Project Management: Delivering Value

IT managers need to understand that project management demands all variables and stakeholders to jointly deliver value

Project management is a combination of art and science. There are three vital factors which become the guiding principles or form the authentication process in project management. These include initiation that relates to work effort analysis, team building, estimation techniques, training and knowledge transfer, and so on. Second is the execution which involves reviews, communication between stakeholders, business analysts, development and quality teams, feedback, management reporting and so on, while the last is finalisation, which is associated with delivery management, review and rollout, compliance management, documentation, lessons learnt, knowledge management, etc.

The Force Behind PM
It is imperative for IT managers to understand that project management is a process which demands all variables and stakeholders involved to come together and deliver value. They play a significant role in carrying the capability to define the goal, making the team accountable, and leading it (the team) to achieve the goal. IT managers must have insights into the various tools and techniques to be used across the lifecycle of the project to measure progress and accountability.

Project Management Myth
In industry parlance, project management is loosely defined. It is considered as a middle management role. Every leader runs three to five initiatives across his organisation, which itself is a mega project. One of the greatest project managers that one can derive inspiration from is Steve Jobs. Jobs had a very unconventional way of reviewing projects and also motivating people. He would conduct the product line reviews from his design studio with prototypes in his hand. And we all know of the stories about how Jobs motivated his team by teasing and challenging them to outperform their own best.

Prerequisites of a Project Manager
Project managers should be able to zoom in and out of situations depending on the stage of the project. They should be situation leaders depending on the maturity of the team members, duration and nature of the task. The role of a project manager is similar to the role of a captain in sports. Like a captain, he needs to be dynamic, motivating, calm and able to lead by example.

IT Managers Domain
There is a general consensus that all implementations and projects will overrun time and budget. Therefore, there is a need for CIOs and IT managers to use new age management tools that can challenge the conventional techniques. For better results, IT managers could try using new software tools that would help create a platform and spreadsheets to provide end-to-end information on project execution and process in real time.

Chandramouli CS is Senior Director, Zinnov Management Consulting Pvt Ltd.

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