Project management’s place in SMB IT projects

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Project management is often thought of as superfluous or even a burden in the world of small business technology projects.

SMB technology is frequently driven by technical people implementing technical solutions for technical problems. This is largely a good thing. It keeps IT overhead down and focuses resources on keeping things working. However, technology’s potential can be limited when the only considerations are the technical aspects. This is where comprehensive IT project management can elevate an organization’s technology from a technical solution to a business solution.

The typical IT project starts with a business problem, then goes to a sales representative who passes it to a sales engineer and finally ends with the implementing technician. For many projects, this process is "just fine." But often, a project requires more than a technical solution. An organization must consider the impact that a piece of technology can have on all aspects of their business. It doesn’t always boil down to “what do we need and how much is it going to cost?” This is where project management can maximize those technology dollars.

Beyond streamlining processes, communication and scheduling, a project manager must consider the business impact a project will have on the entire organization. This is accomplished by bringing in vCIO, vendors and third-party expertise that can solve problems before they come up in implementation and find areas for new and improved functionality. Quality project management drives a culture that encourages all parties to ask, “Why are we doing this?” instead of just, “How do we do this?”

As the IT director in your organization, you have a lot on your plate. When you look to the future of your organization’s IT, consider the value of bringing in project management to not only offload the responsibility of making sure a project is completed on time and on budget, but also to ensure that when that project is complete it puts your organization in the best possible position to accelerate your business results.

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Jim Rouse has lived in West Michigan for more than 12 years. After 10 years of painting, Jim decided to pursue a career in technology, because of his passion for technology and business, as well as to provide a better quality of life for his family. Jim is the project manager at i3 Business Solutions, an IT firm in Grand Rapids. He feels passionate about being on the i3 team, because every day, they work to evaluate the technology, process and personnel to improve their level of service and expertise.