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Andy Jonak

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  • Andy Jonak

Why Project Management Matters

Let's start with the obvious--even though it's pretty clear with my post title--and something I believe is somewhat self-evident in the IT world:   project management matters.   I will argue with anyone that project management is one of the most critical components to any IT project.  In fact, it's so important to our organization, Vicom (a services led VAR), that we will not take on any IT project without project management, as we are well aware that the chance of success of any complex IT project without project management is very, very low.


Project management is all about managing specific resources, timelines, expectations, finances and all other pertinent items to allow a project to succeed and achieve its very specific goals and objectives.   In a perfect world a project might not need project management.  All of the stakeholders and those involved should do their part to ensure its success, right?   We'll, we all know that this just doesn't happen, particularly in IT.   IT projects are large and complex with lots of tasks, people and technology involved, and always under tight time constraints little room for error.  And this is exactly where project management shines.


Vicom performs hundreds of IT services projects in any given year.  From small technology implementations that might require a day or two, to large complex projects where we manage complete technology environments that require our involvement for a year or more, Vicom has had the privilege of working with all types and sizes of customers and projects.   Within all of these projects, project management has been one of the defining factors that has allowed these projects to be successful and for our customers to realize value in a way in which they would not have if they performed the services themselves.  And that's what it's all about for our customers:  receiving more value from the services that we provide than if they did it themselves.   And again, this is where project management shines for all parties involved.   Our PM's provide such value to our customers that we even offer up our project managers to be used by our customers for their own internal IT projects where we are not involved in providing the services.   Project management is that important.


An IT project needs to be 100% executed and completed for a customer to be satisfied.  After all, they are spending a lot of money and demand results.  We've seen projects that were executed flawlessly for 98% of the project, but have some challenges around that last 2% (which could've been our responsibility or the customers; doesn't matter), where the customer's perception is that the entire project was a failure.  It's project management--and excellent PM's--that makes sure that the customer is satisfied with entire project.  In many ways it can be a tough, thankless job, where anything less than perfection is almost considered a disappointment from a customer standpoint.   And good project management also doesn't mean that issues and challenges don't happen.  Of course they do.   It's our PM's that rope everyone together to address issues and challenges and make the project successful and the customer happy.  The bar is always set high for our PM's on our projects, as it should be.  And you know what?  They always come through.


Project Managers can be used for new projects as well as existing projects already in flight that might be a bit off track due to lack of project management or issues with existing project management or PM's.  Sometimes projects, or even project managers, can get in over their head and need some help, and this is where competent, outside sourced, project managers can help.  They can bring an outside perspective and potentially be a voice of clarity to help a project get back on track and move along to completion.  We certainly recognize that this can be a contentious situation but, in the end, it's all about getting things done.   And that is what really good project managers and project management is all about.  Getting things done and making sure everyone is satisfied. 


So for your next your IT project recognize how important project management is in making it a success.    We've recognized this for a very long time and we know that without competent project management--and project managers--our jobs in the IT services world would be a lot more difficult for everyone involved.  

Andy


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