Although IT projects are inherently complex and difficult to manage, and the larger and more complex the project the more difficult effective management becomes, steps can be taken to mitigate the potential difficulties associated with IT projects. To begin, there must be an awareness within the IT department that project size and complexity represent the primary factors with regard to project success or failure. Organizations must come to some level of understanding as to what the particular culture can successfully absorb in regard to project size. When that understanding has been reached, everyone involved has to be willing to cooperate to make certain that proposed projects do not exceed a size and complexity that presents a reasonable chance for success.

Restraining the natural tendency to add as much function and as many features as possible onto every new IT project must be seen as a discipline that must be accommodated within the organization. The goal has to be one of balance, between obtaining the most value possible from the project while avoiding a risk of failure that is too high for the organization. One of the problems is that in many organizations, the ability of the IT department to meet the needs of the organization has been constrained by the use of arbitrary IT funding levels. Those funding levels are usually too low, and the result is that IT cannot meet the business needs of the organization. Where that circumstance has existed over a period of years, the result is often to try to gain at least some of the needed business items through IT project overloading.

An important aspect of making the changes needed to reduce the risk of IT project failure must be to recognize the cultural issues involved in dealing with the problem. Making the needed changes is going to have to be a joint effort between all areas involved in IT projects. In order to begin the process, IT management should provide the needed leadership. Preparing and presenting factual information highlighting existing IT project development approaches that lead to difficulty, coupled with a factual analysis of the level of development capability within the organization, constitutes the first step in moving to improvement.

The next and more difficult step is going to be to "sell" the benefits of making needed changes throughout the organization. Doing that, as is the case with any cultural change, will not be quick or easy, but IT managers should see making it happen as one of their mandates. In many organizations, developing a case that the current processes are not working will not be difficult. Using that case as the basis of a presentation to senior management for support to begin to take a different approach to the way IT projects are considered and structured within the organization should provide support for needed changes. Where there is a clear, well-presented review of the facts, coupled with a well-developed plan to move to improvements, the probability of the support of senior management will be high.

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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