If you look at a project; a project has a specific beginning and end date, and it is typically done to produce a business or meet a business objective and produce a unique product or service; and for each project there are business deliverables being generated, there are product and services deliverables being generated, as well as project management deliverables.
In this case the project being IT – Information Technology and there are so many different areas depending upon the type of IT project you are managing so some of the areas are: Firmware, the hardware if you happen to be dealing with a hardware project, so there is Firmware, there may be a web or website component, there may be content, databases, infrastructure and underline infrastructure that IT runs on; there may be network component or internet or any kind of network component. There is a security aspect; storage, where we will store this information and most commonly, a disaster recovery area.
So, each of these deliverables, or areas are pretty complex within themselves. Many times the Project Manager may be managing the entire project so they are managing someone who is responsible for the business objective deliverables, the product or IT deliverables, as well as, they are also delivering the project management deliverables; and if they are managing the entire thing, they may be responsible for each of these component as well, or there may be one or multiple people managing each one of these components or deliverables. So with the IT technology projects, I find there are five challenges you may come across.
- There is typically multiple vendors, or partners. So there may be multiple vendors who are supplying the infrastructure like, servers or any kind of hardware components. There may be different vendors who are providing the databases or firmware; any of these components. There could be a different company, vendor or, partner; and with that, for very different one generally there comes different expectations. Each vendors or partner, or every partner comes with their own expectations, or assumption, or constraint that must be captured and incorporated in the project charter or project plans.
- Changing versions and releases. So as you can see there are multiple components going on and specifically with IT changes so rapidly with hardware improvement or enhancements coming along or even firmware or software. So in the middle of an IT project which can last some time, then typically some of these things are changing versions or releases that have to be incorporated; so constantly monitor because you don’t want to find yourself developing or implementing this on an old version that some things, sometimes are not supported if they go so far back.
- There are complex dependencies; so as you can see of all these components, are there complex dependencies specifically their underlining infrastructure must be laid, and sometimes if there are delays or risk or any kind of risk to receiving infrastructure by specific timeline that can impact some of the other deliverables. If the databases are not created or refreshed, or populated in time that can impact other components; If the firmware is out of date or sometimes has bugs. Many times teams may have one person who is designated to monitor bugs, or bug fixes for the firmware or other components, and then disaster recovery. Many times the disaster recovery plan is being made and actual execution of that has to be done to test it. So there are some complex dependencies that have to be monitored and tracked along the way.
- And then the integrated testing as each of these components are build out, then there needs to be testing for each of these components, but then an overall integrated testing as you can see with the complex dependencies that can be difficult at times; and making sure all of the people are available. Your resources who are providing these areas; the resources that are available at the time you begin doing your integrated testing.
- Most importantly, the support. If you have issues with any one of these areas that may be represented or provided by vendors, or other partners, making sure you have support so if something goes wrong and you do have a risk or you need something escalated, they get escalated in a timely manner.
So as you can see this is just an overall high-level pictorial of an information technology project, and they can get very complex and depending upon which area you may be managing, it gets very complex. These are some of the things I wanted to highlight; the key areas to look for; and we hope that this helps you out in managing your information technology project.
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