Tying Monetary Rewards To Project Performance

Given that people pay attention to what they are rewarded for, it follows that changing the compensation system would change the focus of those working on the project. If the focus on the improved delivery of higher quality IT development projects can be sharpened, it is reasonable to believe that the results will be improved. No one could successfully dispute the contention that the level of IT delivery of projects needs to improve in many organizations. Developing a different compensation approach and giving it a fair trial is worth serious consideration.

Why doesn't the argument that compensation incentives aside, good people will strive to do good work pertain to IT project development? The answers can be found in several project development circumstances. First, most IT project efforts consist of a team of people. To assume that all the people on the team are going to be well-motivated and highly interested in striving to produce high-quality work would be unrealistic.

Second, too often at least some of the IT project team members will have to deal with a dual set of responsibilities. Where team members are assigned to the project, but are also expected to continue their normal duties (or at least some aspects of their normal duties) during the life of the project, problems are certain to arise. Dealing with those other duties, because the reality is that handling those duties is what their performance is going to be judged upon, is likely to remain their first priority. That situation is often reinforced by subtle or overt signals from the employees' manager. The message often is that the work on the IT development project carries less importance than other duties.

Finally, IT projects often come to rely upon several key people to bring them to completion. It is not unusual to see projects where, part way through the effort, one or two of those key people decide to leave the project and as a result, difficulties quickly mount. The issue for those people is often that the project is clearly in trouble and now is the time to move on. That circumstance, coupled with a likely more attractive salary offer from someone else, is often enough to encourage a search for new opportunities. Now, the situation is that an IT project in difficulty has to struggle to find new leadership.

So what happens is that the organization has a disrupted IT project team. In addition, the project team members understand that the outcome of the project, well done or not, is not going to have any particular effect on their compensation. It will also be understood that a poorly done IT project is probably not going to have an adverse effect on any career opportunities in the future. Understanding that scenario, it may be a bit easier to understand one of the causes of IT project failure.

A key component in IT project development success is that of focus. To succeed at project development a strong focus has to be brought to bear and it has to be maintained throughout the life of the project. Because focus is a key component in project success and because, as has been shown, project teams tend to be structured with a limited focus on the project, it follows that a sharpened focus, maintained throughout the project, will bring increased rewards. When a clear, substantial system of financial rewards is in place and is tied to the delivery of high-quality IT projects, the focus on those projects is going to improve. If the potential rewards are sufficiently attractive, that improvement in focus can be dramatic.

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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