How To Keep Your Major IT Projects From Failing
Before making a plan for the successful execution of a major IT project it must be figured out what actually hampers a project’s success. Jotting down a list of the factors acting as roadblocks can help eliminate the risk and boost up the likelihood of pain-free achievement of the goals. Most of the time failure is blamed on the poor management involving technical inefficiencies, scheduling issues, and outrunning budget but it cannot simply be attributed to these factors only. There are also some other important issues that can lead a project to its doom despite of ample time, generous funding and excellent technical expertise. Below is the list of the factors you should be speculative of, lest you create a failure story:
- Capricious requirements:
You make up your mind regarding a project and get your team working on it but in the middle of the venture you realize this is not what you want and change the requirements only to start it off all over again. This is precisely the stuff that project horror stories are made of. When changing requirements is the only constant in your projects, you shouldn’t really expect to hit the bull’s eye.
- Insufficient resources:
You may flaunt your updated skill-set on your website and rejoice in the glory of your experience and expertise, but the truth is that despite of all you have, failure can hit you right in your face if you don’t have sufficient resources. Not only you’ll have a hard time meeting the deadlines but it will also make talent run frustrated and keen to leave.
- Analysis and design:
Great project designs are always formed using the latest technology with a touch of innovation to make it unique and effective. If the existing development features of your project are outdated, or it is not progress-friendly to meet the future needs, the chance of it thriving in the market will be-painfully low.
How to make your IT project successful:
What kind of projects are actually meant to succeed? There is no single empirical formula to ensure a project’s success rather there are so many factors contributing to it. The key ones are as stated below:
Defining clear goals:
Each member in the team should be cognizant of the project plan and goals and estimated time of completion. It’s better to share the goals in writing with everyone involved and encourage them to ask questions so that no ambiguity is left and the practical work can be done smoothly with minimum fuss.
Not everything can be anticipated in the very beginning of the project and the team will probably have to make a few decisions during the course of real time execution. One bad decision can influence the entire planning and land the project into the middle of nowhere therefore it must be made sure that crisis and risk management is an integral part of your project plan to avoid going off track.
Involving the stakeholders:
It is important to involve the stakeholders in each step of the project and communicate the particulars with them so that a healthy relationship based on trust can be developed between the stakeholders and the leaders of the organization. Miscommunication during the course of execution of the project can play havoc to the entire team and also damage the client relationships therefore conveying the true picture of the project’s progress is mandatory and it can also lead to winning the future projects with the same stakeholders.
The project manager must be equipped with the skills to assign the right task to the right individuals. The professional strengths and weaknesses of the team members should be known to the management and each person should be made responsible for a task accordingly. With the definite roles it will become a lot easier for the team to keep track of their progress and even if changes are made, the team would know what they are responsible for and get the project going.
Management and coordination:
The manager should keep an eye on the processes involved in the project through multiple dimensions and be able to immediately identify if anything goes wrong. This will enable him to uproot the problem before it actually starts affecting the entire project. Also the coordination among the departments involved should be calculated and the concerns should be discussed and sorted out to get things going smoothly.
Intermittent performance reviews:
A regular speculation of the project after certain intervals can help make it more adaptive to the change and progress to meet the future needs. A highly responsive project can be developed to comply with the changing requirements if regular review and analyses are undertaken to enhance the performance and counter unexpected problems.
Following the deadlines:
Following the deadlines and delivering the project on time is one of the most important aspects of the project management. Work breakdown structure (WBS) that comprises a list of tasks required to be completed should be developed. It may involve setting up the milestone chart, classifying the tasks assigned to different individuals and determining what can be delivered in a given period of time. This can greatly help in tracking the progress and finding out if the team is on the right track or not.
It is not always possible to predict or forecast the issues that might arise in an IT project on different stages but a forward thinking approach with the right management can certainly point the project in the right direction and culminate into success.
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