Five Keys to Successful IT Project Management
Over the last few decades, IT project management has come to involve more than simply managing a project at the highest level. Executives and IT leaders agree that successful IT project management goes beyond a few technologists exchanging ideas in a conference room. Success depends on how well an organization can apply their knowledge, tools, skills, and techniques in order to meet and exceed project requirements. Here are five keys that can significantly increase the chances of IT project management success.
1. Using a Proven Strategy
One of the most significant factors contributing to IT project success is the strategy. It may seem simple enough: a deadline is established, a budget is set, a team is selected, and the project is executed. However, a lot can go wrong during execution without a proven project management strategy in place. The right strategy must include realistic goal setting, efficient time management, and accurate resource allocation in order to ensure success.
2. Getting Executive Buy-in
Executive buy-in means more than budget approval. Great ideas don’t make it very far without executive understanding and overall approval for every aspect of an IT project. As projects evolve and change, leaders must be engaged and flexible. When modifications are required, leadership must be prepared to respond with the timely decisions. With the complete support by an organization’s executive team, IT projects are more likely to succeed.
3. Getting Full Team Engagement
Participant engagement is another critical requirement for successful IT project management. In an article by the Project Management Institute (PMI), Juanita M. Woods states, “Increasing employee engagement should be a high priority for project managers and organizational leaders. Engagement is important in project teams because engagement has been shown to positively affect successful project performance.” She also mentions that full team engagement increases “task performance, attitudes toward customers, and the level of team efficacy.” When the project team is fully engaged, success rates will go up.
4. Adhering to the Project Management Lifecycle
There are five phases of the project management lifecycle as defined by PMI. They are project initiation, project planning, project execution, project monitoring and control, and project closure. As well, there are 10 essential areas of project focus that should be carefully managed: integration, scope, time, cost, quality, procurement, human resources, communications, risk, and stakeholders. These project management stages and areas of focus, have been proven to successfully guide project teams since the 1970s, and today align with a number of agility and efficiency resources to ensure overall project success.
5. Using Agility and Efficiency Tools
Another factor which contributes significantly to IT project success is the use of agility and efficiency software tools. There are many useful tools that can be utilized during the project management lifecycle to improve project management efficiency. Some examples of leading agility and efficiency project management tools include Six Sigma, Scrum, Basecamp, Asana, JIRA, Trello, Zoho, and many more. There are also many useful resources such as Gantt charts, PERT charts, project calendars, and timeline tools. A project management statistic shared by workamajig.com, states, “File sharing, time tracking, email integration, Gantt Charts, and budget management are the top five most used and requested features in project management software.” These tools are now a must for any successful IT project.
Minimizing IT Project Management Challenges
With all the many useful project management tools on the market, project management has become more simplified than ever before. However many business organizations may find that IT projects are still quite challenging and complex. In these situations, outsourcing the project management to an IT provider is sometimes the best choice
Outsourcing is also a good option for organizations which find it too time consuming and costly to manage IT projects in house. Third-party project management resources and partners are a great alternative to in-house IT project management especially when IT experience and know how are essential to project success. In fact, Workamajig.com reports, “68% – more than 2/3 – of organizations in PMI’s annual survey said that they used outsourced or contract project managers in 2018.”
Here at Outsource IT we use a proven process for IT project management which adheres to ITIL best practices. Our project management methodology enables us to control every aspect of the project, while exceeding expectations, and meeting deadlines. Contact an Outsource IT account manager, or click here to learn more.