Head of the IT project

The biggest impact that any tech implementation has is change. How that change is managed has a lot of influence on the success of the project.

There is much to be said about the roles, relationships and priorities carried by the lead of the project. The increased awareness of the business/IT merger is bringing about discussions with regards to the importance, difference and relevance of who heads the IT project. Business or IT- The business analyst, or the project manager.

The business may be too concentrated on bringing change that has few significant or lasting benefits. Here, the motive is to deliver a project within scope and budget. Once a start date has been given the go ahead, work has to start. At the beginning, all research may be complete but with the flexibility of IT, what seems like a minor change could result in detrimental project transformation. A transformation that business may not realise because of processes that were clarified at the beginning and not assessed as the conversions came. There is a massive risk in delivering a project that was poorly designed. What is a project delivered on time and at cost if it is ineffective?

IT always aspires towards a “what could work in the future” prospect, sometimes abandoning what is working perfectly right now. Here, the motive is to deliver a complete, fully tested and functional IT solution. This perception of what makes a great venture and continuous acceptance of change requests could greatly impact the time frame of project delivery. Their argument is that business has great analysis techniques but minimal implementation expertise. IT without project management stands the risk of being a high quality source of good ideas, but non-effective delivery.

Large IT projects are at greater risk of failure. This is why “the IT guy” might be given the position to march in the front. As condemning as it is to for me to say this, the anti-social, non-communicative qualities of a technical mind are not always just a stereotype. The inability to manage people and relationships could be the very downfall of the project. The outcome may be decisions made from a technical viewpoint and not necessarily a business perspective.

Not all companies are equipped to bring the solutions they need. We cannot be initiating new projects with old business processes. The reality is that many times an IT project is never complete but, it almost always works. Users always find workarounds. Perhaps the business analyst should look at the stakeholder aspect of things and the project manager at the project aspect? Project management is about implementation.

Business analysis is about delivering the right quality to the involved parties Ultimately both roles are working towards adding value to productivity and efficiency. The 2 different roles are vital in contesting decisions and managing expectations from the various functional areas.

We need people who understand the importance of keeping budget, are aware of time constraints and are able to push for quality delivery. We also need people who understand the business process activities and find root causes for problems to be able to assess if the solution is the answer to the problem. Together the combination attain remarkable results. No greater importance can be placed on one or the other.

Still the question remains, who better to head the project, business or IT?