Project Management | MANAGE RESOURCES

In times of financial pressure, it is more important than ever to manage project efforts so your organization completes them on time and on budget. Do this through solid project management principles, disciplines, and processes. The following are specific project management recommendations that have an impact on overall costs:
  • Make sure projects have short milestones and clear responsibilities to improve manageability of efforts.
  • Establish a project steering committee with key IT and business staff to monitor progress and ensure proper resource allocation.
  • Closely monitor, track, and communicate action plans, project costs, and project schedules. Project overruns during times of cost reduction can be disastrous. Have monthly (or more frequent) reviews of actions for all projects. If done honestly, project dashboards effectively avoid cost and project overruns. Complete project surveys and interviews to get the true project input as there may be variations from what you report.
  • Make sure the business is actively involved in the governance process and in each project. The organization must view projects as business projects, not IT projects. Each one should have a sponsor from the business. If the business does not support a project, or if the project does not have a strong business sponsor, it may be a candidate for cancellation.
  • Manage all projects with a consistent and understood project management process. A repeatable approach ensures sustainable delivery.
  • Every project must have clear and documented business objectives, a project plan, and project goals. The project business case must be real, not inflated. The business will view even the best-executed project as a failure if it does not meet expectations. Manage expectations properly prior to the beginning of a project. Ensure costs and time frames are realistic and achievable from the beginning and all through the effort.
  • If a project falls behind schedule or runs over in cost projections, re-evaluate it against the business case to determine if it should continue. As a project progresses, it often loses the value that was initially outlined. Also, re-evaluate the risks as the project continues.
  • Kill or recharter any project that has drifted out of control or has gone off the rails, and do so quickly. Every day after a project goes awry means waste and lost revenue.
  • Develop consistent reporting across all projects which roll-up to a high level to give a quick status of all copmany projects. For example, some companies identify projects as red if they are not meeting schedules and budgets, yellow if there are concerns, and green if all project indicators are fine. This will quickly identify areas on which to focus.

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