Any project, especially the development of a new IT product like an app or making IT infrastructure changes, requires excellent project management to be completed successfully.
However, managing any project isn’t an easy task. You need to ensure every step you take goes according to plan to guarantee success. While your team might have the right skills to make the project achievable, as a project manager, you need to ensure everything’s on track and organized.
So to get started, listed below are actionable tips to make IT project management successful.
BUILD AN EFFICIENT TEAM
To accomplish a successful project, you need to ensure you organize your team effectively by identifying their strengths and weaknesses. In this way, you can easily assign them a task they’ll most likely excel in, allowing for outstanding project completion.
Do the following as you build a team for your IT project:
- Hire small specialist teams – Consider hiring small specialist teams. For example, coding has two basic types: front-end and back-end. Yes, it’s possible to find a developer who knows both, but it doesn’t guarantee that they specialize in both coding types. That’s because front-end and back-end coding are distinct skills.
Someone who can perform both front- and back-end coding satisfactorily usually don’t possess the specialized skills required for more advanced projects. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule, but big technology companies still hire people specifically for user experience, design, back-end processing, and database application. It makes sense because hiring an expert in one area of software development is more valuable than hiring an all-in-one generalist who’s mediocre in all areas.
- Assess each team member’s attributes – Assessment of the team members’ personal and professional attributes once they’re already on board is essential in building an efficient team. This will help you determine which team member is best suited for a particular task or objective of the project.
- Help team members work well together – Ensure that the strengths and weaknesses of the members of your team complement each other. This will make it easier for them to work seamlessly.
Doing all these things as you build the team for your IT project may heighten your chances of getting everything right, making the project a success.
PRIORITIZE SCOPE MANAGEMENT
Before you begin developing an app or software or any other IT product, you need to lay out a plan first.
First, identify the following things regarding the project:
- Existing issues
- Potential risks
After identifying those things, you may need to consult with a stakeholder or client to see their final input about the deliverables and goals. In this way, you can effectively layout your plan to meet your stakeholder’s expectations.
The process of developing a scope statement for an IT project will identify boundaries and constraints, as well as define the project’s business needs. It helps ensure that all stakeholders clearly understand how the product will be built and what it’ll do. It also reduces the likelihood of ‘scope creep’ for the team, which means that they won’t be adding their desired features or any additional work above and beyond the project’s scope.
You can learn more here on project scope estimation and limiting problems, like scope creeps, to keep the project on track.
SET REASONABLE DEADLINES
Even if you’d like to impress your stakeholders, it’s never wise to commit to an impossible deadline. Consultation with your team on the ideal timeline for the project should always come first. In this way, you can allow your team to analyze how long a project will take them and come up with an estimation of the earliest date of completion.
The major milestone is the date the software or any other IT project must be completed, but there are many other deadlines in between the end date and the start date. As a project manager, it’s your responsibility to map out the deadlines and milestones through a project management plan.
Take software development, for example. To successfully make a project management plan, you should do the following:
- Pay careful attention to which software features depend on others to work.
- Keep in mind that the development life cycle has four key phases: Initiation, Planning, Execution, and Closure. Focus on them when setting reasonable deadlines.
- Delineate which deadline or schedule corresponds to which sprint. This will help allocate resources correctly for each sprint.
Scheduling or setting reasonable deadlines will be great for ensuring that development team members always know what’s happening and where exactly they are in the process. Project managers can then take note of what’s on schedule and what’s lagging behind to make the necessary changes as quickly as possible.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROCESS
Are you setting up your IT project workflow in phases? How do you like to handle changes? How often should your team update you about the progress of the project? The answer to these questions should help you choose a methodology that your project should follow.
Several types of project management processes exist. In software development, for instance, Waterfall is a common management process that initially pushes full development, then allows the owner of the software to make or demand changes once the process ends. You can also choose the Agile method, which incorporates changes into the development life cycle.
If you’re unsure which management process is best for your IT project, solicit insights from your team members. After all, both Agile and Waterfall methodologies have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s more about which process is more convenient and works for your team.
SET UP PERIODIC REVIEWS
An IT project most likely won’t be finished in only a few weeks. However, it shouldn’t stop you, as project manager, from asking for updates from your team. For instance, set up periodic reviews where developers can present part of the software product as the project continues if you’re developing software. For this reason, communication is a big deal in project management.
Problems may arise due to communication breakdowns. The key is ensuring that communication between management, team members, and stakeholders is frequent and honest. Fortunately, there are now many online communication tools that businesses can use to enable seamless collaboration even when most of the team members are working remotely.
Expect a few bugs during reviews. However, this type of project workflow can help eliminate problems before they turn into something time-consuming and too costly to fix. Take notes during reviews and send them to the team leader so other team members will know what necessary changes have to be made.
Any IT project’s goal should always be to create an outstanding end product. The implementation of effective project management can be the difference between having a mediocre outcome versus a great one.
An IT project can be simple or complex, but the right management helps avoid any issues that could waste your organization or the client’s money and time. With the management tips presented here, your project can be smooth sailing and, of course, a successful one.