Rolling out a major IT project can revolutionise your business. And if there’s one person who can turn it into a smooth, seamless experience, it’s a great project manager. Here our Head of Project Delivery, Chris Topping, outlines six sure-fire ways to make the most of your IT projects – and add a ton of extra value to your team.
- Lay everything out at your kick-off meeting
Whether it’s in person or on screen, the first time you sit down with your project manager is really key. Be up front about what you want to achieve, how it fits in with other projects and the part it plays in your wider business objectives. They need the big picture if they’re going to run a project that really works for you.
- Don’t be afraid to be completely honest
It’s so important to be upfront about what you need, expect and lose sleep over. Armed with that information, your project manager is in a stronger position to help you tackle your challenges and get the results you want. They’ll ask you lots of questions – about everything from your goals to your existing tech. But if you don’t have all the answers, that’s ok. Be honest about what you don’t know, as well as what you do. If there are gaps, they’ll find a way around them.
- Share the way you like to work
Tell your project manager which processes you like to use, and they’ll fit right in. Here at Backbone Connect, our project managers have worked for all sorts of clients, using all sorts of tools, so they’ve got the flexibility to do things your way.
As well as certified specialists in agile project management, who work responsively and energetically as things change, we have certified Prince2 project managers, experienced in extensive, highly structured projects. Ask us to take either approach, or an entirely different one.
- Be clear how you want to be updated
Don’t assume your project manager knows how often you’d like project updates, or how involved you want to be. If you’d just like a quick daily email or WhatsApp, say so. If you’d like a week-end round up email, that’s fine. And if you’d like a full bells-and-whistles monthly technical report, tell them. Whatever you need to feel comfortable – but not overwhelmed – they’ll make it happen.
- Speak up as soon as possible
Projects evolve. Issues arise. Goalposts shift. Project managers are flexible, tenacious people and highly creative problem solvers. But if you want a smooth, stress-free project, tell them about potential challenges as soon as they emerge, so they can do their job. They’ll stand a much better chance of ironing things out and delivering your project on time, on budget.
- Treat your project manager like a partner
Last but not least, think of your project manager as a partner, not just a supplier. Even if it means throwing more challenges their way, remember they’ll do their best work when you’re open with them, rather than when they’re battling an agenda they can’t see. The more dialogue they have with you, the better they’ll be able to nail down what you need and rapidly get it done.
On your side, from kick off to sign off
IT projects can be a complex business. Which is why, at Backbone Connect, we assign one of our certified agile project managers or Prince2 specialists to every one. Knowledgeable, unflappable, accountable and organised, they make the whole process as pain-free as possible.
Whether they’re coordinating with suppliers and stakeholders, managing scopes and schedules, protecting you from unwanted disturbance or troubleshooting a multitude of surprises – they’re experts in keeping everything moving, leaving you free to do the work you need (and want) to do.
If you’d like to talk to us about the difference our project managers make, just get in touch. And if you’ve got a project on the go, don’t forget to keep your project manager in the loop, up to date and added to your LinkedIn network. It makes all the difference.
Chris Topping is Head of Project Delivery at Backbone Connect. He’s experienced in major cloud migration projects, optimising IT infrastructure and getting the most out of IT teams. Today, he makes sure our connectivity services and customer experience are second to none.