Every IT project needs a project management plan, no exceptions

You’ve heard the saying: measure twice, cut once.

Failure to plan is planning to fail. So why do so many IT departments still skip the crucial step of creating a project management plan before they begin working on any project of any noticeable size? 

There are plenty of reasons: being too busy or feeling like things there will be problems no matter what are common ones. The truth is that if you create a reasonable and solid plan, you’re more likely to end up with a successful project.

What’s the biggest reason you’re more likely to succeed with a solid plan? Read on for some insight to this question.

Opportunity to identify and reduce risks

Creating a project management plan lets you identify potential risks before you begin your project. That’s true whether you’re choosing a new SaaS to replace a legacy system or changing how IT support will function within your company.

Businesses can waste as much as a $100 million for every $1 billion they invest when their projects underperform. Poor performance comes from miscommunication, repeating work, and simply failing to meet deadlines. 

Determining the scope and size of an upcoming IT project can be the key to making it a successful project, no matter what you’re doing. From cloud migration to building out a new office, a good plan creates small goals to help you meet your big ones.

In other words, working with an IT Product Management Team can help you get your project under control. But what are some of the key projects that benefit from a project management plan?

Cloud migrations

When starting a process like cloud migration, it’s important to break down silos and start by working with your entire organization. You need to review each program currently used in your system and determine if it will be migrated, replaced, or phased out.

The scope of the project has to be determined. It may initially appear that using a SaaS to replace a legacy system will be simple. Yet there may be small but necessary features that the legacy system uses and the SaaS won’t use.

Working with IT project management teams can help you make sure all stakeholders are in the room to get the full picture of what’s happening with any big project.

New office moves or build outs

Without planning ahead, project teams can get caught up in the nitty gritty details and miss the big picture. For example, it’s easy to start with what this will cost, determine how many stations will be needed and then moving forward accordingly.

This is an inefficient way to work.

Your tiny tasks may add up to your big picture, but you may also end up stuck in the weeds indefinitely. You can also go way over budget or miss great opportunities by starting too small.  

Outsourced IT project management teams can be particularly helpful as they can often see the big picture more easily than a team on the ground. 

Email systems upgrades and management

Moving email systems seems simple on the surface, but can be much more complicated than expected. This is especially common with older employees who may have complex systems of email storage that they’re particularly attached to.

It’s always better to set a generous timeline for when a project will be completed. Under-promise and over-deliver on deadlines so that other projects don’t end up waiting on a particular step. Those types of delays inevitably send an entire project behind schedule.

There’s a lot that goes into project management plans:

  • defining scope
  • creating goals
  • setting targets
  • creating accountability

Many companies avoid planning out their projects because of time constraints. This is where product management specialists come in. These experience pros can make IT planning virtually painless.