Get the Most Out of Your Technology Investments: 3 Project Management Tips
The technology needs of your organization are constantly changing with increased complexities in the integration between new hardware and applications. Seemingly unrelated aspects of your technology investments may now be interconnected making installations, migrations or equipment replacements more complex.
No doubt you are finding that your technology needs require more planning and monitoring. Hardware, software and operations strategy planning take up much of your day and may even keep you up at night. So much focus is placed on equipment and application costs that it can be easy to look past the execution of a successful implementation or installation. One of the biggest causes of lost time and broken budgets is lack of attention to Project Management. If you have made the decision to outsource your IT, you should be utilizing their Project Management team for these upgrades, installations and other projects. Having a dedicated team keep these technology investments on track can mean the difference between successfully meeting deadlines at or under budget, or suffering from failing projects. Failing or delayed projects result in downtime, loss of revenue and frustration. Here are three tips to keep in mind as you engage with your technology partner when beginning technology upgrades and changes:
- Get the details in writing. Don’t be afraid to ask for a project plan from your IT partner for your technology investments. Without detailed and appropriate planning, IT projects can fail before they start. Installations, implementations and upgrades should have a definite beginning and end provided by your project team. If there has been appropriate consideration and planning for the effort, documentation of the resources needed, and the costs associated with the work, decisions that could make or break a project’s success can be addressed proactively, not reactively.
- Ask about the plan for communication throughout the project. The interconnectivity of your technology can mean that IT projects will bring together people and departments who may not normally work together. It’s important that everyone impacted by the technology project is included in the planning process—from the earliest initiation in the sales cycle—right into a kickoff meeting and through to completion. Communication and collaboration is key, from start to finish. Have you ever signed off on an agreement or statement of work with your vendor, and found yourself without any communication other than an invoice at the end of the job? You should not be left crossing your fingers and hoping that things are going well. Your Project Manager should be keeping you in the loop every step of the way, with structured checkpoint meetings at a frequency appropriate for the scope, and ensuring that all stakeholders are being kept apprised of progress, risks, and the status of deadlines. Your Project Manager should be utilizing appropriate applications and processes to assist in this communication.
- Project closure should be more than a formality. A project should not end simply with a final invoice. Whether the effort spanned two years, or two days, all parties involved should come together and review the details. It is important to not only discuss any “scope-creep” or potential grounds for change orders, but also to gauge lessons learned for any future endeavors between you and your IT provider. How often have you been inundated with change orders for a project you thought was cut and dry? Having a dedicated Project Manager can not only help keep a project on track, but it also can create a positive working relationship between you and your vendor by increasing communication and efficiency.
Project Management needs to be a commitment from your IT provider in order for your technology investments to be implemented appropriately and effectively. If you do not feel that your IT partner has the necessary resources to provide the guidance and oversight of a professional Project Manager, than it could be time for a conversation with Winxnet to meet our Project Team, discuss our Managed IT Services or learn more about our other solutions that will help you increase your ROI on necessary technology investments.
If you have questions, schedule a call with an expert.