Enterprise leaders will have their hands full when the IT projects that are currently delayed due to the pandemic will resurface. Hence, they must develop strategies that will help them to juggle multiple IT projects simultaneously, without losing the end goal.
The acceleration of the digital transformation journey of an enterprise has left no options for CIOs but to deal with multiple projects at once. On top of that, the added urgency created by the pandemic with work-from-home mandates colliding with each other, made it even more difficult and stressful to keep an eye on the goal while not losing sanity.
Also, when the projects that were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic emerge from stealth mode, the juggling between multiple projects will only become intense as remote work, digital transformation, security, automation, and pressing initiatives begin to demand attention and rapid completion. Therefore, IT leaders need to strategize how to approach and execute multiple IT projects without compromising time, investments, or productivity.
The Big Picture
When juggling with multiple IT projects at one, CIOs must clearly understand the enterprise priorities. By having knowledge of the present priorities, CIOs can allocate staff and other resources to them while the lower priorities take much slower.
IT leaders should also build strong ties with their counterparts and other key stakeholders to meet the increasing demand and expectations while prioritizing initiatives and keeping projects on track.
A program Manager
When there are too many projects lined-up and pose a threat to overwhelm the already understaffed team and resource, it is time for CIOs to consider appointing a temporary or permanent program manager.
Whether the program manager assumes a full- or time- role, they should be able to handle project status reporting, create approaches for identifying or managing risks, handling action items, and resolving pending issues as they emerge. Having all these details equips program managers to handle resources and budget management tasks.
When a project starts to slip behind schedule, most IT leaders have the habit of bypassing the project manager and interfering with the team, leading to micromanagement.
CIOs should learn to have faith in their team’s capabilities that they will effectively manage the project. If they don’t, they haven’t assembled the right team for the job in the first place. Also, never assign team members to more than one task at hand, as a distraction will only lead to less productivity and increase the turnaround time (TAT) of the project at hand.
Automation coming to an aid
The COVID-19 has accelerated the need for automation technologies. CIOs should consider integrating automation technologies as much as possible as it makes it easily repeatable and less error-prone. It also helps to accelerate the project development without hindering their teams’ ability from the very beginning.
Eye on the goal
While it’s a matter of pride for most IT leaders to have the ability to multitask, attempting to perform too many tasks at once can erode their judgment and lead to critical errors, which in the long run can increase the duration of a project’s development time.
Juggling multiple projects isn’t a healthy practice, yet IT leaders continually get trapped in situations where the circumstances force their hands. However, by remembering and following the above steps, IT can help leaders can seamlessly manage multiple projects at once without disrupting the enterprise’s workflow and business operations.