Organizations are dependent more than ever on IT now to run their business. And it is upon the IT teams globally to enable value based outcomes for their respective companies. Without a doubt this makes successful IT Project Management the need of the hour.
Businesses are driven by an overly digital economy and getting out there first to your customers is the primary objective. It is all about a flawless user experience, optimal performance and excellent customer support & service.
Implementing the various IT initiatives successfully requires a productivity and collaboration project management software that brings your people, process and business objectives together.
An enterprise project management tool is more of an enabler and keeps the various project elements in sync and helps drive and build a culture, provided there is one.
On the other hand there are various aspects of successful project management that are out of the tool’s purview and need to be addressed accordingly.
Let us review five key aspects of IT project management that are critical to its success.
1. Active & Approved Requirements Document
The very first steps towards a project are w.r.t requirements gathering and defining the project goal.
And remember, requirements are bound to change as you progress from initiation to planning, execution, monitoring and control phases of the project management life-cycle.
A.k.a requirements can change anytime! Period! The changes may be driven by change in the business strategy, market conditions, competition, technology landscape, unseen challenges or new information coming to light.
Changes unlike others are always hard to track and can derail your entire project.
It is very important that you have an active requirements document that is updated, version controlled and signed.
At the same time, real-time communication with all the stakeholders is a must to gain everyone’s buy-in and prevent conflicts.
Tip: Having a centralized project documentation repository within an enterprise project management tool with the relevant access control and approval process saves the day!
2. Build Adaptable Processes
Having well-defined processes for your operations in a must. But it is equally important that these processes are easy to implement and follow.
All organizations have processes for every other activity, approval, deployment etc. but they are just on paper languishing on their one of many repositories.
- people aren’t aware
- the processes are too archaic and time consuming
- add a lot of administrative overhead
- do not cover for real-time issue handling
Hence, make sure that the processes are built keeping the business issues in mind & ones that stand the test of time.
Self-service is the key for enterprises while dealing with multiple project challenges.
It keeps them agile, enables faster issue resolution and increases adaptability in terms of dealing with “severity1” situation while driving complex projects.
Tip: Project management tools record activity feeds, trigger alerts, reminders and notifications that make it easy to adhere to the defined processes.
3. Robust Change Management
Managing project scope is a critical activity and one that needs to be dealt responsibly. Having an agreed and signed project scope strengthens your chances of project success.
However, changes are inevitable. Reviewing the scope from time to time depending on your project demands and keeping it relevant to the project helps keep your project in alignment with the business goals.
It is important that proper change management guidelines are defined at the agreement phase to manage and prevent unwanted scope creep.
Ensure the change management guidelines define
- broad description of requests that may or will be considered as scope changes
- associated costs for taking up such adhoc requests
- impact analysis on time, resources and quality
- stakeholders responsible for reviewing and approving the changes
Tip: Having real-time project overview, risks and issues register helps to track scope changes & maintain transparency.
4. Transparent Task Breakdown
Running complex projects presents a lot of challenges in terms of task assignments and resource allocation.
Add to it, not having transparency on the tasks progress in real time or your team being clueless about the tasks at hand.
Building a simplified task or work breakdown structure helps address these practical challenges.
With an enterprise task management and collaboration software at hand you can break your project into:
- task groupings and milestones
- task, subtasks and sub subtasks
- independent task assignments
- task linking
- custom task types, labels, reminders
Having these capabilities strengthens your organization’s project execution process, keeps the entire team in sync and everyone is aware of the inter dependencies.
Moreover, the teams see the impact of their work in real time.
Tip: Kanban and scrum boards helps keep things moving and save time spent on status update meetings.
5. Defect Tracker& Quality Monitoring
No IT project is complete without defects J
But having absolute control over your defect tracking and quality assurance process is a critical success factor.
In simple project management terminology, issue registers are commonly used by PMOs across organizations.
But the risk is those are documents often shared and need a lot of manual update, prone to human errors and are highly dependent on teams keeping them up-to date.
However, if you have a strong process around logging defects, linking them to specific tasks, relevant bug categorization and assignment will help you ship quality products faster.
Defect trend reports in terms of quantity, type and aging can further help you streamline your technical teams and shore up skills as needed.
Tip: end to end bug & defect tracker can help improve your product and service quality over time.
Road to Success
No matter how challenging an IT project may seem, having the right processes and tools in place are a sure fire way to success. The wide range of project management, productivity, collaboration and time tracking tools in the market are testimony to it.
And the reason is very simple – our workforce is highly digital, time pressed and mobile.
They want all the freedom while they are being accountable and responsible.
Providing the teams with a centralized collaborative platform motivates them to deliver faster and with quality.
And businesses generate optimal performance and productivity that are vital to their success.