Delivery of IT projects nowadays seems to require both long hours and the kind of will power only true heroes possess. This is especially true of projects that exist in the digital space. Thus, questions arise – what has changed, and what is needed to get things back on track so we don’t need to rely on heroes to effectively deliver IT projects to the world?
In thinking about the IT services industry as a whole, Virtusa would like to offer five observations and recommendations designed to properly answer these questions.
Best Practices for IT Project Delivery
Click through for five observations and recommendations for how IT can more effectively deliver projects, as identified by Virtusa.
In terms of delivering IT projects, it is difficult to lock down business requirements, especially with regard to projects involving a “look and feel,” or when it comes to dealing with data. For teams looking to receive a “final” set of requirements before the start of development, it just isn’t happening. Project teams must live with this and factor this into their overall planning.
Teams require engineers with the right aptitude and attitude to learn and deal with the ever-changing technology landscape. Too often, junior engineers get caught up in working with specific technologies and prove unwilling to learn new ones. Over the past few years, engineers have moved on to learn packages (say ERP or CRM) or visual GUI tools where little programming is needed. But things are changing fast.
In the IoT and digital world, programming has become cool again. Organizations and colleges, in particular, must encourage employees and students to participate in hackathons and other programming contests. Teams will ultimately be better served by those who can learn new constructs rather than just be super specialists.
In recent years, the role of project managers across the IT services industry has been downsized. It is not hard to see why. Project managers have three key responsibilities: working with their customers to understand their needs; motivating and managing their teams to deliver quality work on time; and taking care of project administrative tasks. During the turbo-charged growth of the IT services industry, many project managers have started moving more toward the administrative side of project management. However, they have lost connections with customers, their own teams, and technology in the process. This has led to several project managers being downsized. Yet the project management layer is the glue that holds things together, and it is very important to set the right expectations. Those aspiring to play this role should continue to hone their technology skills, while also being able to bring people together.
Meanwhile, communication and the ability to perceive customer needs, especially from a business perspective, remains a big challenge in the IT services industry. Special emphasis needs to be given to these often overlooked aspects, particularly as part of training in colleges, and during onboarding in different organizations.
Less Is More
In many cases, the IT services industry may be a case of “less is more,” given that traditionally, it has thrived on numbers. It may well be a numbers game when it comes to support and maintenance-level projects. But, for digital projects, having smaller teams where each individual can wear multiple hats is the best way forward.
These observations are, of course, not mandatory to follow, yet hopefully they offer proper perspective on how to better deliver IT projects across an ever-changing sector. If focus is maintained, the delivery model is sure to become much more streamlined moving forward.