C. Myblog

IT Project Management

September 26, 2013

Looking back 20 years, most of us were content to sit and wait while our modems hissed and pinged to life. Now, the average person is unwilling to wait 10 seconds for a page to load or for the technology to work. The cliché is true—technology is constantly changing. And, if your credit union is like most, then your IT department has a full plate of projects keeping them busy.

Never mind the constant pressure of keeping member data confidential and protected from phishers—just staying on top of troubleshooting for both internal and external users, or siphoning through the usual list of updates and upgrades can be a demanding challenge. Add to that the list of “non-IT” projects that require IT support and your credit union could be looking at a serious resource challenge. If this is the case it might be time to re-evaluate your project management process and lighten the load for your IT department.

From a project management perspective, you might consider taking the following steps:

  • Catalog all projects currently in progress: It may seem like a painful place to start but don’t let that intimidate you. Without an accurate inventory, you will not be able to get your arms around of all the projects (no matter how small) that are pulling at IT resources
  • Analyze resource commitments: Take the catalog of projects in process and analyze it to determine how many hours of IT time will be wrapped into a project before it is complete. We have seen some credit unions do this, only to find that more than 100% of IT resources are booked solid for weeks. That means that if a “fire” suddenly pops up, the IT department is now in a potential position to fail
  • Decide if the existing commitments add value and are in line with strategy: For maxed IT departments, certain projects will need to be put on the backburner while more prominent projects are completed
  • Control the flow of projects: If the above steps show that the IT department is maxed out, it’s time to control the flow of new projects. Clear communication with the rest of the credit union is imperative to do this successfully. Moving forward, the IT department could outline a grading scale and ask that new projects be submitted with a grade based on importance

As projects get added to the roster, your IT staff might start to feel like they are order takers. Helping them implement a solid project management process can free up time for the innovation and strategic implementation they were hired to enact.

For more articles on project management, visit our c. notes page.

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