Click here for theBy Elizabeth Bennett | Posted 2007-12-17 Print
With IT projects consistently running late and over budget, it's time to look at what technology leaders and project managers could do to step up their performances.
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5. Get a grip on expectations
Ask vendors and consultants for the best, most likely and worst-case scenarios and then use your own resources to calculate the aggregated risk so you can determine the probable outcome.
There are risk management software applications that can help you do the job. There's no way to guarantee that a project won't be delayed or go over budget, but taking off the rose-colored glasses will reduce the likelihood of extreme variances.
6. Govern with strength
Even with all the good work you did up front, problems and roadblocks will surely arise. Don't blow it when it comes to actually addressing the problems. To the degree you can, refer to the approaches you documented and discussed with your team. If planned properly, your team should be able to tackle the problems early on before they become major hindrances.
Depending on the event, governance may include gaining approval from management to sign off on project changes that effect the project budget or time frame beyond a certain point. For example, if changing direction means the project will cost 10percent more and take 10percent longer, it may be time to bring senior stakeholders into the loop.
7. Prepare for intervention
If your approaches are better in theory than in practice, it might be time to intervene with the project plan. Create an intervention plan before the project starts and communicate the plan to everyone directly and indirectly involved. The plan may include steps to take when adding resources, for assessing project-management practices and even changing the project leader.
8. Drive behavior to use the technology
Whatever you do, don't rest on your laurels when the technical aspects of the project are completed. Creating a plan to ensure that people actually use the technology you just spent 18 months implementing will serve you well. If you and your organization want to see your expected return on investment, make sure you have a hand in educating and training users.
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