Over the years, Ive never met a project manager that truly understands the skill set of the entire team. We begin a project, have frequent status meetings and typically find out at the last minute that an area is not making their date. During the project initiation phase, management should take the time to level set with the entire project team, to gain an understanding of the initiative, the use of the methodology and to set expectations for team deliverables. Having everyone work in concert to deliver an initiative can only help to make the project successful.
As the initiative begins, it is the primary project managers responsibility to ensure that all project resources know the milestone dates and necessary documentation, including a communications plan, status meetings, designs, programs, test plans and sign-off criteria. This is where the adjunct methodologies come into play, as the sub-groups branch out to deliver their pieces of the initiative.
When creating a standard methodology, organizations should also consider an approach for various sized projects. Using a full lifecycle methodology for a small enhancement or upgrade may not be the best use of a project managers time. The goal is to create a discipline that aids in the success of a project, but not to create an enormous amount of bureaucracy. The key to having a fully functional project methodology is to have buy-in from key resources, including both business customers and IT project managers. Making the methodology easy to use, creates a positive environment where projects will be delivered on-time and where all participants will support the use of the discipline.
Projects that are delivered on-time are also typically delivered within budget. In the current economic climate, discretionary projects are being cut and having a reputation as a department that can deliver is paramount. CIO satisfaction ratings typically are measured on their ability to deliver projects and to preserve budget dollars. Having a standard and fully utilized project management methodology is one key factor in achieving this success.
Sue Bergamo is the former CIO at Aramarks WearGuard & Galls companies. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.