Technology Projects Benefit From Outside PM Support

Technology is a driving force behind most business operations today. With so many back-end processes dependent on tech, technology projects to install, expand, and improve these vital systems are a top priority for most companies. But unless tech is your organization’s core business, you probably need to rely on vendors to help out when it’s time for an upgrade.

technology projects

There’s no doubt implementation partners play an important role in keeping your most important technology platforms humming along. In addition to the targeted systems expertise these vendors provide, your technology projects—whether they’re aimed at scaling up existing systems or migrating to something entirely new—should also include support from an experienced outside consultancy.

To understand the value of adding external PM expertise to your team, consider some of the risks and concerns that frequently accompany large, complex, or strategic technology projects.

Challenge

One primary issue, which teams may not identify (or acknowledge) until problems arise, is that project management isn’t your implementation partner’s sweet spot. The skill sets within their organization are focused on competencies such as software development and system integration. Though they might offer project management as part of their services, their approach often applies a standard template of tasks to every customer job. There could be activities your project requires that aren’t included in their boilerplate list, such as connections to existing legacy systems, employee training for remote teams, allocation of internal labor resources, or other unique items.

Solution

An outside consultancy brings the kind of deep project management expertise necessary to ensure your technology initiative is planned and executed using a proven project management methodology. You won’t be left wondering if tasks have fallen through the cracks or if everything will be finished on time.

Challenge

Technology projects typically involve multiple implementation partners. This provides the team with ample systems expertise, but it means that each vendor will likely develop and submit its own “master” plan for the project. Important milestones—open windows for beta testing or service cut over dates, for example—may not jive from one vendor’s plan to the next. This leaves your organization trying to sort out which schedule is accurate and how the various activities line up with each other. Holding providers accountable for their tasks becomes increasingly difficult as everyone works from their own version of the plan.

Solution

A skilled project management partner uses their experience to develop a fully integrated master plan encompassing all of a project’s activities. This gives your technology partners the guidance they need to maintain alignment with your target completion date and ensure your team knows how your implementation is progressing at each step along the way.

Challenge

It’s important to acknowledge that your organization and your implementation partners probably don’t share the same priorities. You have an ROI to achieve and there may be additional strategic projects set to begin once your technology initiative’s milestones have been reached. Maintaining alignment with the project’s approved timeline and ensuring the new system supports the company’s productivity goals may be among your top priorities. Technology vendors, on the other hand, make their revenue by billing for staff time in addition to providing the features and functionalities that come with their platforms. There’s little motivation for them to execute an implementation quickly or without the addition of change orders or expanded feature sets.

Solution

Your PM vendor’s sole focus is to drive your technology project to a successful completion. They have the experience to identify risks early in the planning process and to mitigate or avoid issues such as change orders, delays, requests for scope expansions, and other add-ons.

Project Experience

Experience
Portfolio Management
Successful portfolio management calls for exceptional data management skills and diligent oversight across multiple efforts.
Experience
Manufacturing
Demanding, time sensitive, and finely tuned, manufacturing projects require close attention and experienced oversight.
Experience
IT Projects
Organizations must be able to successfully execute challenging and highly visible technology projects to maximize revenue.
Experience
Power Plants
Power Plants must be able to keep these vital infrastructure assets current, efficient, and economically positive.
Experience
Energy
High-profile hurdles and expensive risks of failure make these projects critical to manage properly from the very beginning.
Experience
Aerospace
Presents complexities at nearly every stage, from allocating resources to controlling schedule variances, or clearing regulatory & safety hurdles.
Experience
Cross-Functional
Ensuring team members are able to move outside the silos of their department or discipline is the key to achieving success.
Experience
Product Dev
Design and other early-stage activities must be carefully orchestrated while maintaining visibility on future impacts and resource needs.
Experience
Mergers & Acquisitions
Among the riskiest and most strategically important initiatives a company can undertake, and their outcomes can make or break the business.
Experience
Finance & Insurance
Technology implementations call for the right level of planning detail and diligent oversight.
Experience
ERP & SAP
An ERP implementation can be among the most disruptive and strategically important initiative an organization can undertake.