Are you happy with how you and your team manage projects? Are there ways you could be more efficient? Are you tracking enough even to know whether you're effective? Certainly, larger IT projects are tough. When there are lots of people and tasks, project timelines deteriorate quickly if there isn’t someone managing the process. Projects slow down for many reasons, but there are some quick things you can do to ensure each new project runs as smoothly and quickly as possible. The more efficient your project is, the more time and effort you save, which is how you can start improving profits. In this two-part series, we will be talking about valuable ways you can save on time and money while working towards a more effective IT team.From the very beginning, document everything you can. Things like what the project entails, what your client expects, when work should be done, and the budget, should all be written down and agreed upon. Without a scope of work, clients might be upset if you miss things they thought were included, or you might miss things you didn’t know they wanted. Document everything as part of a scope of work or letter of engagement, so everyone comes to agreeable terms. Note that you should also document things like timelines, documents, and budgets so you can clearly define how effective your project was when you’re finished.Ask yourself: can we do this project with existing resources? Do we need to outsource some help to get the work done more quickly? Do we need an expert in an area like security or backups to offer some consulting time? What’s the cost of hardware? What about staff time? Outline all the costs and add a bit of wiggle room so you know what you can spend while still being profitable. If you find efficiencies and ways to save along the way, that’s just more profit for your company.
Develop Your ProcessThe larger the project, the more critical it is to have a reliable process. More people, tools, and tasks mean there are more things to manage, and your process hygiene is essential to your efficiency. However, before you can improve a process, you must develop one. This means starting up good IT habits, as well as throwing out the outdated ones. The rest of this article will discuss a few things no project management strategy can do without.
Define the ChallengeAsk yourself: what exactly is the goal of the project? What are the expectations of your client? Do you have expectations as a company and what exactly will success look like? What pitfalls are there that could make things challenging? From the start, clarify the challenges and goals of the project so you can work to meet them.
Define the Budget
Next Time...In the next part to this series, we'll take a look at some scheduling tools and the importance of having a clear understanding of who is responsible for what. Effective IT teams are crucial to helping a company stay well-oiled and polished. And if the IT team isn't as effective as they need to be, then the company won't be either. Make sure you catch the next segment for even more tips!
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