The success of any IT project is directly dependent on the project manager. That’s why the first goal should be to ensure each project our clients undertake is headed and staffed by skilled people.
Who Can Be a Good IT Project Manager
A good IT project manager is that individual who has the expertise to understand all the different cogs that drive the project and has the ability to steer things in the right direction. For that, they need masterful skills in strategy and planning because IT projects present unique challenges.
First, most of them are large-scale and highly diversified, involving components of both hardware and software assets. Secondly, many of these projects are likely to be long-term going through testing, implementation, and post-live stages.
With these challenges and responsibilities in mind, clients and sponsors need to choose IT project managers very carefully.
- A good PM defines a plan and a schedule and sticks to it.
- The individual will have excellent teamwork and people skills, otherwise known as soft skills. This is what makes it possible to create engagement among diverse teams with different motivations. They include communication, delegation, and motivational skills.
- Business-wise project managers are an asset, especially given the percentage of projects that exceed budgets. An individual who knows compromises can be made to control costs helps the project achieve its objectives.
- Able to manage and channel change. Every project faces constant change from clients, employees, authorities, and unforeseen forces. A lot of the time, failure and setbacks will occur. A good PM must overturn these changes and drive the project towards eventual success.
- An IT project manager must understand the technical side of the project. The various complexities, challenges faced, integrations required, technology vendors involved, and quality controls should all be clearly understood to ensure complete oversight.
- Proven critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities are crucial. IT projects are almost always going to run into complex problems, and only critical thinking can provide useful solutions.
Knowing this, it is clear that project management can be an expensive and intensive process. However, the tradeoff in project success and other benefits is always worth the investment.
Benefits of Using IT Project Management
The biggest benefit of IT project management is that it instantly improves the chances of project success. By providing guidance and control, it ensures that factors of failure are identified and dealt with early on.
Project success automatically means timely delivery, reduced costs, and fulfilled objectives, but there are other important benefits of good IT project management.
- Align Your Projects to Your Overarching Goals
Effective ITPM ensures that every IT project closely aligns and contributes to the larger goals of your organization. PMs are usually the only person with buy-in into the project, and they can ensure that the whole project meets expectations.
- Create a Clear Focus on Each Project
Even with small projects, lack of management leads to even more chaos. Late delivery, lack of oversight, increased risks, vague objectives, and lack of control are likely when no structured management is implemented.
- Ensure Quality Control
IT projects have a large capacity for poor quality resulting from rushed activities, weak technology, and lack of teamwork. Only proper ITPM can tighten controls and ensure a methodical and measured quality control process.
- Manage Risk
Every IT project carries inherent risk. Good ITPM brings these to the fore and ensures that they are mitigated and dealt with. Plans are made for contingencies, failures, and vulnerabilities to ensure the final result is up to standard. One of the ways that can be done is through continuous testing. Even the best planning fails when real-world testing is not done to reveal overlooked issues.
- It’s the Only Way to Ensure Continuous Oversight
Without an orderly management process, projects are incredibly complex and hard to control. This makes it difficult to gain sufficient oversight into all the different processes involved.
Good project management sets up controls for reporting, assessment, documentation, and tracking to ensure that every routine is managed.
Manage Your IT Projects Right With Proven IT Managers
IT projects are built on people, not infrastructure. The first and most important role for any organization is to find the right managers to head IT operations and projects. The skills and expertise needed for such vital roles need to be proven, not just presented on paper.