How to Develop Talent for Large IT Projects

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 09-09-2014 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    A Costly Undertaking
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    A Costly Undertaking

    71% of large IT projects face cost overruns, and one-third end up 50% over budget.
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    Top Ways to Strengthen the Effectiveness of Talent Acquisition
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    Top Ways to Strengthen the Effectiveness of Talent Acquisition

    Improve the culture, energy and morale of the IT department: 52%, Offer more competitive salaries, benefits and incentives: 46%, Establish clearer, more structured career paths: 41%, Provide more cutting-edge, exciting work within IT: 38%, Bring in relevant, exciting leaders with strong tech networks: 35%
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    Relative Non-Factors
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    Relative Non-Factors

    Only 13% of executives say that having a better-trained or funded recruiting organization makes a difference in talent acquisition, and just 10% say office location matters.
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    Best Practices for IT Project Talent Development: Focus on Roles That Really Matter
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    Best Practices for IT Project Talent Development: Focus on Roles That Really Matter

    Typically, these roles are IT program manager, business change leader and lead IT architect. As for the others? Consider outsourcing them as opposed to investing heavily into developing the required skills.
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    Best Practices for IT Project Talent Development: Provide Clear Directions
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    Best Practices for IT Project Talent Development: Provide Clear Directions

    Confusion about the business value of a project and day-to-day needs can be a culture killer. Hold frequent meetings to ensure focus.
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    Best Practices for IT Project Talent Development: Established Disciplined Governance
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    Best Practices for IT Project Talent Development: Established Disciplined Governance

    This includes firm operational rules, meeting agendas and even a Facebook-styled resource to make it clear who is responsible for what.
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    Best Practices for IT Project Talent Development: Encourage Use of Metrics
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    Best Practices for IT Project Talent Development: Encourage Use of Metrics

    Objective, numbers-driven measures of a project's progress allow for fact-based communication and problem solving.
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    Best Practices for IT Project Talent Development: Embrace Risk
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    Best Practices for IT Project Talent Development: Embrace Risk

    Quality IT talent is attracted to open, trusting environments in which employees are free to pursue innovation even if it falls short of expectations.
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    Best Practices for IT Project Talent Development: Compensate for Results
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    Best Practices for IT Project Talent Development: Compensate for Results

    Team members are more motivated when they know they'll be rewarded for project success based upon adhering to budgets, making deadlines and delivering value.
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    Best Practices for IT Project Talent Development: Build Bridges to New Opportunities
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    Best Practices for IT Project Talent Development: Build Bridges to New Opportunities

    Be proactive in charting a career-progression path for your staffers. One avenue is to launch new roles to elevate a performer's presence on the business side.
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    Best Practices for IT Project Talent Development: Expand upon Capabilities
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    Best Practices for IT Project Talent Development: Expand upon Capabilities

    Offer a mix of formal training and action-based learning, and consider creating a center of excellence for program management.
 

Large IT projects deliver 56 percent less value than their organizations project, according to a new survey report from McKinsey & Company. And the vast majority of large IT projects go over budget, findings show. Beyond funding and available tech tools, however, the success or failure of these projects is highly dependent upon the capabilities and commitment of the tech teams behind them. In addition to the survey data, the report, titled "Developing Talent for Large IT Projects," presents the following best practices for recruiting and developing the IT project talent you need. The practices involve compensation, of course. But they also call attention to a tech department's overall culture, specifically whether innovation and risk is encouraged. Report authors Francine Debane, Katya Defossez and Mark McMillan also recommend that CIOs not overlook business smarts when recruiting project staff. "Enterprises must recognize the value and scarcity of employees who combine IT savvy with business acumen and must build and support a staff of such people," according to the report. Nearly 500 executives participated in the McKinsey & Company research. For more about the report, click here.

 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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