Project management for large-scale projects is a challenging process and requires IT leaders to create a culture of change and effective communication for long-term success. Research by McKinsey & Company shows that two-thirds of big IT projects go over budget, while a third fail to meet deadlines and run longer than planned. Focusing on employees and motivating people, building team capabilities required for a project, and structuring the processes involved to mitigate risks should be the building blocks on which modern enterprises approach project management.
Adopting scalable and agile project planning techniques is key to increasing productivity and ensuring that new products and services reach the market faster, cheaper, and better than before. Traditional project planning has been abandoned by software companies as it often failed to take into account the unpredictable nature and growing demands of the modern IT landscape. Leaders today should begin by assessing whether the team has the necessary leadership skills, quality, and user experience design skills required to complete the tech project, and whether its data and test environments are ready.
McKinsey & Company has outlined four key factors that can help tech companies to deliver the expected value on time for their projects. These elements, which are termed “value assurance”, include a wider focus on managing strategy and stakeholders rather than a single-minded approach to budget and scheduling, the mastering of technology and project content by sourcing skilled professionals from within the business and externally, and building teams with incentives that dovetail with the goals of the project. Tech enterprises should also implement rigorous quality checks and short delivery cycles as part of their core project management practices.
Drawing on the expertise of IT contractors is one of the most important aspects for project management as it is estimated that these individuals can raise performance significantly during the lifetime of a project due to their ability to successfully interpret data patterns. Excellent staffing levels on a new project are vital, so enterprises should look to expand and bring in new staff to perform tasks such as analytics. IT contractors can get help with IR35 if they need additional financial advice.
When approaching a new project, tech companies should make sure they have clear objectives and a well-defined business case, and that the scope of the project is stable and optimized. Bridging the gap between IT and business and enabling them to join forces can help projects to deliver value. These aspects should be decided prior to the concept design stage and resources planning. Tech enterprises can then master technology and content by standardizing proven software and tech and encouraging user involvement to find solutions. Building a team is next, with an experienced manager and motivated team and sustainable mix of high-quality internal and external workers. The final means to delivering success relates to project management practices. There need to be relevant and reliable plans and transparency and a plethora of methodologies and tools outlined and available.
Large-scale projects often fail to deliver expected returns, but tech companies can defy the odds and achieve success by focusing on collaboration and “value assurance.”