Whether you’re looking for a small technology implementation or a global enterprise rollout, choosing the right IT project management partner keeps the project on schedule and within budget. However, partners can become can just another expense if the right questions are not answered ahead of time.
Below are the topics and questions that help IT Managers build the right team to complete IT projects and let the internal team focus on their day-to-day responsibilities.
5 Key Aspects to Successful IT Project Management
IT projects often involve some sort of disruption to the environment. Good IT project management works to minimize that disruption for both the users and the rest of the IT team. There are 5 key aspects when choosing the right IT Project Management partner. They are:
A project manager has a number of specific responsibilities. One of the most important aspects is how the manager interacts with the people involved – both the project team and the stakeholders. Look for the tasks they typically handle as part of their project management role. Then, check their tasks against the following list to make sure they do all of them. The project manager should be:
- Organizing resources
- Developing and documenting detailed work plans
- Managing team performance
- Managing risk
- Communicating status and issues
Find out about the experience the individual has. Past projects, lessons learned, and best practices help build a knowledgebase on which future projects benefit from. IT teams should ask:
- Have they successfully managed projects of similar scope or helped a company facing similar challenges?
- How will they leverage that experience for you?
- Have they have been guided by best practices in carrying out their work?
Training couples the experience of the project manager and best practices. Be sure to ask:
- What kind of training the person has undergone?
- Have they had a solid combination of a structured training curriculum and on-the-job experience?
- Are they certified through the Project Management Institute or ITIL?
A quality project manager has processes that are derived from past experience and best practices. These include a project plan, approval and review boards, and any standardized methodologies. When discussing processes, teams should discuss:
- How the project manager’s company handles project approvals and reviews.
- How the company uses its methodology for delivering project management services
- How the company manages scope, cost, schedule, and quality checks
The presence of a toolset means the project manager can look to established aids that make the work go faster, and more predictably. Tools coupled with experience, training, and processes help mitigate risks and keeps the project on schedule and under budget. IT managers should find out:
- How quickly, and systematically, can the project manager put their knowledge to work for you using their existing knowledge base?
- How does the project manager manage his/her wealth of knowledge?
Consider the elements above when you evaluate an IT project management partner. Many companies have demonstrated strengths in one or two of these areas. Search for a partner who can bring all of the components to your project. Successfully identifying such a partner will pay off for you at every step of the implementation and throughout the execution of the project.