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Project Management: Bringing order to project management

Project Management: Bringing order to project management

The following appeared in Computers in Business, Sunday Business Post, December 2013

Sean Jackson, Managing Director, Lumenia ConsultingICT projects vary hugely and Sean Jackson, managing director of Lumenia Consulting, said that the nature of the technology and its proposed use was a major differentiator.

''Some projects are essentially technology only, others will impact on users and perhaps even all users. Upgrading networks and performance, for example, will ultimately impact on users but not in any way that means the project team needs to engage with them. That project will be designed, led and delivered by professional tech people.''

But something like a CRM or ERP system or applications that are used directly by a wide span of employees cannot be delivered solely by the IT people, Jackson said. ''The client' is now effectively the end user as a class or group. Any project needs buy-in and budget from senior management. But with those application type projects there is a real need not just for authorisation and budgetary resources but for time.

''There is a requirement for resources from the business side that IT simply does not control-for specification and design, for testing, for sponsorship and authority at top level. Bluntly, it needs the backing of a business leader who is committed and in a position to make sure the project gets the resources it needs,'' said Jackson.

Most ICT projects, he said, would require expertise from outside the organisation itself, consultant or service providers.

''I would be absolutely ruthless about the quality of those external resources, the people that are assigned to the project at the leadership level. If I were unhappy or in doubt about someone I would take it up and confront it as an issue right away. You have to grasp that sort of nettle very early. It may be a bit counter-cultural in Irish business, but honestly I think if you don't tackle any such doubt at the beginning it will come back to bite you at the project end - or probably even before but when it's too late to correct.''