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The ABCs of IT Project Management

Keeping up with the accelerating costs of doing business can be painful. Your IT budget may especially reflect that as you develop new projects, roll out new systems to support your operations, or begin the process of replacing and upgrading aging infrastructure that is no longer keeping up with your company’s demands. But IT projects can be tricky things—prone to staffing issues, unclear timelines, and scope creep. How can you keep your IT project from going off the rails and into missed deliverable dates and cost overruns?

No project plan is stronger than its initial core concept. You must have a clear idea of what your deliverables are, what resources you have to achieve them with, and what return on investment you are expecting from the project. Once your plan is in place, be proactive about resources—make sure you have the time, the staff, and the backing of management and associated departments before you begin.

An old saying states that “no plan survives contact with the enemy,” and IT projects are no different. Be prepared to execute shifts in your process and goals mid-stream to deal with previously unforeseen issues. Make sure that you are keeping sight of the stated goals of the project, and communicating with stakeholders as situations shift. To accomplish this, make sure that you have a single point of contact within your team who is responsible for communicating with stakeholders. This will provide a unified concept of the status of the project, and free your dedicated resources from fielding questions and concerns when they should be focusing on task management and objective completion.

In the end, project scheduling, budgeting, and execution are all intertwined, and adherence to them is entirely under the control of your project team. As issues arise (and they will), be flexible and agile enough to incorporate shifts in circumstance and make sure that you have a backup plan in place so that roadblocks lead to detours, not to dead ends.

NSC Information Technology Group has all the answers to your questions and concerns about IT project planning, and the expertise to bring any IT project from planning to successful completion. Contact them today at the start of your project, and reap the benefits of successful, on-time, and under-budget project completion.

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