In this video, change and project management expert Bob McGannon explores the key components you should consider in your technology projects, including people, processes, and technology. In this course, he will also explore how to avoid common technology project traps and pitfalls which can create issues for your project.
- I have to admit it, I absolutely love technology and technology projects. The better, newer, or more extensive the technology the more excited I get. Unfortunately for technology project managers not everyone gets excited about technology. So we need to be diligent about how we run technology projects. There are three key components which should be considered for every technology project and you might be surprised to find that technology is the last one on the list.
The first key component is people. I've seen IT projects that handle the technology component quite well yet the project ultimately fails as the business benefits can't be achieved. This happens because business teams were not appropriately trained and prepared for their new world of work. To make sure the people are ready organizational change management needs to occur. Organizational change management ensures the technology to be introduced is understood and actually moves the business forward versus paralyzing the teams with yet another tool.
The most common pitfall of the people component is that it isn't done or it's done as an afterthought. Organizational change management should be performed throughout your project and managed just as carefully as the technology related activities. The technology implementation will not be successful unless the people understand how to perform their jobs and are comfortable with what the technology offers. Your goal should be to bring the people along with you on the project journey and help them feel as comfortable as possible regarding the change.
Now, let's discuss the second major component, processes. Business processes need to change as part of your technology implementation. In fact if the business processes do not change then something is probably wrong or has been overlooked. An example of a business process is paying invoices, purchasing equipment, or tracking inventory. Each of these processes contains many steps and can usually be performed in a variety of ways.
The goal of technology projects is to agree on the one way a process will be performed at all times. Using the technology and manual assessments as efficiently as possible. Ultimately you want the technology to support the business processes, not the other way around. Trying to maintain existing processes when implementing new technology is a common mistake. Customizing technology to work with ineffective, antiquated processes can be expensive to maintain and implement.
It's critical to find the right balance of what must be done to support your business while minimizing the customizations to your technological tools and systems. This might require substantial discussions with your key stakeholders to help them understand the project is about a business process change not simply a technology upgrade. Once your stakeholders are on board it'll be much easier to work through the issues and questions of customization. And as if the people and processes aren't hard enough now we need to get the technology to work.
One of the trickiest components in technology projects is integration. Everything is interconnected these days. So integration between technologies is essential. Integration needs to be planned and tested based on agreed processes and detailed requirements. Integration can be complicated. Don't underestimate the work this will require. So technology projects as exciting as they are actually aren't really about technology if you face that reality and consider people, process, and then technology you're apt to get much better project results.
- Identifying and managing stakeholders
- Guiding process and organizational change
- Considering a cloud-based solution
- Planning a technology project
- Assessing risks and changes
- Executing a technology project
- Addressing challenges such as conflict and changing priorities