IT Project Management: Keeping Projects on Time and on Budget

As technology continues to evolve and business environments change, leaders are left with no choice but to be proactive and agile in responding to that change. Organizations are continually looking to adopt and adapt existing IT solutions and incorporate them into their workflow to maximize productivity. However, while it may be easy to devise new ideas in IT adoption, the real challenge lies in effectively executing them.
New ideas in tech have to deliver a healthy ROI, and they have to do it fast. IT project management teams and partners can find themselves under an undue amount of pressure to meet their goals, both on budget and on time while still delivering high quality.   So how do digital leaders manage this?

Delivering IT Projects on Time

You’re already drowning in work: How can you devote time to major IT projects? Even if you had the time, you might be short on in-house talent, and hiring staff for just a single project doesn’t make sense. Still, your long-term success could be suffering due to short-term issues.  Aside from hiring outside experts in business technology services, here are a few mission-critical ways to get projects out on time:

1. Plan for Readjustments

It’s critical that IT project management teams be adaptable and agile during production. Given the unpredictability of technological progress, you could find yourself in a situation where you’re halfway through your project but a new tech disruption or update means you have to scrap everything and start fresh.
Prepare with a contingency plan to manage stakeholder expectations during any technical transitions and budgetary changes. Contingency plans are put in place only to be acted on if a potential risk presents itself. It’s important for project managers to consider these factors beforehand and then arrive at a realistic schedule.

2. Consult IT Experts

IT projects can vary widely in scope, scale and specialization, depending on the business need. As a result, the contributing ingredients regarding tools and talent can vary widely as well. While tools can be purchased at relatively short notice, assessing the in-house team for technical and managerial skills is something you need to plan for in advance. 

Organizations need to know what skills and resources they have available and the limits of their capabilities. Conducting an honest self-review of talent can help IT projects have a higher chance of success. Such a review also allows organizations to become more self-aware, make strategic choices and not be afraid to procure external help in the areas it may be needed.

3. Communicate and Collaborate

Inadequate communication is one of the top reasons why IT projects fail. Communicating across different teams can often be a challenge, especially in large companies, or those with remote teams spread across different locations. Coordinating work tasks with resources working in different regions and time zones has its unique challenges. IT teams need to factor in this challenge if they want to keep projects on schedule.
In the case of internal technical communication problems such as network downtime, there need to be contingencies that ensure alternative communication lines between the teams and also the customer. A CIO article suggests tackling technology and business disruptions before they happen by adopting technologies that enable agility and that also meet the growing demands of stakeholders. Teams need to follow clear protocols that help them maintain clarity in their communications with all stakeholders and set expectations regarding timelines, milestones and deadlines.

Delivering IT Projects on Budget

In 2019, Gartner estimated that IT services would be a key driver for IT spending and forecasted the market to reach $1 trillion globally in industry expenses. That number is set to exceed $4 trillion in 2022. Delivering IT projects on time without exceeding your budget is critical to the success of your organization’s digital transformation. Here are key tips to keeping IT projects on budget:

1. Set the Right Expectations

IT projects can have a high fail rate when expectations of leadership and key stakeholders have not been met. Here are some factors that can lead to unrealistic expectations and budgets:

  • Failure to understand the success criteria of initiatives
  • Gaps in communication and/or lack of communication 
  • Lack of clear alignment among the team regarding business goals
  • Limitations of the existing technology infrastructure
  • Inadequate testing and performance procedures

The last mile of any well-run IT project is testing. Your IT team needs to ensure that every product released has been vetted. This process not only saves on potential losses in the future, which can be significant, but also protects the organization against a decline in reputation and trust, which is inherently invaluable.

2. Focus on Agility and Scalability

IT projects for large organizations can come at a colossal scale and consume incredibly high volumes of resources, time and money. IT directors or managers should try to divide large-scale projects into smaller deliverables that can be developed over phases and cycles with an agile methodology. These phases or cycles should be incrementally scaled up as previously established milestones are achieved. This approach helps mobilize the process by enabling teams to make decisions in real time, reduce backlogs and meet their end goal. Projects with short and realistic life cycles are easy to manage, keep team members focused, reduce stress and provide results quickly.

The Importance of Delivering on Time and on Budget

Afidence helps your business focus on the big picture.  The right technology consultant can help you fast-track project success. With our industry-leading expertise in IT project management and digital transformation, we can help you deliver projects on time and on budget and stay up to date with frequent and transparent communication.

Feel confident in strategic project selection focused on targeted results with help from our business technology consultants. Start the conversation: Call us today to make change happen for your business.

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