Effective IT project management can have multiple meanings depending on the audience, the urgency and the organization. But every project has a starting point, and doing it right – intake and governance – is the critical factor to proper management.
Intake and governance include reviewing project proposals, determining which will get the green light to proceed, which need to wait until later, and sometimes, which issues you’re just going to have to deal with for a while.
Intake and governance are not interchangeable; each serves a specific and important function. Intake ensures that only the projects that add enough value to the business are approved. Governance ensures that value continues to exist while the project is underway.
All projects are an investment of an organization’s resources. There are circumstances when a given project no longer provides enough value back to the business, or the return on investment (ROI) becomes too low to sustain. If that threshold is reached or crossed, the project may be paused temporarily (i.e., until circumstances improve) or even stopped altogether.
Here are the key elements of proper project management:
- Start with the right intake and governance process.
- Map a framework to processes, such as a Waterfall or Agile methodology, or a combination of the two.
- Use a common, business-focused language.
- Properly track and manage resources including people, skills, information, and tools.
- Generate meaningful reports and turn data into information that has meaning.