It has been said that IT project management is akin to herding cats. There are generally a multitude of priorities, activities, and goals that an IT project requires. Even with the help of an IT project management software and a seasoned project management team, things can and do go wrong with projects of all types. Yet, you can avoid some project management mistakes by anticipating them and taking steps to reduce this from happening with a plan. Here are some of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
The wrong project manager
In order to be successful on any IT project, you need to assign a team leader who is knowledgeable about the process and the type of project work at hand. This knowledge and experience will count the most when it comes to handling problems or setbacks in the project. Choosing someone who has not managed a project is risky, especially if the project is for a client or important vendor.
Lack of executive buy-in
Your stakeholders and the executives who will be in charge of making key decisions should be on board before undertaking any IT project. This is because you will need this support from the management and financial end of things as the project requires resources and prioritization. Make sure you have executive buy in and provide frequent updates to test this throughout the life of the project.
No regular communication
An IT project team must continually communicate in an agile project management environment. This means scheduling regular project meetings to discuss updates, challenges, and feedback for the project. The IT project manager should be in charge of setting this up, but if not, be sure to create an internal forum for tracking all project communications rather than relying on a chain of random emails.
Poorly written scope of work
Every IT project needs a carefully written scope of work document that will explain every detail and milestone of the project ahead. This is a collaborative document that each member of the project team will use to complete their tasks. Make sure it is written by a skilled analyst, and then checked by your project team for accuracy before signing off on it.
Unrealistic project deadlines
All project teams go into a new IT project with gusto, but over time this wanes to the point where there may be a little less motivation. If a project deadline is set too soon, this becomes overwhelming to team members; too far out and they will forget what they need to do to accomplish the goals of the project. Using a project management system, set realistic timelines as they apply to each task and current resources.
Being successful in IT project management begins with the people who are part of the project team. Hire the best IT employees and you’ll likely find that project management becomes more of a smooth process. Venteon’s IT staffing resources can help you select the best contract and temporary employees for the job.