How to Nail a Project

So many projects, so much mismanagement. That’s the refrain of many IT executives. Indeed, even with project management software, IT projects often wind up taking longer (much longer) than planned and costing more than budgeted.

While no two projects are exactly the same, the issues that can affect — and potentially jeopardize — them are often quite similar. And even good project managers can make mistakes when wrangling a big, complex project — or when being bombarded with change requests.

It’s important for the entire team to know roles and responsibilities and deliverables right from the start, says Shami Ahuja, director of agile practice at technology consulting

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firm Nsia. This is why it’s a good idea to hold a kickoff meeting with all stakeholders. Breaking large project into small, manageable pieces will make the team feel more comfortable and confident that they can successfully tackle what may seem like an impossible project and accomplish each task.  To avoid leaving your team feeling overwhelmed, take the time to understand each face of the project. Then break the project into small pieces, and break those small pieces into smaller pieces if you can.  And assign each task to the team members who are best suited to accomplish them.

Too many project managers get bogged down focusing on the scope, quality, cost and timeline associated with their projects and forget about the people who are actually doing the work, says Irfan Kapasi, managing director, strategic solutions and services, at IT staffing firm Computer Group. Failing to properly manage team members, or micromanaging them, can “lead to delays, impact quality and result in cost overruns.”

To avoid this problem, make sure everyone understands how and why their role is important to the success of the project and schedule time for periodic check-ins. This includes sponsors, team members, executives, suppliers and other stakeholders. This way you can make sure everyone shares the same vision for the project.

Manage your team!

Read more on project management:

Project Risk

How to be a Good Manager

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