6 Tips for Project Management Success

Feeling some project pain? Here six some pointers from CIOs and project management experts to help you generate success and avoid common project snags.

• Look very closely at the business case for the project. Some CIOs force the business sponsor or business partner to present a thorough business case to an executive steering committee for each project, including whether or not projected cost savings are realistic.

• Make sure the project scope is clearly defined from the outset. This includes clarifying the roles and responsibilities of project team members and ensuring that the goals of key constituents (e.g.. IT project leader, business sponsor) are closely aligned.

• Use a spreadsheet or other tools to track. For resource allocation and cost accounting purposes, using tools to track project assignments can be quite helpful. The practice is useful even if the IT organization doesn’t conduct charge-backs, since it will help CIOs keep a closer watch on who is assigned to which projects, the number of hours being devoted to each project per month, resources expended, etc.

• Have a constant feedback loop. This is especially important for large-scale projects that carry multiple deadlines. For instance, if a serious security issue emerges, determine up-front how it is to be communicated to the business manager and how it might impact the timeline.

• Work on highest priority requirements first. It may seem like a no-brainer, but for large-scale projects, it is essential to have sign-offs through various phases of the project to ensure that people are receiving the kind of functionality they expected.

• Focus on post-implementation monitoring. Be certain that eyes don’t come off the prize. Ensure that the deliverable is doing what it was intended to do. This includes making sure the system is meeting its benefit objectives.

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