Month: May 2016

Project Management in IT Industry

IT Project Management is a sub-discipline of project management wherein information technology projects are planned, executed, monitored and controlled. IT project management includes overseeing activities such as hardware installations, software development, network upgrades, cloud computing, data management, etc. IT Projects are the most challenging projects; IT Project Managers need to use specialized project management techniques and the best task management tools to assist in leading the project towards success.

Project Management in IT Industry

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IT projects are mostly based on business requirements. The most difficult task of an IT project manager is to translate that business requirement into an end-product which fully meets the business need. IT projects are the most difficult to manage and that is reflected by the high failure rates of IT projects. The following factors contribute to IT project failures:

  • Lack of professionals with specialized IT project management experience.
  • Complications arising because of incompatible technology or malfunctioning hardware.
  • Infrastructure changes that impact security or advancement in technology during project execution.
  • Poor communication between developers, end-users and project managers.

So how does an IT project manager translate a customer’s business needs into a system that solves the customer’s business problem? The key to success would be sound project management. The first step in IT project management is to define the project’s vision and scope. During the project’s initiation, criteria for success or failure of the project need to be established. For example, to be considered successful, a project may have to adhere to certain quality standards (such as Six Sigma or an ISO program), complete as per budget, meet a particular deadline or deliver specific functionality.

There are many different approaches to manage IT projects that affect the project life-cycle. IT project manager may select one of these popular approaches to help reduce risks such as expensive re-work, fast changing technology, etc. However, there are three distinct life cycles in IT project management:

1. Predictive life cycle: This approach is the most commonly used project life cycle for IT. Here, the project manager defines the project’s scope, schedule and expected costs before the execution of the project. For the project to move from its initiation to its closure, each phase must begin and complete in the specific order as per the prior plan.

2. Iterative life cycle: In this approach to IT project management, the scope of the project is defined early in the project, but the cost estimates and timelines are planned at a later stage. Once the project is executed, the cost and timeline estimates are created through iterations in planning.

3. Adaptive life cycle: This approach uses an iteration of planning and executing, however, the planning process lasts for two weeks. Change is always expected and adaptive life cycle is ideal for managing software development projects.

Project Management Model

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The various life cycles use the concept of phases to take the project work forward. A single phase specifies the type of work that will be completed in that portion of the project. The management style of project manager, the organizational goals and client requirements, greatly influence what type of project life-cycle the project manager will choose for a project. However, irrespective of management style, project planning software plays an important role in the success of IT projects.

Save Your Projects from Failing by Managing it on Project Planning Pro – Available on Mac, Android, iOS and Windows

Project Planning Pro Apple Store Project Planning App - Google Play Store

Project Management in E-Commerce

Project Management in E-Commerce

Project Management in E-Commerce

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Project Management Apps can be used to manage all types of projects, regardless of the industry. But, project management software has far more applications in the E-Commerce business given that it is a booming industry and faces many challenges. The E-Commerce Project Manager helps the organization in dealing with a wide spectrum of different aspects of business operations pertaining to sale of goods and services online. This article helps to understand how to successfully launch E-Commerce Projects.

Various considerations required to effectively launch E-Commerce Projects are:-

1. Manage Scope Creeps:

Adding new features or functionality to your project after it has started can create unnecessary hurdles. However, due to the dynamic nature of E-Commerce business, scope creeps are inevitable. Therefore, it is essential to have a project manager as a part of the consulting team to help manage scope creeps. The project manager must assist in reviewing the effects of the desired changes to the timeline and budget of the project. He needs to revise the company’s estimates and deadlines after considering these changes.

2. Transferring Knowledge:

At a later stage, the project manager may want to rely more on internal technical staff and less on outside vendor. Therefore, while selecting a vendor, you have to disclose your plans about the extent of their involvement and ensure that they ready to help with the transition process when the time comes.

The process of transferring knowledge about the inner workings of the website is as equally important as designing the original site. Therefore, the project manager needs to plan and outline the transition process by sitting down with the vendor and internal technical staff and ensure that everyone agrees to the strategy.

3. Deciding When the Time is Right:

The project manager decides when to begin the knowledge transfer process at the beginning of the web development project. When the knowledge transfer process takes off well and the developers complete certain projects alongside the consultants, the project manager has to begin downsizing the consultants to a few days a week, then to specific major projects and eventually completely rely on his own internal technical staff. However, deciding where the transfer fits into the project plan largely depends on how you plan to use consulting services. The transfer procedure can take place in 2 ways:

a. During the second phase of the project:

If consultants are hired for the major portion of the E-Commerce site’s initial development, then it is recommended that you let them finish the development work before you involve your internal staff into the main stream of the e-business project. Once the marketing site goes live, get your internal staff into the next phase of development and have them work side-by-side with the consultants. The second phase of web development includes a variety of features such as search, sales, checkout, catalogue, navigation, customer service, etc. Your developers will get exposure to various portions of the site while the consultants are still available to explain how things work.

b. From the beginning of the project:

If you plan to divide the work between the consultants and your internal staff, then the knowledge transfer process occurs throughout the project. The reason why you hired consultants is not because you lacked internal staff, but because your internal staff lacked adequate knowledge to complete the E-Commerce site’s development on their own. If this is the case, your staff should work on the project along with the consultants, right from the start. The consultants should not only develop portions of the site but also mentor your internal developers during the development process to hone their skills and experience so that they can handle contingencies in future.

Remember, the project to develop and launch an E-Commerce website is just the beginning. The team you choose to work with should be a long term partner and work closely with you to understand new possibilities & requirements and help you capitalize on opportunities. Use the best task management software to keep your project on track.

Save Your Projects from Failing by Managing it on Project Planning Pro – Available on Mac, Android, iOS and Windows

Project Planning Pro Apple Store Project Planning App - Google Play Store

5 Tips to succeed in Project Management

In order to achieve successful completion of projects, an organization needs to engage a talented project manager along with the application of appropriate project management apps. The success of a project depends on various factors such as meticulous planning, proper utilization of time, money and resources, effective communication, risk management, etc. Therefore, it’s important that the project manager knows how to balance all the elements of the project. Hurdles in project management are inevitable; however, an efficient project manager knows various strategies to ensure projects are completed within the allotted time and budget.

Here are the top five strategies to overcome project management challenges and make your project a success:-

1. Well-defined Scope:

The first step is to note down the scope of the project. The scope has to be detailed in nature and approved by all stakeholders. Make sure the scope includes interim milestones and their deadlines and a budget worksheet that represents the total time involved. This way you and your client can better interact while tracking the progress and manage scope changes effectively. Even if a new project appears to be easy, there are always unforeseen hurdles waiting to delay the project and blow its budget. If clear objectives of the project are set at the beginning of the project then there are more chances of the project becoming a success.

2. Comprehensive Planning:

The project manager needs to meticulously plan how to successfully launch and complete the project. This will help him to organize the required resources such as an efficient team, time, money and other material resources. Effective planning not only keeps the project team focused and on track, but also keeps stakeholders aware of project progress. It is advisable to use the best app for project management so that you can easily track the progress and ensure that all team members are on the same page. Plus, when everyone is online, geographical distances or anyone being out of office wouldn’t hurt the project.

3. Careful Risk Management:

The project manager should foresee possible risks to the project during the planning process itself. This way he can be proactive and work out ways to manage those risks when they arise. It is essential to maintain a risk log with an action plan for the risks that the project could face. Everyone in the team should be updated on this so that the team is confident when facing project risks and help the clients feel comfortable with the project’s progression.

4. Open Communication:

Communication is the best way to prevent problems from occurring. Frequent communication with all members of the team as well as the client is the perfect way to keep a project on track. When team members are in different locations, scheduling regular calls in addition to other forms of digital communication ensures open and clear communication takes place.

5. Strong Project Closure:

If a project does not have strong closure, it will continue to consume resources. The project team should take the approval of the client with regards to all critical targets and deadlines being met. Confirmation of the project delivery, testing and release must be agreed upon and signed off. This will ensure that there is no ambiguity while closing a project.

project management strategy

We have seen how a vigilant management, smart planning and strong project closing can ensure project success. There are many project planning apps which help in implementing most of these strategies.

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