Most IT departments have two primary goals:
- Supporting current users and systems to maintain business processes
- Introducing new systems and optimizing existing systems for maximum business productivity
The second objective can collectively be considered IT projects. These IT projects drive significant change to business processes – so why do so many IT projects fail? It may be easy to point the finger at the technology itself, when in fact many IT projects fail because of flaws in prioritization, resource management, and risk mitigation.
There’s a never-ending list of projects that your IT team could be working on. Without clearly defined objectives, you run the risk of deprioritizing the best projects to work on the merely good. Strategic portfolio project management helps you overcome this risk to your IT projects.
Changes to Business Processes
In most instances, using a project management solution encourages you to clearly define the goals for your project, along with the key stakeholders, and the timeline. This increased focus on project management from the planning and initiation phase helps you to define the impact that the project will have on your business processes.
Redundant and Conflicting Projects
Structuring projects in portfolios helps you to separate the great projects from the good, and escape the tyranny of the urgent. A clear project scope definition also helps you to ensure that you’re working on the best project to accomplish business objectives, preventing unnecessary effort on redundant or conflicting projects.
Projects aren’t done by systems – they’re done by people. Effectively managing your team by improving communication and monitoring workload, you can achieve better project outcomes.
With a distributed team that may span different locations, time zones, and work shifts, effective project communication is often a challenge. An effective IT project management system allows your team to work asynchronously on their tasks and share updates to keep the project moving forward with fewer meetings and emails.
Improve Employee Productivity
An overloaded employee is not a productive employee. By managing your resource allocations, you can help your team members get more done, with less task switching. Before assigning team members to project tasks, you can evaluate their current workloads to ensure they have the time to dedicate to the project.
IT projects are highly susceptible to the risks of running overtime or suffering from scope creep. Identifying and tracking risks can help you improve your time and cost estimation, and ensure your projects stay within scope.
Improve Time and Cost Estimation
Estimating the duration of tasks and phases within IT projects is often challenging. You may not know the details of what a task will take until you really get into the heart of the task. Tracking the actual time spent on project tasks helps you to improve time and cost estimations in the future.
When a project starts to shift beyond its original intended scope, the effect may be felt across the organization. Having a clearly defined project scope – including defined project exclusions – that you refer back to frequently when making project decisions to help keep the project on track.
IT Project and Portfolio Management Solutions
Today’s project and portfolio management solutions help you successfully prioritize and execute business critical IT projects. By providing the foundation to set priorities and expectations, improve resource allocation, and manage risks, you can focus your energy on project execution.