The Importance of Project Management in IT Projects
Author: Ricardo de Rojas
It’s a common belief that information technology (IT) projects fail more than other types of projects. One reason: These projects may not be properly managed—or they may not be managed at all. For IT projects, companies often include additional effort to account for project management (PM) tasks; however, the additional effort often is used as a project budget buffer. This practice always creates consequences for the project and, in the long run, the organization.
To reduce the likelihood of an IT project failure, it’s important to apply a PM methodology. One international practice is to use A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), published by the Project Management Institute. According to the PMBOK Guide, every project should be split into five phases: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring/controlling and closing. These clearly defined phases have their own deliverables and control points.
A PM methodology takes time and resources and can be tough to follow as the project gets out of control. In addition, some project sponsors have difficulty understanding why their budget includes PM time for which they have to pay. Sponsors may need to be coached in PM’s benefits and associated risks.
Each company needs to create and follow its own PM methodology that complies with internal policies and fits the company’s culture. For example, BKD Technologies has developed OnTrack, based on the PMBOK Guide, which we use to manage IT projects from initiation to completion.
Using a PM methodology isn’t an instant success. Like any other process, it needs to be documented, trained and measured. However, industry experts and professional experience indicate that including PM as part of your project scope can help you manage project risk and increase project success rates.
For more information on how project management can benefit you, contact your BKD advisor.