As you ponder your upcoming IT project, consider it a major investment of time, money, and effort. It's worth taking the time to understand how you got to this point of needing to upgrade your IT.
It is necessary to immerse yourself in the planning stage to avoid common pitfalls of new IT projects. That is why you need smart planning.
Here you will find important recommendations for planning your next big IT project. By adhering to these practical tips, your IT project is sure to be successful, enjoying real-world benefits such as potentially allowing several different databases in your business to be merged into a single 'source of truth,' which enables every department to be connected and processes to be streamlined.
In the meantime, you will want to exercise caution when it comes to hiring the right IT company in Spokane. There are many factors to be considered, and it is worth it to do your due diligence and research so you know you've made the right choice for acquiring IT consulting services for your business.
Let's take a look at what IT project planning looks like.
What is IT Project Planning?
Information technology project planning, or IT project planning, is the effort a company makes at the beginning of a project to ensure that work is organized and progresses well. These quality-control steps also ensure that the project meets its deadline and overall goals.
The planning phase consists of planning the work, schedule of work, budget, identifying resources and staffing needs, as well as ensuring the project will be completed on time and within budget.
Planning is the second phase of an IT project, as it comes after project initiation and prior to project execution.
Now let's examine how you can effectively plan for a major IT project the right way.
Hold a Kickoff Meeting
A kickoff meeting is designed to bring together all the participants of the project and establish expectations, articulate probable risks, and clarify uncertainties that the project might have.
There must be a common understanding of the project and its goals. It's also important that there be a thorough understanding of what is deliverable.
Define Project Activities
These initial planning steps include specifying project activities. It is recommended that you use Work Breakdown Structure or WBS. The goal of this activity is to establish a common understanding of the project scope. This encompasses the description of the work that should be done to complete the deliverables of a project.
Each descending level structure in the WBS represents an increasingly detailed description of the project activities. The development of WBS involves subdividing the major project activities or sub-activities into smaller, more manageable activities until the activities are defined in sufficient detail to support the management and development of project works.
Watch this video for tips on organizing and planning your next IT project:
Decide Best Methodology
At the beginning stage of the IT planning process, you'll want to decide which project management methodology to use. That will probably be Agile software development or a modified version of it. Some IT projects still use more traditional methods.
It is a good idea to select a type of methodology that will fit well with your particular IT project. For many IT projects, you'll want to allow for continual changes and adaptations. However, many organizations have a preference for the methodology they use to manage their projects.
Make Sure You Have Leadership Buy-In and Engagement
Without your company's leadership agreeing to the merits of an IT project, it will be a no-go from the start. Leaders in the company must also be engaged in the process. It is helpful for them to participate in update sessions and offer input.
It's important for the business leadership to regularly give guidance and bring their vision to the IT project. It's their money that's being spent, so they have a vested interest to make sure it's being spent wisely.
Establish a Project Charter that Includes Objectives
Creating a project charter before beginning work on an IT project is vital. The charter provides details on scope, timelines, and resources. But most important, it lays forth the project's main objectives. Be sure you and your team are certain that those assumed objectives are the right ones for your business.
Objectives make clear the following questions as it pertains to your IT project: What do you want and why do you want it? says Alan Zucker, Founding Principal of Project Management Essentials, who has over two decades of experience managing projects in Fortune 100 companies.
"Scope is the 'how are we going to deliver it,'" Zucker adds
Having a clear understanding of your IT project objectives is critical to your success.
Establish Project Scope
This involves establishing the exact scope of the upcoming IT project with a thorough understanding of what you want to achieve. You'll set the parameters of what the project will produce or complete and what it will not do. It's just as important to determine what is in and what's out of scope.
Establish Proof of Principle
An important aspect of understanding and establishing objectives is to fully understand the product your IT project is set to develop. It's helpful to have clarity about what you want to deliver. This is where proof of principle comes in, and it's going to be extremely valuable.
Perform Resource Planning
Resource planning involves figuring out the type and number of resources that are required to complete the IT project. In this phase, you will need to provide a detailed breakdown of tools, supplies, materials, hardware, software, equipment, and people.
Perform Budget Planning
For budget planning, you'll be summarizing the expenditures and source of funding for the project during the life of the project. You will be providing an expense or cost breakdown for each work package by month or year.
Perform Staffing Planning
Also known as human resources planning, the purpose of the staffing plan is to achieve project success by ensuring the appropriate human resources with the necessary skills are acquired.
This function includes identifying the roles and responsibilities of IT project stakeholders. For example, in this phase, you will include the roles of project team members. Project manager, quality assurance manager, developer, and business analyst are some typical team member roles.
Hold Recurring Regular Strategic Meetings
It is in your company's best interest when it comes to smart planning for an IT project to conduct periodic check-in meetings with everyone in the project, and that should include clients and stakeholders.
It is recommended that your business hold these meetings at least once every quarter or as frequently as monthly for smaller teams.
Establish Product Specifications
Initially, you will want to establish your objectives and make sure that the product your IT team is working on is viable. Next, list the specifications for your product in extreme detail. Include in the details what the project is and what is going to be produced. It needs to be a detailed requirements document that contains budgeting – for both time and cost.
Understand & Address Technical & Other Risks
Your IT project team is charged with understanding the highest risks to the project's -- or product's – success. Those may be technical or other types of risks. The team will need to comprehend and address them to avoid failure.
Technical Risks — The technology will not work properly because of technical limitations or problems – which are especially important in IT projects. Experts recommend teams identify and work on those possible risks early to prevent wasting money on a project that is likely to have problems.
It will help your company immensely if you're able to identify technical risks early and test whether the product can be achieved. What is important is to identify the key technical risks and build that component first, according to Patrick Sim, Co-founder of RobustTechHouse, which develops IT projects for clients, and FacilityBot, which uses technology to help manage facilities and manufacturing plants.
Obtain User Input Early & Frequently
As you are building your new IT product, it is vital to check whether it's working or not as soon as possible. That translates into getting user feedback as you build the product.
It is to your advantage to create the minimum viable product. That means getting the new product into consumers' hands as fast as possible. This is the case even if only one or two basic features are working. Even utilizing this little bit of feedback, these users can help you further develop the product and determine its viability.
Choose the Right IT Provider
When it comes to deciding who the right IT company in Medford is, weigh all the relevant facts so you're comfortable with your choice. There is a great deal of importance attached to your decision on which IT support and solutions provider you choose.
Your choice could affect the growth of your company and even your bottom line.
Connect with Adept Networks for Exceptional IT Services for Your Business
If you're considering any IT project and want to speak to a professional, talk to us at Adept Networks first.
We specialize in many areas and work across a wide range of different solutions.
And if we think you need a specialist who's not on our team, then we have access to a whole network of experts, so we can introduce people to you who'll deliver the best outcome for your business.
Our company is renowned for providing world-class IT services. Get in touch with us today.