Taking an IT project from its inception to successful completion is something every business needs to do on a regular basis. Whether your company completes the project internally or brings in a professional technology service at some point, there needs to be a detailed plan in place to make sure your IT project runs smoothly from start to finish.
There are five specific steps to take when carrying out any type of IT project.
Step 1: Project initiation
The first step is to name and define the project. You’ll also want to clearly define the concept and scope of the project.
What is the primary goal? What should the end result look like? Feasibility studies and analysis will likely be performed during this phase.
It’s also important to decide what type of devices employees will be working on while completing the IT project and what sort of office set up will provide the ideal working environment. These are all questions that will need to be answered before taking the next step.
Step 2: Project planning
Developing a timeline and a schedule for when certain aspects of the project are completed occur during the second phase of an IT project.
It’s crucial to develop methods of communication that will be used during the execution and monitoring stages. Will your team email or text message? How often should these types of communication be expected?
It’s also important to make sure your IT project is secure throughout each step of the process. Cybersecurity strategies are just as important for a project as they are for every other aspect of your business.
Step 3: Project execution
This is the heart of the project. Everyone on the team should know exactly what they’re doing at this point.
During the execution phase, milestones provide a way to measure the progress of the project. There should also be regular meetings and updates regarding the status of the project. This is critical. A project can quickly get off track if everyone isn’t kept in the know.
It’s particularly important for managers and leaders to stay connected to the IT project by speaking directly with those working on the project and occasionally getting into the trenches along with them. You’ll learn only so much by reading memos and attending meetings. It’s necessary for managers to find a healthy balance between micromanaging and completely disconnecting from the project.
Step 4: Project monitoring
Throughout the execution phase of the project, you’ll want to monitor its status with flexibility. When you run into obstacles and challenges, it may be necessary to adjust milestones, methods and even goals.
It’s important to understand that few projects will go from start to finish without any unforeseen problems or detours along the way.
Feedback is crucial during this phase. Forbes states that testing and feedback is necessary for the project to be successful. This will be especially critical during the execution phase. Your team will need to be flexible and ready to take the project in a different direction if necessary.
Step 5: Project closure
This final phase will include delivery of the product. According to PMtimes, there are several items that need to be checked off your to-do list when a project is wrapping up. A few include making sure everything is delivered and signed off on and that all invoices are out and paid. Once all the loose ends are wrapped up, this is the time to recognize and celebrate the entire team as well as individual members for their hard work.
Make your next IT project a success
Stick to this tried and true project management method when you undertake your next IT project. And remember, too, that for particularly big IT projects you’ll want to reach out to your IT support provider. Their insight and guidance can prove invaluable.