Is your team kicking off another project before year-end? Here are some IT project management tips to help.
IT Project Kick-off
Perhaps the most exciting phase of a new IT project (aside from when it is complete, of course!), those first meetings to get a new project in motion has everyone on the team energized. Unfortunately, it is all too common to get questions from day-one around completion time and first milestone delivery. These are not questions appropriate during this phase and can cause your IT project team undo stress. Instead, as the project leader make it clear that the initial meetings are for discovery purposes. This discovery period can be used to breakdown the project piece by piece to get a solid understanding of scope, deliverables and resource needs.
IT Project Schedule
Set a realistic schedule. Don’t buffer too much but add some time in to absorb problems and issues that might come up. In IT project management it is also important to take time upfront to think about the possible challenges that might arise and to scope out contingency plans if one occurs. Finally, set milestones and be proactive with communicating progress with the stakeholders. Make sure you are communicating in both directions. In other words, make sure all members of the IT project team are aware of the information that is going to the stakeholders at each update.
Scope creep is a common issue in IT project management. To help mitigate, from the beginning take time to understand the vision of the project and the needs of the stakeholders. Define deliverables clearly and document requirements well. Have a process in place to handle change requests and communicate clearly the impact of the change on the IT project cost and schedule.
As much as an IT project is about coding and technology processes and systems, good IT project management is also about communication. Clear and effective communication is perhaps one of the best tips to ensure project success.