IT project management is a troubled discipline. In June 2016, the Sacramento Bee reported that the California Department of Veterans Affairs spent nearly $28 million on a computer system designed to improve patient care. An audit found that the system was launched years later than planned, wasted staff time, and was never implemented fully. According to a 2015 US Government Accountability Office report, the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Expeditionary Combat Support System was canceled in December 2012 after spending more than a billion dollars yet failing to deploy within five years of initially obligating funds. In February 2015, the Register reported that the UK’s Ministry of Justice lost £56m while rolling out a single, unified in-house ERP system, known as the Shared Services Organisation contract, designed to centralize HR, finance, procurement, and payroll. These are just a few IT project failures that have received media attention.
IT project managers must demonstrate leadership to overcome people, process, and technology issues that lead to failure. The Project Management Institute (PMI) aligned its Project Management Professional (PMP®) and Program Management Professional (PgMP®) Continuing Certification Requirements with the PMI Talent Triangle in 2015. This triangle consists of three legs: Strategic and Business Management, Technical, and Leadership. Strategic and Business Management and Technical PM expertise are required for IT project success, but leadership is essential. However, while leadership is one third of the PMI Talent Triangle, the word only appears in the PMBOK on 15 occasions.
IT leaders must utilize communications and influence skills to motivate internal stakeholders and to manage the expectations of external stakeholders. This can prove to be quite challenging for some IT leaders because, according to the Institute for Management Excellence (albeit in 2003), 67% of IT managers are introverts who prefer working alone or working with a limited number of people. Such a predilection does not lend itself well to being a strong communicator or motivator.
Credible IT leaders interact with people more than they interface with technology. In order to effectively lead stakeholders through the chaos of IT projects, IT leaders need to be recognized as credible leaders by all stakeholders, regardless of stakeholder background, position, or personality. In the “Personal Credibility and Leadership” presentation, we will discuss the relationship between your personal credibility and your leadership, and between your leadership and the success of your project.
Attend ITMPI’s “Personal Credibility and Leadership” webinar on October 19, 2016 at 11 a.m. and learn about tools that can help you become a more credible leader, a leader capable of navigating through the chaos of IT projects.