We decided to find out and asked IT project managers, "If you could have three project management-related wishes, what would they be"? Here are the seven most-wished-for items.
Wish No. 1: To be involved from project inception."Genie, use your magic to let project managers set the conditions for success," says Chet Anderson, program manager, Trissential, a management consultancy focused on business improvement.
"This means involve them from the start so that the right resources are budgeted for, correct assumptions are made and the right questions are asked," he says. Anderson (and other PMs) also wishes that management understood that "experienced project managers know the challenges involved in getting vendors to satisfy expectations and that their input into the RFP, vendor selection and contract conditions is crucial to achieving a fruitful outcome."
Wish No. 2: The ability to put — and keep — together the perfect team for each project. "If only I could have a solid handle on what people and skills are available at any point in time, so I can assemble the perfect team to meet the specific requirements of the project," says Jeff Jackson, vice president of Development, Compuware Changepoint Business Division.
"My wish would be to always have dedicated resources," says Mary Beth Rath, project manager, Custom Software Solutions at SWC Technology Partners, provider of IT solutions to midsize organizations. "This would avoid switching gears and ramp-up time, to ensure we can deliver against the project schedule," she explains.
Wish No. 3: To have powerful yet simple-to-use project management tools. "I wish for a magic wand to wave and take away the reporting nightmare I face every quarter," says Jackson.
"Today I live a nightmare that consists of multiple spreadsheets, conflicting data, inaccurate information and missed reporting deadlines," Jackson explains. "If only I had one source for all project-related information — and the ability to react quickly and take corrective action when a project begins to go off the rails."
"From a software perspective, what every project manager wants is a software solution that can plan, schedule and work with shared resources in the larger enterprise environment," says Daniel Kushner, project manager at MBX Systems, a provider of network server appliances.
"The obstacle is that by the time you need a solution like this, you are likely to have a number of home-brewed or off-the-shelf solutions you have already invested in, and no one wants to waste money on a new solution with significant overlap with older systems," Kushner says.
"Increased visibility across the entire team is important for successful project completion," adds Bryan Nielson, work management expert and strategist for AtTask, a project management solutions provider.
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