Most modern businesses rely—at least to some extent—on IT infrastructure, and since technology changes so rapidly, it is only a matter of time before any company has to think about upgrading their IT systems. This can be a very frustrating process, particularly when costs and the length of the projects run over.
If you are planning an IT project in the near future, and you want to keep it under control, here are some tips to help you bring the project in on time and within budget:
Make a Realistic Plan
The IT project management process can be a long, complicated and arduous one, which is why it is important that you plan extensively before you get started. Think about the scope of the project, what needs to be achieved and how big the budget is and then work out a tight strategy for achieving your aims. This plan should be realistic with at least a small buffer period so that if any problems are found, you can still complete the project on time.
Identify Who the Project Will Be Helping
When you’re planning an IT project, and you want it to be delivered in a timely manner, you should always identify the prime end-users who your project will be helping. If you don’t know who they are, then you don’t know exactly what your objectives should be. You could end up not completing the project to their standards or forgetting to do something that is key to the whole project, forcing you to run over in time and spend more of your budget.
Schedule Regular Project Meetings
There will be multiple people involved in the average IT project, so unless you want it to descend into complete chaos with no joined-up thinking and no one really knowing what they’re doing, it is vital that you schedule and keep regular project meetings where you can track your progress, discuss any problems and ensure that you are all moving forward in the right direction.
Don’t Overload the Staff
If you’re managing an IT project, you should try not to overload any one of your staff. They might be specialized in a particular area, but if you put all the burden for one part of the project onto one individual and they have more work to do than the rest, it is more likely that mistakes will be made. So, as far as possible, distribute work evenly, don’t overburden anyone and listen to any concerns your team might have.
Use the Right Software
Project management software is essential if you want to be able to track and manage your IT project accurately, but there are lots of different packages available, which can make it tricky to find the right one.
Ideally, you should use a tool that is available online so that it can be accessed anytime, anywhere, and you should try to choose a product that enables collaboration between your team.
The bottom line: If you plan well, and keep track of your staff and your project and team your team, you will keep your next IT project under control.