For most leaders and most industries, project management skills are absolutely essential, and never more so than for leaders in tech related industry roles. It is often the case that a tech team will be juggling several projects at the same time, communicating with a range of stakeholders and dealing with different priorities and deadlines. If IT project managers are not able to create a clear roadmap that covers all of these projects, then this can result in significant amounts of wasted time and money. It can also lead to some rather frustrated members of the project team and even clients.
If a project manager has an understanding of all the essential components that make up a successful IT project, then even the more ambitious plans can lead to results that are tangible.
We have put together a list of 10 powerful tips to help IT project managers gain a better understanding of the processes that are involved in order to manage projects more effectively and deliver better end results.
The single most important tip for any project manager in any industry is that communication is the single most important skill that you have in your arsenal. This means communicating with team members and stakeholders in an effective manner in order to limit problems in your project and ensure that everyone understands exactly where the project is up to.
For any IT team to be successful, the key is to facilitate successful business outcomes. There must be a strong alignment between individual projects within any larger portfolio or program in order to achieve the strategic goals of an organisation and effectively address all competing priorities.
If you want to understand your project properly, you must understand the industry. In case you are going to manage a project related to replatforming eCommerce, you need to familiarize yourself with different eCommerce platforms available in the market, their strengths, weaknesses, and features. Whilst it is certainly true that project management skills are highly portable between industries, a lack of understanding when it comes to the fundamentals of the IT industry and the steps that are involved with IT specific projects will create unrealistic operating conditions and may result in goals being missed. You can consider leveraging a WordPress voting plugin to gather insights and opinions from stakeholders during project planning, ensuring a more inclusive decision-making process and better alignment with project objectives.
The right project management platform for any IT project is an absolute must. A great project begins and ends with having the right tools in place to help at every stage of the project. When you do not take the time to ensure that this is the case (and remember not all projects are the same, and therefore different platforms may be needed), then you are setting your project up for failure. It is essential to use a platform that works for all teams working on a project across the organisation. When you align all of the teams to one platform, it is possible to establish processes that can lead to project success that is faster and, more importantly, repeatable.
Another key to successful project management within IT is for IT leaders and other business leaders within the organisation who are associated with the project to be aligned in terms of milestones, deliverables, dates and financials. This is something that should be agreed upon at the start of the project. Then it is possible to ensure that there is clear reporting on the KPIs of the project on a regular basis. Doing all of this correctly may require accessing your iPhone VPN settings. Getting this right requires effective stakeholder management.
It is essential to record everything. At the beginning of a project, people are likely to just want to get things done, but as the project progresses there will be unexpected issues that come up. When this happens, it is important to record this alongside your project plan so that you can assign a resource to deal with it. A detailed project plan may well save IT project managers a headache when desperately trying to meet a project deadline.
Nobody wants their project to fail, but it happens and, unfortunately, perhaps more often than people realise. It is, therefore, important to be objective about the probability that there might be a failure because this can be a key to a successful project. Process development and the gathering of requirements can be improved when you plan for failure and will allow you to improve your processes in order to avoid any failures you may have identified at the beginning of your project.
Delegating can often be a challenge for a project manager. The urge to just do the task yourself can be great. It is, however, really important to take a step back from the task and evaluate everything whilst delegating to other members of your team and showing them that you have trust in them to carry out tasks successfully. If you possibly have a design background and would love to design a logo, it’s still a good idea to leave that responsibility to a skilled designer who knows which logo maker or other graphic design tool is best to use to create a great logo.
In order to achieve a successful project, it is important for IT project managers to empower the team. It doesn’t matter which methodology you are following, take a step back from problems and allow the team who is closest to the issue to try and solve the problem. They should also create and maintain both schedule and scope.
10. Create a breakdown for actionable tasks
Early on in the life cycle of the project it is important to forecast any execution risks for your project by making an accurate assessment of the complexity that is involved in the tasks. This will allow you to minimise your project failures. Whilst this is not always easy to do, break your project down into small tasks that are actionable, work out the dependencies early on and then make sure that you use a smart project management tool in order to track them. This should go a long way towards helping to ensure that your project is successful.