Project management is one of the most difficult and challenging disciplines in any field, particularly IT. Statistics that have been gathered over many years support that statement. For example, according to the Gartner Group Symposium IT Expo '97, "30 percent of all software projects fail outright. Of the successful projects, 70 percent are completed over budget or schedule."

Clearly, effective project management is a difficult goal to achieve. It is critical to the successful implementation of information systems. Delivering systems on schedule and within budget has long been the major target of project management. Many organizations collect and analyze these budget and schedule metrics in an effort to improve them. Many of these same organizations have defined service level agreements that the IT organization must meet. In commercial contracts between IT providers and companies, failure to meet project management targets can result in significant financial penalties.

Few IT professionals would argue against the concept that effective project management is mandatory. How to make it effective is the subject of much debate. There have been, and continue to be, many project management methodologies. All of them attempt to define a controlled process that leads to consistent successes in systems delivery. The degree of success, however, is not usually rooted in the process itself. Rather, it is controlled to a substantial degree by the attitudes and culture of the people who must use it. Therefore, implementing a truly successful project management program is more of a culture change effort rather than merely installing the latest project management methodology. In fact, unless there is a culture change, the chances of the methodology being successfully used on an ongoing basis is minimal.

In the following sections, the authors describe a major culture change effort that was successfully accomplished using a project management program as the vehicle.

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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