There is not any worse person to be than the project supervisor at the end of a failed project. Since an IT project director, I have experienced that feeling and I can tell you it's not nice. IT projects are particularly difficult to control. In fact there really aren't any IT tasks, just projects that contain elements of IT in them.
The trouble with these projects is that often you are doing something that was not done before, is unproven or cutting edge. Customers expect a good result not excuses, even though these projects are frequently a journey into the mysterious. If we take those construction industry, building a new bridge for illustration, we've been building connections for centuries and know how to do it. We understand how things are going to occur, in what order and the expected result. This is rarely the case with IT projects.
Avoiding the common pitfalls than it task management is not drive science; it is simply case of taking some sensible measures. Identified here are five killer faults of project management:
Who have Owns the Project?
The nature of projects is change and change often encounters amount of resistance. People abhor change so they need to understand it is necessary and what benefits it will bring. In order for task management to deliver change it needs the backing of senior management. Without it the project will continue very slowly. The leader (senior management) is the person that drives the change forward and the project is the device for change. Task management without support from older management will struggle.
The perfect solution:
Make sure you have the top down backing up from senior management. Right now there must be direct communication from the sponsor to the stakeholders. The communication must be, "we are serious, this thing is going to happen so you are either around or you are not" and beware those that are not.
Be cautious as project manager to make certain the sponsor does not take those project over and become the de-facto task manager.
Getting Users Included
Lack of user input and engagement is the recipe for a poor project. This can either be due to "we really know what you want" mindset from the IT office or deficiency of interest from the customer. In any event it must be avoided.
The IT office must take the time to understand the customer's requirements before suggesting any technical solution. Typically IT is blinded by the latest, hottest thing available and try to shoehorn the needs into it. On the other hands, customers must devote the time and effort necessary to ensure a successful project by getting together with the IT department and making sure all requirements have been fully defined. Make sure you have spoken to all stakeholders to gather their requirements and they continue to work with you throughout the project.
Preventing Scope Creep
Scope creep is the cause of more task failures than anything more. Being unsure of just what a task is aiming to supply or setting off in a proper of enthusiasm, but little else, is a formula for failure.
Make certain that the business circumstance, requirements and scope are plainly defined and written about. Make sure the stakeholders understand them and signal them off. Stick rigidly to the scope of course, if changes are required then force them through a change management process where they are noted, justified and then decided upon.
Often there is an expectation that THIS is like a powerful wand you wave and suddenly a miracle occurs. During a technology job, expectations can inflate to a ridiculous degree. This is the role of the project manager to manage expectations to a smart level.
One way to avoid this is to break task management into smaller pieces or phases. My spouse and i equate this to a sausage machine, where you feed in the organic material at one end and out it is about as small, properly formed, packages or meat at the other end. The same can happen with IT projects where you take small plans of requirements and press them through the machine, producing several deliverables over the life of a project. This way you manage expectations by making frequent deliveries to show what the technology can really deliver. This procedure ensures the project offers to the customer's targets by giving them early on visibility of what you are building.
Understanding the Vocabulary
Possess you ever stood next to a group of IT professionals and considered what on earth they were talking about. It can be like a whole new language also to non-IT people it often is. The pitfall comes when the customer and IT think they are talking the same language when in fact they are not. This brings about a problem when the IT division offers what they recognized the customer wanted and as it happens to be something different.
Communication problems are the hardest to solve as often it is merely searching backside that the challenge is identified. Standard communication and an in depth working relationship with the consumer will help. What you really need is a person with a foot in both camps, who is aware of the business and the IT equally well. If perhaps you can identify this person ensure you keep keep of them, they may be very valuable. If you are struggling to find this person, the next smartest choice is to have two people, one from the business and one from IT. By simply working closely together and sharing information they can minimize any project communication problems.