IT project management is tough. You are not only dealing with a collection of unique (and often eccentric) people, but even despite the most detailed project brief, there is room for a wide variety of interpretations of that brief. You also face poor communication among departments, team members misinterpreting the brief and as a result not quite understanding what is expected from them, as well as the dreaded scope creep.
So how do you go about keeping IT project management under control? While there is no clear recipe for success, there are a few suggestions which will make the process a bit easier.
Appoint the right project manager
While this is something which can be said for any project, it is especially relevant to IT project management. When hiring a project manager, it is important to hire someone who understands how programmers work. Developers are a strange bunch, and hiring a project manager who does not know how to deal with their eccentricities will soon result in a catastrophic failure of your project. It is important that your new IT project manager respects the capabilities of your developers, and can adopt a management style which suits your programmers as well.
Use project management software
As we have already mentioned developers are a strange bunch, and work with complicated and often confusing methods. This is why sing email as a IT project management systems is simply not sufficient. You will need project management software which allows you to keep concise track of the development process, and allows your client to understand exactly what is happening with his project. A system which allows your team to quickly and easily document their progress, and allows you to make sense of exactly what is happening is crucial, which is why project management software such as Sciforma is an excellent choice for IT project management.
Hold regular meetings
Whether you are using the Agile methodology and hold Scrum meetings, or whether you are using a different IT project management methodology, it is important to hold regular meetings to discuss the project progress. Not only does this allow you to identify and rectify problems early on, but it also requires team members to report their progress on a regular basis. Having to give a regular account of their progress essentially creates a sense of urgency for team members, as they need to have something to show for the work they have done, and helps to move the process along.
Creating milestones in your project is a great way to ensure that your IT project management process in well on track. It provides team members with a clear goal to work towards, and helps you to keep track of the progress being made by your team. It is also important to acknowledge milestones that have been met, and celebrate them. While it is not necessary to throw a massive party each time, something as simple as having ice cream to celebrate a milestone will keep your team motivated ad inspired. We all like to receive a pat on the back when we accomplish something, and giving your team members exactly that is what will keep them driving forward.