Project Management and Your IT … Do You Need Help?

Do you plan like the Big Boys?

When it comes to project management and your technology infrastructure, an important question arises: At what point do small and midsize businesses adopt the management practices of large enterprises? The answer depends: Will the required investment(s) will be rewarded through a sufficient increase in productivity? Or profit margin to justify the change.

Increasingly large portions of the $20 billion a year that SMBs invest in IT solutions are devoted to systems and services currently employed by large companies. This data is according to research from global market intelligence firm, IDC. Some of the change is represented by SMBs using cloud resources and software-as-a-service as opposed to onsite hardware acquisitions. Yet the IDC article suggests a more important change is underway: SMBs are abandoning the “relatively fragmented and improvisational nature of SMB IT spending.” Instead, they are adopting the “coordinated and managed approaches seen among larger firms.” Ultimately, successful emulation will depend on the SMBs project management skills.

Five Basic Project Steps

Projects, whether revamping your IT infrastructure, or turning an open-air patio into a sunroom, follow the same basic steps. The Project Management Institute lists five:

  1. Initiating – Making the decision to proceed.
  2. Planning – Establishing details for a course of action.
  3. Executing – Getting the work done.
  4. Monitoring and Controlling – Tracking progress and making corrections.
  5. Closing – Getting final stakeholder sign-off on completion.

Project Knowledge Areas within Project Steps

Additionally, there are several specific knowledge areas associated with project management. (This is where the difference between our IT project and that sunroom come into play.) While large corporations usually have the in-house IT staff to manage their projects, smaller companies are likely to need outside assistance. This is especially true in these areas:

  1. Scope – You’ll know what benefits to expect from completion of your project, but the scope of the undertaking may not be readily apparent. Frequently, IT systems affect other systems. Someone should be tasked with finding practical and economically advantageous ways to control project parameters (and costs!) while meeting your requirements.
  2. Procurement – With so many options available on the market, it’s hard to know where to begin before choosing an IT solution that meets your needs. This isn’t just a matter of price, or deciding on a vendor. You will also need to weigh ease-of-deployment, user-friendliness, compatibility and scalability before making a purchase.
  3. Integration – Getting various system components to mesh can be a real challenge-especially if legacy elements are present. And the “why isn’t this working?” question takes on a frantic tone when employees sit idle or customers can’t be served. You want the peace of mind that comes from knowing all aspects of your business technology interact well and work properly across your entire operation.

Fortunately, as a fellow traveler along The SynchroNet Way, you’re not along on your journey. We’re here to help you evaluate how IT investments can improve your operations, discern the smartest solution choices for your company, or make sure your systems are working at optimal efficiency.  Talk to us anytime about your goals. We may not have too many opinions about that sunroom, but you can count on SynchroNet to guide you through all IT improvement initiatives.