More than 70% of IT projects fail to deliver on time, within budget, and to specification due to poor sponsorship, lack of defined requirements, and miscommunication between the project team and stakeholders. With such a dramatic failure rate, how can you hope to not only meet your IT project goals, but also surpass them? The most frequent cause of project failure is the lack of adoption of a Project Management Methodology. Without using a methodology from the outset:
- Project Teams start building deliverables without defining the project’s scope and objectives
- Project roles and responsibilities are unclear, and lines of communications are undefined
- There are no quality targets set, so it’s difficult to know when deliverables are really finished
- The customer can never be certain of the project’s progress or when it is likely to be complete
- Project Managers must attempt to manage change, risks, and issues “on the fly”
It’s no surprise that many projects are cancelled before they even reach the planning stage. A best practice Project Management Methodology provides structured processes at the outset for initiating, planning, executing, and closing projects. Darby Consulting has developed a Project Management Methodology to consistently help our project managers improve their effectiveness at planning and delivering successful projects.
Define IT Project Objectives
IT Project Managers who build deliverables without first defining the project’s scope and the objectives are essentially fitting the proverbial square template on your round IT project. Experienced IT Project Managers know that every IT project has unique variables that must be taken into account when building deliverables. Without defining the project’s scope and the overall goal of the project, the threat of the project spinning out of control is very real.
Taking the time to meet with all stakeholders involved in the project before beginning is essential to project success. IT Project Managers should gather the goals from the stakeholders and create a holistic objective for the project that satisfies the organization’s needs. Defining the scope of the project ensures that the project will remain within budget and have a greater chance of being delivered on time. The project’s scope also acts as a guidepost for any changes or complications that arise, allowing project managers to consistently bring the project back on track, no matter the challenge.
Create Comprehensive IT Project Plans
An IT Project Plan is an essential extension of the project scope. It fleshes out the details of the project by clearly identifying roles and responsibilities, lines of communication, schedules, and expected deliverables. If the project scope is the guidepost, then the IT Project Plan is the pre-programmed GPS system that communicates to the project team the direction to help them drive the project to the destination.
The IT Project Plan identifies the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) of phases, activities, and tasks to be undertaken to complete the project. It identifies the sequencing, duration and dependencies of tasks as well as the generic resources and financial expenditures required to complete the project.
Establish Processes to Monitor and Control IT Projects
Throughout the Execution phase, the Project Manager is responsible for a set of management processes to monitor and control the deliverables being produced by the project. These processes are to ensure that each deliverable is produced on time, within cost, and to the level of specification required by the client.
Examples of these management processes include (but are not limited to):
- Time Management: ensures all staff record the time they spend on project activities so the IT Project Manager can calculate actual versus forecast time spent, and identify if the project is ahead of, behind, or on schedule.
- Cost Management: identifies all project actual costs and records the rate at which the project budget is being consumed.
- Risk Management: prevents risks from occurring and minimizes their impact on the project should they occur.
Darby Consulting’s proven MPMM system leads our IT Project Managers through the appropriate processes based on the level of complexity for any given project.
Consistently Plan and Deliver IT Projects
By ensuring that your IT Project Manager uses a project management methodology, you will greatly improve the likelihood of delivering your project successfully by:
- Standardizing the way your projects are undertaken and managing project performance
- Establishing a clear framework for the successful delivery of projects
- Building a comprehensive suite of processes to monitor and control IT projects
- Creating more efficient deliverables
Additionally, Darby Consulting supports our IT Project Managers with a full suite of best-practice methodologies, tools and templates so we can more quickly deliver results.
ABOUT DARBY CONSULTING
IT project delivery is what we do. For over 10 years, we’ve helped growing organizations consistently deliver successful IT projects – both software and hardware. We’ve pioneered innovative methods and tools tailored specifically for your success. And we’re affordable; we’ve built a cost-effective operating model so we can offer exceptional IT project services at prices that will surprise you. This means more projects completed on-time, higher end-user satisfaction, and increased growth for your organization. Let us help you successfully plan and deliver your next IT project. Schedule a meeting today!