Best Practices

A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product service or result.  A Project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end.  A project also has a defined scope and pre- determined resources. The ITS Project Management office handles projects that intersect with various University offices and assists with technical resources, support and coordination. 

To request project management assistance, please click here.

Once your project is approved, a project charter will be created, the statement of work will be built into a project plan, a project coordinator will be assigned to your project and a project schedule will be produced. We will assist in coordinating resources, communicating about the project, facilitate meetings, monitor activities and follow up on action items throughout the life of the project.  We will monitor the project through to completion and escalate any issues that may arise to the appropriate parties. 

It is best practice to request project management assistance during initial discovery, preferably before you purchase any software application. The ITS PMO will need to evaluate the amount of resources that will go into launching the project and whether or not we have those resources available at the proposed time. If we do not have the available resources on site, you may be required to outsource technical resources to implement your project, which will likely result in additional costs. 

Project success can be measured before, during and after project completion. Project Success can be defined as “achieving project objectives within schedule and within budget, to satisfy the stakeholder and learn from the experience.” 

There are five stages in a project, they are:

  • Project Initiation
  • Project Planning
  • Project Execution
  • Project Monitoring and Controlling
  • Project Closure

Whether you are working on a project team or managing your own internal project, here are some quick tips and tricks to be successful!

  • Take notes during meetings, be sure to document any action items that have been assigned to you and follow up on them in a timely matter, if you are unable to do so, let the team know as soon as possible.
  • Failure to plan = plan to fail.
  • Choose the right people for the right Job. It’s hard to implement a project by yourself.
  • Ensure you are communicating effectively. Be clear and concise about what you are trying to communicate.
  • Ensure a sense of urgency within the team. Don’t let the team feel like the project they are working on is at the bottom of your priority list.
  • Help us help you. If we don’t receive a response to an update request in a timely fashion, help the project management team follow up with the appropriate resources to ensure completion in a timely manner. Failure to complete update requests may result in roadblocks for the team. If we don’t know that one task on the project plan is complete, a dependent task may not be able to proceed.
  • Always update Smartsheets with the latest information. Update Smartsheets with accurate information and often. Doing so will reduce the amount of time you spend in meetings giving updates.
  • Don’t be afraid to answer an update request. We just want to know about where you are with a task that is associated with a project. Someone on the team may need to know that you are finished so they can proceed with their proceeding task.
  • Let us know if you are going to be late on a task so that we can make the appropriate adjustments to ensure completion. In some cases, we can bring in outside resources to assist.