Too Many Chiefs in the Tent – IT Project Management

Who’s on First?




Not having a Project Manager as it pertains to IT Services is like watching Laurel and Hardy’s, “Who’s on First routine.”



Examples of this routine can be put into Services terminology:



  1. When there are three different answers as to when a piece of equipment is going to arrive for installation / implementation.
  2. And there are three different dates when installation / implementation begins.
  3. There are four, not three, engineers scheduled to do the work when only one is needed.
  4. There’s actually six different points of contact at the client’s environment.
  5. Who’s in charge of this project being completed? The Sales Rep? The Engineer?, The Client? And so on…
  6. Nobody pays attention and simply shows up at the site in order to correct the environment using a screwdriver when they actually need a jack-hammer.



Simply, complete chaos, and you wonder how we even have stop lights that work, operating systems that actually turn on with no blue screen, etc., etc.



There has to be someone behind the scenes prodding the hamster in the wheel. Reminding the honey bees to pollinate and knowing that someone in wireless networking might not be the best choice to conduct a Nimble Installation. You can’t show up to a football game wearing tennis clothes. Do you see what I am getting at?



Project Management



Project Management, on so many levels, is a necessary evil at times. Without it, work results in rework, deduplication of costs and opportunity cost lost; not to mention credibility.





If your firm doesn’t have someone or a team of Project Managers who’s going to make sure the following occurs once the Purchase Order has arrived; you may want to rewrite your business model:



  1. Ordering of Equipment
  2. Identification of appropriate resources
  3. Availability of appropriate resources
  4. Scheduling a Kickoff call with internal and external clients.
  5. Understanding the scope of work and how long implementations take
  6. Setting expectations with clients
  7. Clients setting expectations with their vendors
  8. Identifying a timeline
  9. Keeping that timeline and continuously updating the client with work-performed summaries on a daily and/or weekly basis.
  10. Managing the client and not having the client manage the vendor
  11. Summary of implementation completed and acknowledgement that project is fulfilled.



Or, maybe create an organization chart for projects which clearly identifies the integral participants of the initiative.



These items are very high level with several subsets. Do you think a team with no leader would be able to perform these and exceed client expectations? Do you think a team with many who think they are leaders are able to perform implement and exceed expectations? Not to go political, but I think they call that last analogy, Congress!



Who’s on first; The Project Manager is. What’s on second; the scope of the project. And so on and so on. It’s not brain surgery folks and yet we hear of so many service firms that don’t practice this for the real game.



Guess what, we do and we practice it every day. It’s called continuous improvement…


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