Be Sure to Start from the Right Place in IT Project Management

Be Sure to Start from the Right Place in IT Project ManagementThere’s certainly no shortage when it comes to good—or necessary—projects in any organization, and especially when it comes to IT. In fact, there is typically more work proposed than can be delivered due to the time and resources available. And to complicate matters, not every project has the same level of impact or importance to the organization, so what is a project manager to do?

Effective IT project management means different things to different people, but you have to start somewhere, right? That starting point is referred to as intake and governance, and that’s just a fancy name for the process of reviewing project proposals, determining which will get the green light to proceed, which need to wait until a later, and sometimes, which issues you’re just going to have to deal with for a while. (Sorry!)

The terms aren’t interchangeable, though, and each serves a specific and important function. Intake ensures that only the projects that add enough value to the business are approved, while governance ensures that value continues to exist while the project is underway.

All projects are an investment of an organization’s resources. And there are circumstances under which a given project no longer provides enough value back to the business, or in other words, the return on investment (ROI) becomes too low to sustain. If that threshold is reached or crossed, the project may be paused temporarily (i.e., until circumstances improve) or even stopped altogether.

So, the next time a project request comes in, make sure you’re thinking about intake and governance. A proper intake process will help you determine which are the right projects to start in the first place. Proper governance will help you ensure that projects are capable of returning value to your business; and if it won’t, it gives you the opportunity to pull the plug and reallocate those resources to other tasks or projects that will.

See how you can take project and portfolio management beyond IT in your organization.

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