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Why There’s No Such Thing as an IT Project

Is IT its own entity? IT is a department within the business, and referring to it as anything else undercuts its necessity and importance. Elizabeth Harrin, writing for A Girl’s Guide to Project Management, takes this familiar argument one step farther by breaking down the various ways in which “IT projects” are really just business projects, and they all count toward the bottom line.

The Places Where IT Drives Business

Harrin looks at where IT provides support within the contexts of business change, transformation, skills, and value. Business change is the top management issue for the upcoming year. Implementing new technology that processes data more quickly will generate a huge return over the next year. There are changes in society that are pushing interactions to be done in a different way and transformation is the key. Are such projects “IT projects?”

Business transformation meanwhile is the shifting of an entire business culture and should be done with care. Project managers are already well aware that aligning projects and programs with the strategy is a necessity, but they need to take action and implement these facets. Transformation requires creativity or else it will often be missed by observers. All changes are business changes, and IT provides the services to do so.

Delivering business skills is integral, but only achievable after it is understood how the organization works as an entity. The project leader needs to take on this responsibility and elaborate to the team how the business works. Regardless of if there is an appointed role for a person to take on this task, or if it falls on someone such as the project leader, it needs to get done. Change is often easily understood, but difficult to execute properly.

Projects need to address change requirements in order to see value. It only makes sense to invest time in new tools and processes if it can clearly be tied back to why they are needed. Change for the sake of change is nonsense and should be avoided. Project leaders have an important role in challenging proposals and continually ensuring that everything being done has benefits and meets needs.

The IT department is the driving force behind business transformation and the necessary asset to properly execute plans. You can read the original post here: http://www.girlsguidetopm.com/2015/10/why-theres-no-such-thing-as-an-it-project/

About Danielle Koehler

Danielle is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. She has degrees in English and human resource management from Shippensburg University.

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