Business Insight, IT Execution: 9 Project Management Tips
by David Rosenbaum, May 2011
When Marcos Baccetto was first asked to be the business-side project lead on Eaton Corporation’s Vehicle Group South America (VGSA) Oracle project, the operations services manager responsible for running manufacturing was, he confesses, “a little afraid” because of his lack of IT experience. Today, Baccetto calls the project “a fantastic experience,” and he is a true believer in the benefits of a close relationship between IT implementers and their line-of-business peers. Through his partnership with Jesiele Lima, then VGSA IT manager, Baccetto and Eaton’s South American operations team came to understand several important principles of business and IT. Here he shares nine tips managers should consider when working on an enterprise technology project.
1. Make it a business project, not an IT project. All levels of functional management must have ownership, responsibility, and accountability for the success of the implementation.
2. Share responsibility. Business owners should sign off on tests and data conversion.
3. Clean your data. Dedicating a team to improve core data quality prior to project launch can be a significant time-saver.
4. Select resources properly. Have functional people who can translate business needs to IT and can influence organizational change.
5. Manage scope. Follow project management methodologies and disciplines.
6. Adopt common processes, global solutions. Avoid customized, local solutions. The big-picture business goals can get lost in the details.
7. Implement processes prior to the go-live date. Change management can be key. Keep the workforce informed and train users in advance.
8. Define metrics milestones. Assume there will be a crisis during deployment. Having baseline metrics to compare against will help implementers keep their cool—and the project moving forward.
9. The sponsor’s commitment is critical. It is needed to support the truly difficult decisions.