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7 top wishes of IT project managers

Jennifer Lonoff Schiff | Oct. 11, 2013
If IT project managers were granted three wishes by the IT genie, what would they wish for? Here are the seven desires you'd find on the list.

"If the IT project manager doesn't know what his employees are working on, he doesn't know if he can assign additional tasks or if the task is moving forward," Nielson explains. "With a cloud tool that keeps the project in one central location, the whole team can see the project details, in real time, eliminating extra emails that flood inboxes every day."

Wish No. 4: To have clearly defined project objectives and requirements. "Very often IT development projects get launched with general or imprecise objectives and/or product requirements that create land mines later on in the project lifecycle," says Edward R. Jones, director, Professional Services, Diligent eSecurity International.

"It is reasonable that a project may have to be initiated with some unknowns or unclear items," Jones says. But "it would be great if the project manager is made aware of these so they can include the need for their refinement as a part of the effort."

Wish No. 5: To get buy-in from stakeholders and end-users. "Another wish would be to have the ability to identify key stakeholders who will validate priorities and major decisions," says Rath. "This would help ensure not only that the budget is properly managed, but that the most important items are delivered [on time]."

Similarly, it would be nice to have "sponsors who want to hear what risks are associated with their requested changes and who will own those risks, once they understand them and request to go forward anyway," says project management expert Mark Calabrese.

"Nothing sucks the wind out of your team's sails more than an end-user who is lethargic about engaging in the process and/or suffers from paralysis when it comes to providing feedback when you need it the most," says Cory Crosland, founder and president, Croscon, a custom technology & engineering service firm. So "finding the right stakeholder [or stakeholders] is critical."

Wish No. 6: To be treated with respect."Genie, make people recognize that project managers are skilled leaders who are uniquely qualified to help you achieve your aspirations," wishes Anderson — and many other project managers. "Do not use project managers as highly skilled administrative assistants to conduct your meetings and take meeting minutes," he says. "They are bona fide leaders with advanced skills to energize and motivate people that they have no direct control over."

Wish No. 7: To be allowed to adjust projects as needed (without being second-guessed). "Even if you've perfectly spec'd out a project, there are gremlins waiting for you at every turn," says Crosland. "Especially on longer-term projects, the business and its requirements may shift from underneath you," he says. And good project managers have to quickly adapt.


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