At Taylor Made Business Systems we work closely with IT to regain the hours lost to printing concerns. You can give us that “Printer Project” to manage and get back to more important agendas.
This is a white paper from Global Knowledge. It will be the first of a 10 part series I am posting for our IT Professional Network.
Ever hear someone say this?
“Everything is going just fine… And as far as we can tell… we’re on schedule, on budget, and everybody’s happy… Why would you ever want to go and CHANGE ANYTHING???”
Ever hear anyone say these?
“We’ve never done it THAT way before…”, or “We’ve always done it THIS Way… and besides… we prefer to believe what we prefer to believe.” “And we believe it’s” working…”
So the question I’d like to ask is this one: Is it really working? Do your IT projects seem to be working out as you had planned? Do you have a plan? Could it be that there might just be a better way? A better approach, a different method, something that’s been proven to be useful, proven to be successful, and proven to be repeatable?
Current studies by the Standish Group indicate that 32 percent of IT projects are successful, 44 percent conclude being somewhat challenged, and 24 percent completely fail. It looks like there’s still room for improvement.
The question is what will help us to improve our IT endeavors?
A study of project management would seem to be helpful for any IT professional.
Okay, good enough. But how does that help an IT professional in their daily work? Why should an IT professional bother to learn the discipline of project management? What is the draw? What are the benefits? How can project management help you with the daily obstacles you are facing, and what is the return on the investment for your organization, and for you both personally and professionally?
1. Greater Ability to Deal with Increases in Speed, Velocity, and Change
Does the following seem to describe you? At work, you are being required to “do more, with less, and at a faster pace than ever before.” Sound familiar? If so, what seems to be driving this?
Bill Gates has spoken about this. In his book, Business @ the Speed of Thought , he indicated that:
• The 1980s were about quality
• The 1990s were about re-engineering
• The “New Century” will be about velocity, about speed 1
One part of the “velocity and speed” aspect is that things seem to be happening at a faster pace than ever before. This is especially true of change. We see this all around us – the rapid pace of change. The question eventually becomes why? Why the rapid pace of change? I believe there are several reasons. Here are just a few.
• Rapid growth in many sectors
• Increased amounts of competition
• Increased amounts of Innovation and creativity
• Exponential increases in the economic forces pushing down on all of our organizations
• The rapid pace of change,
• Short technological life-cycles,
• Rapid execution and development
• Quick time to market
“The rapid growth of the 1960s and 1970s led to the re-engineering of the 1980s, which led to the ’new era’ of the 1990s. The new era ended suddenly when the dot com crash arrived in 2000. Expectations of rapid corporate growth have been replaced with an emphasis on core competencies and a focus on team productivity. Markets are saturated, competition is fierce, and money is tight. Corporations and organizations of every type are trying to do more with less.” (Egan, Brian Dennis, Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making, 2005 Global Knowledge Network).
Increased amounts of competition come about not only locally but globally. Technology itself is both the driver and enabler of this. Organizations must beat their competition to the marketplace with products and services that are created at a fast pace with limited resources of every kind.
One common scenario I have seen goes something like this:
Being in reaction mode, those at the top of an organization call on those below to pick up the pace, “get it done” faster than before. In an effort to also squeeze out a bit of profit, they also require those doing the work to get even more done with fewer resources, and in an attempt to beat the competition to the marketplace, they need it done even faster than ever before. The effect this has on quality is a subject for another time, but should also never be far from our minds.
How will we ever get an ever increasing amount of work accomplished at a faster pace than ever before with fewer resources available? All of this is either a recipe for disaster and increased amounts of stress, or an opportunity for organized project management.
About the Author
Tim McClintock, PMP is a Senior Instructor and course director with Global Knowledge. He has over 20 years of experience in Fortune 500 Companies in the IT, banking, and service sectors, and has consulted with organizations such as Nortel, Cisco, SBC, Verizon, CitiGroup, Exxon Mobil, NSA, DISA, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Schlumberger, and the United States Military. He provides management and technical consulting and training to all levels of professionals in both established businesses and new business ventures.