By now, CIOs and CTOs, along with their teams, should have a good handle on ideas for revitalizing IT project management. The next step is to turn those ideas into a game plan you can follow, with specific goals, metrics, and timelines. You have the backbone of a lot of brainstorming, auditing, and information-gathering, all of which come together to set the tone for a game plan that will truly transform the way you manage IT projects.
Because IT project management itself can have a large, complex scope, it follows that revitalizing IT project management is something that comes with a lot of magnitude, too. That’s why a game plan is so important, to set out exactly what you are trying to do, the various steps you will have to take to get from the start of your plan to the finish line, and what key performance indicators you need to watch to ensure that your plan is on track.
Setting Revitalization Goals
Only you and your team can outline exactly what you are trying to accomplish by revitalizing your IT project management, namely because these goals should stem specifically from what you have identified as lacking or lagging areas in your current model. That being said, there are a few common concerns CIOs, CTOs, and other tech professionals often face when it comes to project management, which may serve as a starting point for setting your own goals.
Perhaps your organization is dealing with poor communication between teams, departments, or individuals. Especially as businesses move toward a remote-work approach, it’s challenging to keep up with effective, regular communication to see an IT project through. Revitalized IT project management would introduce measures to ensure that communication is constant and clear with every stakeholder, during every project.
Maybe your organization struggles with agility and flexibility in completing IT projects, with stiff project management practices that do not accommodate changes in technology, stakeholders, budget, or timelines. Revitalization would look like introducing a more agile model here, planning waves of project management to better evolve alongside your project and its needs.
Or, maybe you’re dealing with something even larger, such as not having any structured IT project management plans in place at all. That means your organization has to start at the very beginning to introduce project management practices, software, and staff roles.
No matter what you’re working to fix, revitalized IT project management starts with looking at where your organization has room to improve, then setting goals based on what would bring that specific improvement about.
Translating Plans into a Timeline
Coming up with a timeline doesn’t have to be daunting. First, identify the major milestones your revitalization project needs to hit, such as installing and launching new project management software, or hiring a project management office lead. Work backward from those key milestones to identify what needs to happen to move from one big moment to the next. Then, further break it down into what tasks are required to make those sequential moves, and how long those tasks are expected to take, especially considering (and involving) who will be tasked with getting it done.
Consider potential roadblocks before they pop up and set you off course. Every project, including revitalizing your project management, will hit areas of challenge. A proactive approach is what gets you over these issues and on to the next task. Look ahead, think of potential problems, and make a plan to overcome each one, well in advance of the problem actually rearing its head.
What Metrics to Watch
Unless you measure the outcome of your revitalized IT project management, you won’t know if it’s worth the effort. Following metrics or key performance indicators helps you adjust your goals and timeline strategically, showing the value of your project. Tie your metrics in to the goals you were trying to achieve and the problems you were trying to solve.
One key metric is productivity. Track your units of input (such as hours worked) and your units of output (such as contracts completed, products put to market, etc.) before your revitalization project, and as you’re implementing changes. What you want to see is more output for less input, showing greater productivity.
A return on investment metric is similar, showing the benefit of the project, divided by its costs. This shows you if, or when, your project pays off, with the amount you have earned hopefully being worthwhile for the amount you have invested.
Customer, employee, and stakeholder satisfaction are also important metrics, as your revitalized IT project management should be something that improves quality in all of these areas. We hope you have been enjoying our Revitalized IT Project Management series! Next up, a summary of the advice and strategies you need to succeed.