In IT Project Management, Speaking the Same Language Keeps You on the Same Page

IT project management—and really project management in general—has a language all its own, including terms like Waterfall, Agile, Scrum, Gantt charts, Kanban boards, etc. The same can be said of most specialized fields so that in itself isn’t much of an issue, at least when you’re communicating with people within that same specialty. But as project management moves into other parts of the organization, you’ll soon realize (if you haven’t already) that not everyone speaks that language, and that can create barriers between project managers, staff, and stakeholders. Since everyone, needs to be involved in the process at some point, this particular barrier is one that can keep you from being successful if it’s not addressed.

While the right project management software can help bridge this gap, it’s only part of the solution. What’s also needed is a common vernacular that is built upon the shared business language everyone in your organization already accepts and understands. The combination of those elements helps present the otherwise unfamiliar world of project management in a way that’s accessible and user-friendly, and without the need for a steep learning curve.

Let’s look at an IT project as an example, but it should be clear how this would also be applicable to any other team or department within your organization. While many IT projects are contained within that area of the business, they will also likely need to work with several other business units in order to complete the project. For instance, let’s say that in order to complete the desired end result (e.g., a network upgrade, software patch, custom-built application, etc.), some sort of hardware or software needs to be purchased. IT needs to “translate” the technical requirements of such a purchase into business needs that other functional areas and the project manager or project management office (PMO) can understand. Without this connection, it’s possible that the wrong decisions will be made, which can lead to delays or even jeopardizing the success of the project altogether.

It should be clear, then, that establishing a common language between all of the teams working on a given project is crucial to ensuring its success. This is true of projects within IT along with projects in any other area of the business as well. By integrating this building block into the culture at your organization, everyone will be on the same page when it comes to project management.

If you are you trying to take project and portfolio management beyond IT in your organization, check out this white paper.

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