Over the years, I’ve never met a project manager that truly understands the skill set of the entire team. We begin a project, have frequent status meetings and typically find out at the last minute that an area is not making their date. During the project initiation phase, management should take the time to level set with the entire project team, to gain an understanding of the initiative, the use of the methodology and to set expectations for team deliverables. Having everyone work in concert to deliver an initiative can only help to make the project successful.
As the initiative begins, it is the primary project manager’s responsibility to ensure that all project resources know the milestone dates and necessary documentation, including a communications plan, status meetings, designs, programs, test plans and sign off criteria. This is where the adjunct methodologies come into play, as the sub-groups branch out to deliver their pieces of the initiative.
One of the benefits of a project management methodology is the creation of project templates. These standard documents should be used within all initiatives and departments to continue to promote the use of the methodology, to capture project information and to ensure that as resources move across the organization; they will be skilled in how to deliver any type of project.
When creating a standard methodology, organizations should also consider an approach for various sized projects. Using a full lifecycle methodology for a small enhancement or upgrade may not be the best use of a project manager’s time. The goal is to create a discipline that aids in the success of a project, but not to create an enormous amount of bureaucracy. The key to having a fully functional project methodology is to have buy-in from key stakeholders, including both business customers and IT project managers. Making the methodology easy to use, creates a positive environment where projects are delivered on-time and where all participants will support the use of the discipline.
Show Me the Money
Projects that are delivered on-time are also typically delivered within budget. In the current economic climate, discretionary projects are being cut and having a reputation as a department that can deliver is paramount to long-term survival. CIO satisfaction ratings typically are measured on their ability to deliver projects and to preserve budget dollars. Having a standard and fully utilized project management methodology is one key factor in achieving this success.