Increased complexity and changing demands are making project management much more difficult in the IT segment. The end result is a situation in which advanced IT service desk solutions are critical.
A recent Network World report details the problem facing businesses by explaining that failure has become a common result of IT projects, creating a situation in which many companies are left wondering how they can change a culture of project problems in IT.
Looking at project failures and understanding why they happen so often
Citing a study from a cloud portfolio management company, the news source explained that approximately 50 percent of businesses had an IT project fail in the past year. This staggering figure, however, does not come because there is a dearth of project managers available.
According to the report, Shravan Goli, president for Dice.com, explained that demand for IT project managers has pretty much remained consistent for the past few years. There has not been a lack of candidates for jobs, leading to a situation in which many businesses are unable to find the workers they need to keep projects on schedule. As such, the problem facing organizations is not that they are unable to find workers who are capable of getting the job done. Instead, Goli said that the role of project managers is changing, creating new challenges that often go beyond normal expectations.
"The role has evolved over time, and there are a few trends that may be infringing on the project manager's core job description," Goli told the news source. "The fundamental, core job description remains management and monitoring of project scope, communication between groups, motivating teams to drive delivery. But the emergence of the agile development methodology means that project managers must also take on the role of development lead."
Using the service desk to overcome project management challenges
Agile development creates major project management challenges, to a great extent, because it increases the frequency of new releases. Agile is built around the idea of working on small iterations of a development project to complete the initial solution. This helps keep development on schedule and makes it easier to focus on initial requirements. However, agile also focuses on building applications on a continual basis. New iterations can be added after the initial release, making it much easier to add new functions and fix bugs. While this creates incredible potential for application innovation, it creates a project management nightmare.
IT managers trying to balance projects across both development and operations environments must deal with applications that are updated often and are often released in physical, virtual and cloud environments. These factors combine to create a situation in which new releases need to be completed much more often than they did when projects were completed using the waterfall methodology. As such, release management tools often play an integral role in helping IT leaders effectively handle projects that cross both development and operations boundaries.
Project managers hoping to maximize efficiency and avoid project failure must go beyond release management alone to support success. Instead, they must also think about change management and implement specialized solutions that help them coordinate change across all of the different IT environments involved in a project. This could prove critical as project managers become responsible for integrating change functions across development, physical, virtual and cloud setups.
Organizations that want to gain an especially substantial edge when handling change and managing projects may want to invest in CMDB solutions. The relational database gives organizations the ability to understand how any configuration change will impact other aspects of the IT setup. This includes details about how changes will affect end users. The end result is a situation in which project managers can more easily deal with the complexity of handling extra responsibilities and keep projects on track.