Generally speaking, mainframe software packages are more difficult to implement than smaller packa because everyone is requested to use the same package, perhaps even the same way. The following ar common difficulties during implementation:
• Upper-level management may not like the reality of the output. The output usually shows top management that more time and resources are needed than originally anticipated. This can also be a positive note for the project manager, who is forced to deal with severe resource constraints.
• Upper-level management may not use the packages for planning, budgeting, and decision making. Upper-level personnel generally prefer the more traditional methods, or simply refuse to look at realit because of politics. As a result, the plans they submit to the board are based on an eye-pleasing appro for quick acceptance, rather than reality.
• Day-to-day project planners may not use the packages for their own projects. Project managers ofte rely on other planning methods and tools from previous assignments. They rely heavily on instinct an trial and error.
• Upper-level management may not demonstrate support and commitment to training. Ongoing customized training is mandatory for successful implementation, even though each project may vary.
• Use of mainframe software requires strong internal communications lines for support. Managers who share resources must talk to one another continually.
• Clear, concise reports are lacking. Large mainframe packages can generate volumes of data, even if the package has a report writer package.
• Mainframe packages do not always provide for immediate turnabout of information. This is often the result of not understanding how to utilize the new systems.
• The business entity may not have any project management standards in place prior to implementation. This relates to a lack of WBS numbering schemes, no life-cycle phases, and a poor understanding of task dependencies.
• Implementation may highlight middle management's inexperience in project planning and organizational skills. Fear of its use is a key factor in not obtaining proper support.
• The business environment and organizational structure may not be appropriate to meet project management/planning needs. If extensive sharing of resources exists, then the organizational structure should be a formal or informal matrix. If the organization is deeply entrenched in a traditional structure, then organizational mismatch exists and the software system may not be accepted.
• Sufficient/extensive resources (staff, equipment, etc.) are required. Large mainframe packages consume a significant amount of resources in the implementation phase.
• The business entity must determine the extent of, and appropriate use of, the systems within the organization. Should it be used by all organizations? Should it be used only on high-priority projects?
• The system may be viewed as a substitute for the extensive interpersonal skills required by the project manager. Software systems do not replace the need for project managers with strong communications and negotiation skills.
• Software implementation is less likely to succeed if the organization does not have sufficient training in project management principles. This barrier is perhaps the underlying problem for all of the other barriers.
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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.