Friday, January 09, 2009

IT and Business Project Management

In my MBA program this semester I am taking a Project Management class. I read an interesting passage that discussed the challenges of managing and successfully implementing IT and Business projects:

"We in IT/Business do not build bridges, dams, highways, refineries, high rises, or housing developments...IT/Business projects...often involve significant changes to ongoing business processes. IT/Business project work is more like overhauling the transmission of a semi, fully loaded with chickens as it shoots down the interstate at 70 mph."

The power of this statement really struck me as I considered my IT experience. While executing information technology projects at my previous employer (a global Architectural, Engineering and Consulting firm), I sometimes felt like putting my hands into a server or tweaking a process was as dangerous as putting my hands into a spinning transmission, which would likely result in loss of life or limb. Firms are so dependent upon technology that any minor interruption or system change can present a major challenge to successfully completing an IT project. This likely relates to the Quality component of a project, the other three components being Schedule, Scope, and Budget. The author also states, "Seldom can an existing system be disengaged from providing its service to the end users until the new system is fully functional." Success in IT/Business project can be achieved by following sound project management principles, more of which I hope to learn as the semester progresses. (Source: Project Management for Information, Technology, Business, and Certification, p. 6, 17, 19, Gopal K. Kapur)

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