Managing Enterprise IT Project : Project Management Process, Technical Leadership

Managing Enterprise IT Project: Sound Project Management Process, Technical Leadership

Having looked at the changing dynamics of enterprise IT projects and statistics of project failure as well as success of enterprise IT projects, it is quite logical to look at the reasons why enterprise IT projects failed or what were the reasons for those enterprise IT projects that succeeded to meet organizationís objectives.

We also looked at KPMGís survey wherein it highlighted certain enterprise IT projects have been successful in delivering desired value/benefit to organizations & customers. KPMG reports also pointed out or listed its observations regarding what contributed toward success of these projects. Letís take a look at how you can ensure effective management of enterprise IT projects to successfully meet organizationís goals.

Anchored Project Leadership as well as Strong Technical Leadership

Technical Leadership To Deliver Enterprise IT Project

Enterprise IT applications are typically

  • Complex legacy systems
  • Built using varied technologies;
  • Involving complex workflow
  • Using different tools/modules integrated to provide a customized solution.

Undertaking enterprise IT project change, clearly means that it involves high amount of unpredictability attributed to technical challenges, change requests as project progresses. If you have to handle these two challenges, you will clearly need

  1. Strong and dependable technical leadership
  2. Anchored project-program leadership

And what can you expect from project & technical leadership?

  • Proven track record of successfully managing and delivering similar technology projects including application integration projects
  • Uncanny ability to find a creative solution through technical legacies and complexities
  • Adaptive yet assertive technical leader who can get multi-disciplinary team to agree for a common/workable solution
  • Someone who has clear focus on final value-deliverable, manage change requests, risks, and issues.

Sound Project Management Processes (planning, estimation, scope, risk management)

Project Planning, Estimation for Enterprise IT Project

Without a doubt, enterprise IT projects carry lot of complexity, they are risky endeavor and a lot is at stake (not just career of people involved or budget allocated but also business prospect). Unlike independent, smaller projects which can be managed by a project manager(s) and team members, the number of stakeholders involved in enterprise IT projects are significant in numbers, project-interdependence is considerable. In short, enterprise IT projects is a complex, risky affair.

Wherever there is business complexity involved, a process based, methodical and structured approach help in unravelling complexity and risks. A sound project management process can give better control in managing project schedule delay, cost overrun and risks mitigation. Well established, tested practices are irreplaceable for effective project management. These also include strategic PMO to prioritize projects, rigorous processes to manage requirement changes, change requests and associated risks.

In short, organization should have sound project management process to effectively manage enterprise IT project.

Etnerprise IT Project Mangement - Approving Change Request

To achieve effective project management, thereís no substitute for tested practices. These include having a strategic and disciplined project-management office and establishing rigorous processes for managing requirements engineering and change requests. The project office should establish a few strong stage gates to ensure high-quality end products. At the same time, it needs to strive for a short delivery life cycle to avoid creating waste in the development process.

So what are typically things should you consider?

  • Good understanding of existing project management processes, challenges currently faced
  • Using business case: opportunities/gap analysis, requirement gathering and requirement analysis for project charter and project scope
  • Detailed project planning, cost estimation, resource identification, resource allocation
  • Managing change requests, tackling scope creep
  • Identification of project risks, risk analysis, risk response strategies
  • Tracking and reporting project progress, proactively addressing lag, issues and communicating with stakeholders
  • Proactively tracking component development progress and managing enterprise application integration challenges
  • Project management process should ensure short incremental delivery lifecycle thereby avoiding wastage of development, testing efforts.

Better it is for your organization if you realize project management process is not defined or practiced by email exchanges or pointing people to dormant document storage location. Life will be much easier for everyone if system does hand-holding to follow project management processes. You should find a good project management software that works for your organization as well as external stakeholders.

In next post, we will look at importance of adaptive/lean project management approach as well project governance for effective enterprise IT project management.