Who kicks off a project expecting it to fail? That’s a loaded question and certainly not one most business owners or investors contemplate. The honest answer is that this worry generally falls to program and project managers so they can anticipate and navigate around potential pitfalls. Sadly though, this negative approach means many project folks lapse into a coma when presented with a new initiative. The optimism of the business owner faced against the pessimism of the project team creates a tug-of-war that far leads to fuzzy objectives, delays, cost over-runs and the risk of ultimate failure.
Of course, technology projects are needed and important. And don’t get us wrong, business owners are investing in the future and project teams are focused and driven by successful project completion. But why do so many projects end up in yelling matches, power struggles, failed expectations and bleeding budgets?
Performing post-mortems on floundering projects is a tedious and emotional procedure for everyone involved. Coming to the realization that the traditional project management approach is killing the best-intentioned efforts is a rough diagnosis, but one we have concluded is today’s reality. Therefore, it’s time for change!
Managing the Project is the tactical skill to stay focused on the finished deliverable. Caution: Don’t get lost in the weeds.
- Discovery: Define and document project scope, objectives and deliverables.
- Planning: Define and document timelines, milestones and assignments.
- Execution: Work accomplished to complete deliverables.
- Feedback: Monitor and adapt to change in scope, planning and deliverables.
- Acceptance: Review final results of the initiative and receive approval to label as complete.
- Close: Transfer ownership and responsibility to service delivery and operations team.
Moving the Project is the artistic skill of managing the chaos. Change is inevitable and flexibility is required. Each and every initiative is a living, breathing work of art. Acknowledge the pending chaos, accept the speed of change and adjust accordingly.
- Adjusting Scope: Do not forget the primary objective. However, when objectives change, redefine or reassign as a future project.
- Shifting Schedules: Manage and monitor timeline constraints. Once again, adjust accordingly.
- Managing Cost: Continually monitor and recalculate actual and projected costs.
- Scheduling Resource(s): Many people, many teams, many vendors. Schedule and reschedule to ensure the right people with the right skills are available at the right time.
- Initiating Communication: Own and initiate communications between stakeholders, vendors, contractors and project team.
Finishing the Project is a mindset to stay strong and deliberate while remaining flexible enough to accomplish the final initiative. The hardest part of any project is the final mile. Projects are not everlasting. Each project should have a defined beginning and end. Complete the objective, end the project then hand it off to operations. What’s next? Embrace the next adventure.
“We have an IT department but felt we needed additional assistance with long-term project management. The enPower team evaluated our environment, initiated plans and executed them flawlessly. Their precision and attention to detail has afforded us peace of mind knowing the projects are done the right way.”
Time is money and every second of downtime costs the firm. At the agency, we firmly believe in taking a proactive approach to our managed IT services. The tools that enPower utilizes on the desktops and server help prevent most IT issues from happening, however, if/when an issue arises, their technicians are very knowledgeable and get right to work on the problem. We are thankful for our relationship with enPower Technology Solutions!