You are the coach of a basketball team. The goal for this season? Win the championship, of course. But, there is a long road to get there. Practice after practice, game after game, each play carefully planned out and strategized. However, where does the road start? At the very core of the game: your team. As a coach, for your team to succeed, you need the right players who are dedicated, positive, and ready to give 110% to win. And that same mindset should be used when picking an IT provider for project management.
With IT project management, you want a team who is ready to play and reach the goal as effectively and efficiently as possible. When picking an IT Managed Services Provider (MSP) for your project needs, here are a few qualifications that you should keep an eye out for:
1. A Focus on Industry Best Practices
When selecting an IT provider for your project, one of the factors that you need to consider is whether or not they follow industry best practices and standards. If you are working with a provider on project management, they should follow and implement the methodologies set through the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), which was developed and created by the Project Management Institute (PMI). This playbook established by PMI ensures that processes are formalized and standardized so that your project process is as efficient as possible. Your provider will use these methodologies and guidelines to develop a comprehensive project plan and in-depth timeline along with supplying weekly updates to ensure that your project milestones are met every step of the way.
2. A Dedicated Project Manager (PM) Following Industry Best Practices
Another important factor in a successful project is having a dedicated, Project Management Professional (PMP)-certified project manager leading the team of resources that are involved with your project. Just like a point guard who executes the plays, by having a singular PM you have a primary point of contact who knows exactly what is going on and what the next steps are. A dedicated PM takes the time before the project starts to understand your business and why you are doing the project. This information helps give the PM the internal understanding necessary to effectively manage the project and understand how the project affects the company as a whole. Although there are many new and flashy technologies constantly being released, when it comes to IT projects, it is good to have a third-party opinion looking at the big picture and how each step of the way affects the business. Additionally, with a dedicated PM, you are working with someone focused on project management, not a field consultant tossing on the project manager jersey. You wouldn’t want a full-time chef taking the clutch shot for your team instead of your star player, and the same holds true for the role of a project manager.
3. A Strong Bench of Subject-Matter Experts
Just as important as a dedicated project manager, is having access to a strong bench of subject-matter experts who are just as focused on your project as both you and your PM. IT projects can touch a variety of layers in your business’ IT environment, and it is important that the team executing your project has adequate time with which to work. Ideally, the provider with which you work has a variety of subject-matter experts on their roster solely focused on implementation. This means they are in the right mindset when working on your project, and won’t get called away for an emergency at one of their other client’s sites.
If your business is looking for an IT provider to assist with a project, you should look for a team player who will take the time to understand your business. Additionally, you want to look for an organization that not only utilizes PMI, but has their own Project Management Office (PMO). That way any project management services you receive do not impact any on-going support. Contact us today to learn more about a PMI-based provider and how it can help your business smoothly and successfully complete your next project.