Project Management best practices

As found by a reputable market research firm, approximately 37% of the projects fail in a year. With this high rate of failure it is vital that all the necessary steps are taken to ensure that the project is signed off successfully. This article throws light on the best practices to be followed for making ones IT projects a success.

Precise planning is required so as to ensure that the project is run smoothly. This is the part which is missed in many instances. If the project planning is done correctly with due consideration to all the parameters that might affect the project. . The document should have the project overview, objectives, scope, assumptions, risks, approach, staffing, effort, timeline, cost and the signature page. This document needs to be approved by the client and the other key stakeholders as it is going to form the project base.

The next step is the creation of the project workplan which consists of the detailed steps for executing the project, its deliverables and project management. It might be a good idea to use the work breakdown structure or a flow chart.

The project management procedures should be detailed early on as they provide the details on the resource utilization during the project. This would help in proactive management of the project and ensure that all the project stakeholders understand the project plan and management without any ambiguity.

It is just not sufficient to plan the project in detail, it is essential to monitor the project and ensure that all the tasks are being executed as per schedule. The workplan needs to be regularly reviewed to check on the progress and any updates to it should be made so that the project plan can be tracked better. In parallel the budget needs to be monitored against the project tasks executed so that the project does not overshoot the initial budget.

Adequate scope change management procedures need to be n place so that chance for scope creep can be removed. This is by far a very crucial part of the client –project team relationship. The project manager should be able to communicate with the client team clearly if any new tasks are added which might change the project plan. Informing upfront and planning for such changes as the second phase of the project is a good idea.

Ensuring that the above factors are followed and the project risks monitored on a continuous basis would lead to better project management and subsequently successful project executions.

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Radhika Chittoor

15 years of experience in presales and marketing. I have helped companies set up their sales & marketing teams.