Willingness To Stay The Course

All IT projects face some level of difficulty, and much of it can be mitigated through sound management approaches. However, problems must be anticipated. As they arise, people will try to find ways to reduce the pain associated with the project. At this point, pressure will likely build to modify the project.

Some of the suggestions for doing so include:

■ A reduction in the features to be delivered. A phased approach to the project can be introduced, designed to shift parts of the project from the current schedule to some (often poorly defined) future date.

■ An approach that proposes that flaws or problems in the system be fixed by some workaround process. This process offers a solution to the current problem, but will often do less than what was specified in the original project plan. The idea is that the problem should be fully and correctly repaired, but there is no time to do that work now. The workaround is usually accompanied by a promise to return to the problem at some later date and make things right. When this occurs, the chance of correcting the problem at some later date will be close to zero.

■ A willingness to reduce testing standards and controls to meet project deadlines. Again, the stance is to wait to fix testing-related problems so that the schedule is met.

■ Abandonment of the project.

■ Obviously, if a project is in difficulty, some steps must be taken to correct the situation. These steps, and their ramifications on the entire project, should be carefully thought out and considered. It is important that everyone involved in the project realize that if there are project difficulties, there may be pressure to adjust the original plan. The plan should be flexible enough to allow adjustment, if needed. Organizations must avoid overreacting to problems and adapting the wrong approach to solving them.

Those responsible for the project's ultimate success within the IT department should ensure the continuing support of the organization's senior management for the project. If the project is of sufficient importance to be initiated, it should be adequately supported if things should go wrong. In obtaining senior management support, project managers must be willing to present an accurate picture of the potential difficulties inherent in the project. Insofar as is practical, senior management must be given a realistic assessment of the potential for difficulty and be willing to stay the course if things go wrong.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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