Did you know there’s a National Project Management Day? Now you do. And it’s today!
What is Project Management?
Project management, as defined by the Project Management Institute, is “the use of specific knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to deliver something of value to people.” The projects more specifically are made up of tasks, activities, and deliverables that must be structured and executed carefully to achieve the desired outcome set.
Within information technology (IT) and the work that ZAG does, project management is at the core of large-scale technology implementations. Complex IT projects begin with a project manager during the planning phase, which is spent identifying, scheduling, and resourcing every task and sub-task within the project’s statement of work. The project manager’s work throughout the process is to ensure that each task is performed to its planned schedule and cost.
The success of a project relies heavily on the project management team, which is an instrumental piece of the work that ZAG does to serve our clients and ensure they remain competitive.
Here, we discuss a few benefits of project management in IT:
Project Management leads to better client outcomes
Individual IT projects are often part of a larger focus, such as opening a new facility, implementing new processing capabilities, or moving applications to the cloud. For each of these goals, there are several steps that must be completed to deliver on the promises made to the client.
Meeting client expectations begins with meeting deadlines and staying on budget, but as we discussed in a previous blog from ZAG Technical Project Manager Michael Davis, expanding conversations to address the client’s expected business outcomes can make all the difference. Whatever their desired outcome, once you understand it, you can lead your project team to prioritize tasks to support the client better. The more a project management team understands the client’s “why,” the more they will be engaged.
Project Management enables better communication
As technology professionals, we rely on tools to assist us with not only our daily work, but the work done in project management to make our jobs easier and help make us more efficient/accurate. But without an additional focus on communicating clearly and effectively, our efforts may fall flat. That’s where project management can come in.
In project management, communication is central to the client/consultant relationship. In another post from ZAG Director of Client Strategy Patrick Day, he discusses some of the techniques that project managers use to communicate more effectively, including communicate often, be transparent/direct, empathize with your counterpart(s), and build trust through consistency. Oftentimes, a lack of clear communication with clients can make or break a project.
Project Management is overcoming the hurdle of The Last Mile
While it’s a familiar trope in telecommunications, describing the last steps for a network to provide services to its customers, The Last Mile has implications in project management, too. Project finalization and delayed project completion can creep up when certain expectations aren’t met, including misalignment with client expectations, failure to manage to the project scope, lack of engagement, availability of resources, and shifting priorities.
For project managers, being able to anticipate these challenges can go a long way in delivering the levels of service that our clients come to expect.
In this post from ZAG Program Manager Calvin Sleppy, he discusses ways to overcome these hurdles and deliver on IT projects, on time and on budget. The takeaway? Don’t move the finish line further back; instead, manage the direction a project heads early and address problems directly to be more successful.
As we celebrate National Project Management Day, ZAG salutes the work our Project Management team does daily to make sure the work we’re doing is delivered on time, on budget, and meets the goals that our clients have. Together, we’re better able to provide our clients with a competitive advantage.