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Planning Process for I.T. Projects
The project manager should spend a required amount of time to objectively analyze the primary quantifiable goals that are mutually agreed upon by all the stakeholders. This helps the PM in revisiting the defined goals, and seeking the top management’s advice on challenges that might be affecting the defined measurable goal attainment. It is also essential to align the development and marketing goals so that expectation and end objectives can be managed with respect to sales and marketing. This facilitates better team guidance for project delivery.Communication of exact goals requires detail orientation.
Meeting Involving Stakeholders
It is essential to rope in all the stakeholders from the very first day to define goals and set expectations. It can be done by holding two strategic meetings. One meeting is with the development team and the other with the client. Meetings involve working out the details such as requirement analysis, project scoping, time required, and discussion with the marketing and sales team. The meeting enables bringing all of the stakeholders on the same page, with respect to project intricacies and formalities and having clear expectations with respect to the timeline.
Project Requirement Analysis and Goal Setting
The project scoping should chart clear project requirements to prevent hidden requests from creeping into the scope. Minute modifications can affect the timeline and cost, therefore, any modification from the mutually agreed plan must be thoroughly assessed. Strategy to attain the goals, potential risks, potential dependencies, delays, and risk mitigation strategies should be clearly defined. Reviewing analysis of the set priorities on a timely basis ensures that focus is maintained.
It is important to take into account the communication methodology that’s used to communicate in order to maintain the equilibrium between real time communications, along with daily and weekly reports. The communication process involves developing a communication plan that includes the scope of the project, defined priorities, task owners, status updates. It includes notification methodology when issues arise, or when a particular task is completed.
Project management software can ease communication flow and knowledge sharing. Other than team status, meeting client status reports help in aligning the client and development team with regards to process management, cost estimates, and issue resolution. This promotes a strong client relationship. Such meetings help reviewing and reinforcing set expectations and their management.
Relevant Goal Setting and Role Definition
The milestones should be realistic in nature and attainable too. A calendar should be involved to indicate what tasks have been completed and what needs to be done. Setting realistic target dates ensures correct expectations are set and managed. Role relevancy for every team member defining where they fit in the overall project success can synchronize individual goals to project goals. Every team member should have clarity about the KPI, goals of the project, realistic timeline, and success metrics. RACI matrix can be utilized team responsibility. This describes how different roles contribute to goal accomplishment for a project.
In the case of unplanned problems, the project manager is required to define the degree of the problem, the issue owner, and the corrective measures. The owner of the issue sorts out the problem by working on an acceptable solution. The project manager begins from the top of the escalation hierarchy working downwards, evaluating every option that can sort out the issue. The escalation strategy can be team based, resource manager based or client based.
Weekly status meeting
Weekly project status meetings help any new team members in the project team become accustomed with the project scope. They can identify weaknesses early in the project and chart corrections, reinforce key objectives, project goals, and provide guidance. Meetings can be used to mentor new employees on process. The process is carried about by detailing the tasks in the project review, identifying issue areas, discussion, and issue resolution with team. Additionally, meeting software can be employed for project meetings in a manageable format.
One of the most critical parameters for expectation management is adjusting the expectations regularly by doing a constant review analysis of the project. This involves evaluating the set priorities, adjusting the timelines, and variation in resource allocation (if the project doesn’t move forward as desired). Adjustment ensures the larger picture of the project delivery is unaffected adversely by undue delay at the initial level. It is essential to communicate any project adjustment to the stakeholders clearly and openly.