7 Proven Tips To Manage Tech Projects
An interesting thing about projects is that everyone is involved in one. Most times in more than one!
Well, dig a bit and you are amongst chaos right from conflicting project deadlines, resource sharing, project priorities and associated interdependencies.
What does this entail for our tech project managers?
To start with they too aren’t spared as the tech project managers themselves are at the helm of multiple projects needing their attention on priority.
So, it is not only about managing the projects they are responsible for but dividing their own efforts towards various initiatives.
All of these while ensuring nothing falls through the cracks!
This calls for the project managers to be at the top of their game with excellent project management skills in action at all times.
IT Project Managers must employ a mix of intelligent project management software, robust resource management strategies and the right project management methodologies at their disposal.
In this article, I would like to share snippets on proven tips based on real world experiences.
Align with your Project Pipeline
Getting new projects is exciting. It means more business and revenue. But not always.
Project pipeline management must be an organizational strategy. Stakeholders from all the key business functions like sales, transition, delivery, operations & PMO must be involved to identify and streamline conflicting projects.
It isn’t about delivering everything on the plate. Rather, being judicious in planning & sequencing in a manner that is in the best interests of the organization and the customers alike.
Collaboration among the strategic stakeholders at the initial stages helps reduce chaos, enables better execution strategy organization wide and helps move the business forward.
The important thing then becomes to have a transparent and accurate visibility of the project pipeline across the portfolio. Read on…
Maintain visibility of your Project Portfolio
Excel sheets, shared libraries and word docs cannot make up for a real-time portfolio dashboard. Invest in an enterprise project management software that helps manage your portfolio end-to-end.
The focus here isn’t on the granular details or the daily execution status. Rather a helicopter view of how things are and where they are expected to be.
The executive dashboard must provide the key project metrics in terms of the budget, estimated timelines and efforts spent/required with possible filters w.r.t the project managers, clients etc.
This helps you to analyse how things are progressing, what are the possible roadblocks & take proactive measures to avoid possible resource and timeline conflicts.
It is all about staying on top of your execution strategy and ensuring it is aligned with the overall business plan for the current month/quarter.
Lock your Requirements
As impossible it may sound, you aren’t going to success without it.
Requirements gathering is “the most” important critical success factor for your projects.
Take as much time as needed to capture the important aspects of the initiative. Be diligent and schedule calls, interviews & working sessions with all the relevant stakeholders.
You must gather
- The most important goal of the project
- Desired project management methodology that is preferred
- Define milestones & time-lines
- Delivery schedule
- UAT process
- Change request process
- Success criteria
Scope management and preventing scope creep is serious business. A goof up there can cost the entire project with long ranging repercussions at both ends. You never want that!
Do a Kick-Off Ceremony of Sorts
Project kick-off meetings are equally important as rest of the other key project management activities e.g. initiation, planning, execution, monitor &control and closure.
Kick-off meetings are your means to introduce the project and project charter. Project Charter is the Project Manager’s bible for a simple fact that it outlines everything between today’s problem and expected solution.
It clearly introduces you to –
- the problem statement for undertaking the project
- the solution to be implemented for the problem
- the timelines for completion of the project
- the project deliverables & goals
- the stakeholders – management, client, team etc.
- the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder (RACI Matrix)
- the foreseen risks and current identified constraints
Once you have shared your vision, associated goals, time lines, productivity and delivery goals with your team it is utmost important that they provide feedback.
Depute a reasonable amount of time to answer all their questions and/or concerns if any. You may unearth crucial information and facts that may prove beneficial for the project.
Finally, kick-off meetings are the perfect meet n greet platform for your team and establish the right connections to last through the course of the project.