The fashion project has just started. Even Sandy, the customer project manager is a bit uncertain. Becoming familiar with project approaches in general is not so easy. Applying predefined project formats is also not. You, as the IT consultancy project manager, can reduce all anxiety in the beginning of the project, by organizing a splendid kick-off meeting. Involving all stakeholders from the very beginning is key. Also formalization with predefined templates is important: blueprint templates, workshop templates, list of modifications/outputs/interfaces, budget follow-up sheet, status and steering meeting formats… That way, our fashion company instantly feels the project approach covers a real methodology. If the customer is somewhat impressed in this stage, it’s good! Mach Schau! And everybody gets the feeling of a framework being there.
Your customer’s culture and the nature of the project determines the number of templates. In small projects, we don’t need too much of them. In the beginning templates should become living documents. A reminder towards people not filling in the templates according to the rules could help. All these actions create the atmosphere of the project being started. Also informing people about the budget status already at the start of the project is a good idea. By doing so, everybody is aware that their actions are related to an available project budget.
Final project happiness appears when the X factor is born. You have to feel the “soul” of the project. At a certain moment in time you get the feeling that everybody feels home within the project. Actions are taken, tests are done… The tools are used but nobody is talking about the tools anymore. They just became “tools” in the background. More and more you get the feeling that customer project manager Sandy and her team are working independently. When the project go-live is there, your role as IT project manager is critical to be present in case of problems. But pulling all the time is not needed anymore. A month after go-live you are not present anymore on a regular basis, which makes you happy. The project is delivered! But you as IT project manager stay a trusted partner with a lot of conceptual knowledge about the project. Project management is more than administration.
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