Importance of IT Project Management for Small Business


According to statistics, like most industries in the U.S. economy, the IT sector is dominated by small businesses. In 2016, small IT establishments which employed between 10 and 99 members of staff took up 15.1% of the market.

The IT sector has been growing and developing at a steady pace for the past 50 years. As a result, present-day consumers' expectations have risen to a whole new level. Namely, most people feel that IT operates like a utility and that all you are required to do is plug into the cloud and take advantage of a prepackaged combo of hardware, software, and services.

Nevertheless, IT experts face many challenges and choose to outsource a part of their services. Though the system was designed to simplify things, it has brought about a number of other challenges.

Now, in order to orchestrate a successful completion of an IT project that's in progress, a manager who is in charge has to possess a variety of skills and still be ready to face the inevitable issues that are out of their control.

Challenges

The following segment will outline 3 of the most common situations project managers experience in their workplace and usually find difficult to overcome.

Organizational issues


Almost 30% of all projects fail due to inaccurate task/time estimates, as well as undefined project goals. For this reason, a project manager is required to organize regular meetings with the team members to go through the agenda, set clear goals and distribute materials and information needed for the project completion.

Setting up a meeting (at least) on a weekly basis will provide the manager with valuable feedback and insights into the progress; this will allow them to address possible issues in time and rearrange deadlines if need be.

Run a specific program

When a project manager is assigned to work on a task that has no end date, it's essential that they understand the difference between ongoing programs and time-limited projects. Programs usually involve team members who are not fully assigned to it and are expected to help out to a certain extent, and as there is no set deadline, those who are busy working on other tasks can lack the motivation to prioritize that program.

Managing already defined project

If a project manager is assigned a project that already has a defined deadline, resources, and a budget, they might find it difficult to organize the stages of the projects in accordance with the conditions. This is usually when their experience and individual skills come to focus.

Skills

Around 20% of all projects fail because of a project manager's inexperience. In order to be able to lead a team of people towards the same goal, a person who offers IT project management services is required to possess the following skills:

Organizational skills

Organizational skill implies taking an idea, activities, and products, and putting them all into a detailed plan and ensuring the staff members who are working on the project are going to complete their tasks on time. Organizational intelligence is necessary at every dimension of a project manager's role.

Communicational skills

A project manager has to collaborate successfully, not just with the team members, but stakeholders and executives as well. They have to be ready to conduct a successful presentation, lead discussions and compose emails and detailed reports. With improved communication, a project is 5 times more likely to perform better.

Leadership skills

Though leadership is difficult to quantify, a team manager has to know how to approach the changes in the project plan, as well as handle exceptions and rising problems which threaten to derail the project. They need to be authoritative figures who have the ability to not only direct their team members in the right direction but also motivate them to work.

The Bottom Line

In the IT industry, the 17% of projects went so wrong they threatened the existence of the companies who conducted them. By managing to establish yourself as a strong leader and bring your team to the end goal, you'll be in the top 3% of the best-performing companies.

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