IT Projects have a lot of moving pieces. Whether you’re opening a new office location, replacing your server and workstations or moving to the cloud – there are multiple vendors, new equipment and a lot of logistics to plan. This is why it is important to have a dedicated resource managing your project that you can trust to communicate throughout the process and get you everything you need. When that communication breaks down is often when you start to run into delays and issues executing the project. As Managed Service Providers ourselves, we have executed countless projects on behalf of our clients and the vast majority of them come off without a hitch. Sometimes we hit little bumps in the road with vendors or project delays because of construction delays, but by and large our projects are executed efficiently. Every now and then we encounter a client delay. Here are a few best practices that will help expedite your next IT project:
- Complete the initial paperwork.
Most projects will start with some initial paperwork to give your project manager and service provider the appropriate access information. From site plans and passwords to vendor information to full scope documents, you’ll want to be as comprehensive as possible when providing information, as any missed pieces can cause delays as your project manager hunts down your point of contact to find out the information from.
- Assign a single point of contact – and keep it.
One of the most important parts of expediting your projects is ensuring that information doesn’t have to be funneled through multiple channels or explained over and over again to a different point of contact. Assigning a single person within your organization to interface with the project manager can help avoid confusion and help keep everyone on the same page from a communication perspective. Once this person is set, barring that person leaving the organization, do your best to finish out the project with that main point of contact, as switching up the point of contact can break down communication and requires that processes be explained while the new contact is brought up to speed. While this isn’t necessarily an issue, it can cause delays.
- Keep your promises and try to get information to your project manager ASAP.
Whether you’ll need some additional workstations, an extra server or setup on another user – you need to make sure you communicate these things to your project manager. While it may not seem like a big deal, the logistics of project management are intricate and scheduling timeframes can be tight. The more you communicate, the better off you’ll be. Always get your project manager promised information as soon as possible. If they’re waiting on requested information it can delay the booking and scheduling of vendors and cause the project to run over the initial estimated timeframe.
Above all, remember to communicate no matter what. We understand that sometimes unexpected things come up – wiring requires a little more work than expected, servers are older than you thought and need to be replaced – and these things can get costly. Your MSP and their project manager need to do their best to work within the budget that you can allocate and get you to where you need to be from a compliance perspective. Some of their biggest challenges come with balancing budget, operational need and regulatory bodies. Keep in mind that you selected your MSP for a reason and you should trust them. If you’re starting to get worried about deadlines, timeframes, unforeseen expenses or the way a project is being managed – voice your concerns sooner than later. The Managed Services relationship isn’t just a vendor-client relationship, it’s a partnership. That partnership can only succeed with communication from both parties.