoints,” where your team informs you of major milestones in the project development, to ensure that everything is proceeding according to plan. Remember; transparency is the key to any successful implementation.
Carefully Choose Your Team
In a similar manner, you need to approach who you ask to join your project management team carefully. You want only the most trustworthy and talented individuals working alongside you to ensure that the project is completed on time, and on budget. You also want your team to be as flexible and transparent as possible, as roles could change and minor issues could prevent a well-tailored plan from working properly. Remember, this team will be responsible for completion and success the project, so it’s important to take into account their acumen for the job you are having them do.
Have a Plan B
As stated above, be sure that you have contingency plans for all aspects of the project, just in case the initial plan fails. You can never be too careful, and a project that is completed properly, regardless of the troubles it took to get there, is still better than one which is both on time and on budget, but implemented incorrectly.
Have a Clear Budget and Timeline
Unless your project is guided by a strict budget and timeline, chances are that it will do either one of two things: 1) Fall behind schedule and risk being fulfilled late (or not at all), or 2) Break the budget, which forces the project manager to explain how it got so far off course. Worst yet is the fact that the budget is now broken for future problems, hindering the organization’s progress in the long run.
Goals, Metrics, and Tracking Are Important
You want to have a system set up so that you can track progress on your project. This includes making sure that tasks are completed in a timely manner, as well as ensuring that certain milestones are achieved to keep the project chugging along. A metrics tracking software can be used to keep project team members accountable for their work and keep them on track to meet their expectations.
Be Supportive of Your Team
Sometimes in the heat of the moment, it can be difficult to tell a good decision from a bad one. Under the duress of a deadline, even the most dedicated employee can make a mistake. Just stay positive and remember that, despite minor hiccups, your employees will see the job through until the end. Praise should always be offered when it’s deserved, as it’s good for morale and the project’s completion.
Notice a pattern? It’s better to be ready for anything than to be caught unaware. If your enterprise needs assistance with project management, we’d be happy to share some of our tricks of the trade. Just reach out to us and ask.