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CIOs need to care more about project management

Colin Ellis | April 27, 2015
Only two CIOs I've ever worked for over the past 15 years have really cared about project management.

So it's time to change and I mean really change because if not now, then when? It's time to pass around the IT project management mirror, take a good look into it and transform the way you deliver.

It's time to move away from endless rounds of paperwork, lengthy business case lead times, employing self-serving consultancies to tell you what you should already know. You should start caring about the way projects are delivered and the people that deliver them.

It's time to stop relying on PMOs to become centres of excellence because that ship sailed years ago and very few can articulate the value they provide.

It's time to stop allowing those accountable for projects to become disinterested (if they were ever interested in the first place) and it's time to stop just 'getting on and doing it.'

It's time to start hiring people who have the same values, behaviours and skills you're looking to implement into your organisation. It's time to throw out the cumbersome methods that are getting in the way of you delivering anything.

It's time to hold project managers to account for their behaviours and not what they've learned in a textbook. It's time to provide ample time to plan a project.

It's time to fully engage your customers and actively listen to what they're telling you; while creating world leading cultures in which all of this can thrive.

Set the benchmark for a project management culture

Project managers have the reputation of IT and therefore the CIO in their hands. The way that projects are delivered is a demonstration, in the customers' eyes, of the way IT is set up for success.

If you don't get your project management people (most important) and approaches (less important) right, it will undermine everything else that you're doing.

If you get it right, then you'll be the person giving the keynote at CIO conferences around the world talking about how you consistently deliver great projects. You'll be the one that your peers hold up as someone who got the culture of project management right.

Read more:Why customer satisfaction is your most important project metric

Your IT shop will be the one that every great project manager (and skilled technician) wants to work in; and your customers will wax lyrical about your people and approaches when their peers at other organisations moan about their IT department.

And all it takes is a little care about that front line service that can make or break your department. With some guidance around what a good delivery culture looks like, some simplification around the way you do things now and with some training for your people on how to behave properly through the project lifecycle, it could be you.


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