Revitalized IT Project Management: Overcoming Obstacles

We’ve gone over what revitalization looks like and why your organization should do it. We’ve also offered suggestions and examples regarding how to get started and how you can expect this revitalization to impact your team. But, as with any new endeavor, it’s essential to know the potential pitfalls of revitalized IT project management.

That’s not to say that obstacles are a reason to give up on changing the way your team manages projects. Rather, you can look at obstacles as opportunities to ensure that your approach will stand up against any challenges.

The numbers show that many organizations are lacking in project management in the first place, let alone ready to improve on project management practices without research and work. According to statistics, only 58 percent of organizations fully understand the value of project management.

It’s also important to understand that your organization is not the first to deal with obstacles in revitalizing project management. Nor will it be the last. These stumbling blocks are identifiable largely because others have stumbled over them too!

We’ve put together a few examples of common issues. You’ll see how other businesses have successfully managed their changes. Hopefully, this will inspire confidence in your organization’s ability to thrive too. And remember, we’re always here to help.

Understanding the Challenges of IT Project Management

IT project management and revitalizing these processes bring unique challenges and obstacles. To know how to overcome these issues, you need to know what they are. While it’s impossible to predict every problem that might pop up, there are some top IT project management challenges of which you should be aware.

Every part of IT and IT projects interconnect. Every component depends on another. If there’s something wrong or amiss with one piece, the entire project can suffer. When it comes to revitalizing how these projects are managed, a full understanding of these dependencies – including those between hardware, software, data, and networks – needs to be in place. That way, if you change something, encounter a bug, or come across another issue, you will know what other parts of the project need monitoring too.

Communication will always be a potential stumbling block. Every person impacted by revitalizing project management needs to know how to best communicate with every other person and branch of the company. Don’t forget to include stakeholders and customers who will be impacted by the changes you make.

As these changes happen, it can be a challenge to ensure that everyone is ready to adapt and open to new ways of doing things. Be clear on your project management model, be explicit about what needs to happen to complete the project, and make sure to have buy-in at every level. You can achieve these things through transparency, allowing any person or department to come to you with concerns, and providing adequate training. Communication plays an important role here, too, and should be quick and effective.

Keep reading for a real-life example that encompasses all of these challenges. It demonstrates how an organization can overcome challenges with tenacity and determination.

Case Study: Ensuring Dependencies, Communication, and Buy-In

HealthCare.gov is an excellent example of an IT project that suffered from many issues with dependencies and communication. The first rollout of the project happened in 2013. Major technological problems meant that the vast majority of the intended users couldn’t properly access the site at first.

A later audit of what went wrong showed that basic dependencies were overlooked. The site was built for only 2,000 users, for example, which meant that the 50,000 users who simultaneously attempted to use the site crashed it. Hardware resiliency was also a problem, as was communication breakdown and lack of stakeholder involvement or participation.

A group of developers ultimately came together to fully fix the site, employing the best practices that should have been there in the first place. They started out trying to fix bugs. Ultimately, they revitalized IT project management for the United States government.

The team sought and finally received approval to use Amazon Web Services as part of their work. It moved to using a chat client over email, switched to an agile approach from a waterfall-based project management strategy, and eventually gave way to departments like the US government’s 18F, dedicated to improving websites, streamlining systems, and modernizing processes. It’s a good ending. A great example of overcoming many, many obstacles through one project.Next in our Revitalized IT Project Management series, watch for Baby Steps and Celebrating Successes. This will show you how your organization can see a positive change in IT project management without having to do it all at once.

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