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ITSM Projects: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

By Lianne Larner, Operations Manager, Marval

According to a report by The Standish Group, less than 1/3 of all projects are successfully completed on time and on budget.

For professionals working in the IT industry, this detail is hardly surprising. We ‘ve all seen projects being delayed for a number of reasons, from inadequate planning to lack of resources or relevant experience. Effective project management requires skills, resources, time and the right tools, all in place.

Having worked on a number of successful ITSM projects myself, I can recognise the bottlenecks that may jeopardise on time and on budget completion of a project. Here’s a list of five very common liabilities:

-          Not setting the right goals and expectations upfront. Projects usually require the involvement of many people within the IT team, or even different teams and departments to be involved. The efficiency of a person or team might affect efficiency or results for another team, and the outcome overall. It’s crucial that all members of the Project Management (PM) team understand their role in the process and how their work will affect their colleagues who work on the same project.

-          Not assigning the right resources. A project requires different skills in different areas, from basic administration to efficient management. Project Managers need people with a wide set of skills and experience, who can help with the various bits and bobs. Keeping an open mind when building a project management team is essential; projects need people who have both high technical and soft skills.

-          Not allocating enough time (or the right time). Not all periods are convenient. Anything can come between a PM team and the project: upcoming holidays, pre-scheduled training days, sick days, conflicting projects or work overload. Also, many IT professionals are involved in more than one projects that run in parallel. Before defining a time frame (and deadlines) for your project, it’s important you are fully aware of any prior engagements of your team members.

-          Not adjusting to change. No matter how thorough your planning is, something might still get in your way! When things don’t go according to plan, be flexible and ready to amend your approach – either by allocating more resources, or by extending deadlines, or even by re-planning parts of the projects.

-          Not defining KPIs. You want results; therefore, you want to be able to measure and evaluate your performance. By setting clear KPIs, you make sure everyone is on board and focused on reaching their target.

As with most IT projects, Service Management projects can be quite precarious, particularly if not supported by the right culture within the organisation. The good news is that an experienced ITSM partner, like Marval, can help you address and mitigate common risks and liabilities, cultivate a supportive culture, and design and deploy your project with the highest chance of success.


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