If you’ve ever managed a major IT project, you’re probably well acquainted with Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” Every project is going to have some rough patches. The key to overcoming these challenges lays not with the execution of the plan, but with the preparation. In this 2-part series, we review some important points to consider when you’re planning your next long-term IT project.
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Visibility is a key ingredient between your project manager, the client and the execution team. When a hurdle gets in the way, many throw on their acting cap and do their best to struggle along until things get to the breaking point and the client finally has to be looped in on a change in the original plan. It’s more impressive, in this scenario, if the client is informed upfront. Often, something as simple as a phone call, email or status update can help avoid uncertainty.
Keeping Everyone Informed
Too often in a project’s execution, only the project managers know how the project is fairing. Everyone else is only privy to the sections of the project that apply directly to them. Project managers are there to drive the project – and part of that is communicating with resources – both inside and outside of the project. For example, if your project is going to require your network to be offline, you should give advanced warning to those who will be impacted by this downtime. It is not only courteous, but helps to keep your project on track. There is nothing like having to delay your progress because there was an important meeting scheduled at the same time you had planned on taking the network offline.
There are many programs and applications available to those who are looking for ways to improve project organization and communication. There are also growing opportunities for artificial intelligence (AI) applications for businesses looking to mitigate the HR and project management woes. Project management software gives project managers a unified solution where they’re able to track inventory, budget, KPIs, resources and a whole host of other moving parts.
That being said, don’t be shy to ensure you have the correct and up-to-date contact information for everyone involved, including personal cell phones, if necessary. It’s great to meet up with project partners & clients and texting one another from a restaurant, etc, helps bring everyone closer together and removes uncertainty. You may also learn unique personality quirks of people this way, how they communicate gives you intel on how to treat the relationship long-term.
Testimonials such as the one we received above are a reflection of proper project management from beginning to end. However, projects can go off the rails for a multitude of reasons, at any point in time during the execution. All a project management team can do is make a plan, anticipate needs, and be ready to face whatever challenges are thrown their way.
Do you have an IT project in mind but are unsure of how to plan and execute it? Contact ActiveCo Technology Management today at (604) 425-3433.