The Importance of defining Project Management Procedures up front



IT project management is a complex process that helps teams achieve project goals through project planning, facilitating team collaboration, problem solving, budgeting, allocating resources and risk mitigation. In order to plan a project, the project manager must first be aware of what resources are available (in the world of IT resources are typically, consultants, team members, employees and various software tools) and how to best allocate those resources to accomplish the project goals. In order to do this a project manager must communicate with the project stakeholders and team members on how they can accomplish the project goals.

After the initial project goals are established the project manager will begin project planning. The document is usually called a project plan or project charter. Due to the complexity of IT projects it is essential that the plan is as detailed as possible and all objectives are clearly documented at the start of the project. This reduces risk and the chances of scope creep. Procedures regarding how and when stakeholders will be updated regarding project progress, how the team will manage issues, changes in scope, managing risk and quality control should all be part of the plan.

SCRUM meetings are an important tool for facilitating project communication. A schedule of team meetings should be outlined in the project plan and project communication plan. It is important to follow the defined procedures and manage the project proactively as well as to make sure that the project team and stakeholders have a clear understanding of how the project will be managed. It helps if project procedures have already been established for your company or client, that way you can use them to manage your project.


Once a clear project plan has been completed and signed off on by the involved parties, execution of the project can begin. No project ever goes exactly as planned so that challenge is to mitigate risk and solve problems efficiently as they come along.


Remember:


1. Follow the project plan and make changes, have them approved and inform team members of those changes in project policies and procedures as needed.

2. Review the workplan on a regular basis and make sure your project is on schedule and within budget.

3. Make sure any changes to the project are in writing and approved by the necessary parties before any changes are implemented. This can reduce chances of scope creep and help keep the project on schedule.

4. When in doubt review rules 1 through 3

An effective project management plan can help a team complete a project within the determined time and budget by mitigating risk and scope creep through pre-defined procedures. This can help lead to less project issues and more successful project completions.

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