Building a help desk uniquely requires project managers to exercise leadership. It involves a broad array of players: senior and mid-level executives, supervisors, end users, and IT technical experts, just to name a few. Project managers must motivate all of their players to provide information, expertise, time, and effort. Without that leadership, acceptance of the help desk will be difficult and can result in project failure, whether from a cost, schedule, or quality perspective.

Exercising leadership on help desk projects is even more difficult in a general business environment that is constantly changing, from markets to organizational structures. In addition, help desk projects face challenges of high staff turnover, shortage of people with the requisite technical expertise, and unyielding customer demands for good, reliable service. These circumstances challenge the leadership skills of even the best project managers.

It is important for project managers of help desk projects to perform the basic skills of leadership.

Communicating Regularly Setting up an IT help desk requires the participation of a large number of people with unique skills. Often, these people work independently and isolated. It is important that project managers ensure that communication flows among all the participants, horizontally and vertically.

Encouraging Teaming Because many people on a help desk project are specialists who work independently, the feeling of being a member of a team is difficult to acquire.

Project managers must work to encourage greater interaction so that synergy is generated and directed towards accomplishing the goals of the project. Otherwise, the esprit de corps of the team suffers and, consequently, the output.

Facilitating Performance Team members working on a help desk project are more than likely supporting other projects. They can find themselves facing conflicting priorities. Such conflicts can interfere with their productivity. Project managers must work to resolve these conflicts and other impediments to productivity.

Keeping Focus on the Vision A tendency on help desk projects, like all projects in general, is to stray away from the vision. Scope creep, for example, is a common occurrence on a help desk project because of the tendency to increase the services that the help desk will provide. Project managers keep everyone concentrating on the vision, not expanding it.

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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