Organizations today face growing pressure to adapt their infrastructures and processes to a more digitally based, dynamic marketplace. Companies have increasingly adopted an agile project management framework to remain competitive, and access to timely and relevant information is more valuable than ever. As a result, project managers are increasingly relying on data analytics to provide timely and usable information to project stakeholders.
I participated in the discussion with Rowan Jackson, Co-Founder and Chairman at Promising Outcomes, Eric Moe, Chief Operating Officer of Whitefoord LLP. Here are the key takeaways from the roundtable discussion.
Timing is Key in IT Projects
The goal is to provide team members with a high-level view of essential metrics that show the state of project performance through easy-to-understand numeric and visual reports of KPIs and ROIs, corresponding to project activities. Project managers can more easily see differences between actual and expected metrics that indicate process breakdowns, allowing them to take the necessary actions to keep the project on track.
Project teams are frequently made up of people who do not normally work together on a regular basis. When organizations bring together team members from various departments, they cannot expect the group to automatically have natural, effective teamwork and cohesion. It is best to involve the team in determining key goals at the start of a project. Not only will this provide the team with a cohesive strategy, but it will also encourage collaboration and engagement from the outset. The manager’s responsibility is to ensure that the team’s objectives are clear and that everyone understands them.
Strive for Clear Communication in Your IT Projects
Communication is key. Teams work best when members have a shared understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities. A lack of clarity among team members about their respective roles and the expectations they have of one another when working together to achieve their vision is one of the reasons why teams fail. Team members are more productive when their roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. There is less duplication of duties, less confusion and frustration, and increased productivity. When roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, team members look beyond their own individual positions to understand, respect, and value one another’s unique contributions, and they recognize that the team’s overall success is a function of shared responsibility and ownership.
Tracking and Understanding the Data
A north star metric is one that represents the core value that a product provides to customers. North star metrics are key components of a data-driven enterprise. It is a figure that helps organizations to assess their success or failure in reaching their objectives.
Furthermore, it informs decision-makers if they are progressing toward or away from success. It’s also useful for keeping things in perspective while reviewing the various metrics and data points that come with running a business. Sales figures, customer happiness ratings, and staff engagement surveys, for example, are all useful metrics—but they may be deceptive if not related back to an overarching purpose. North star metrics could include average order value, Time on Site (ToS), monthly active riders/driver or basket sizes.
A measure should not be vague or abstract, such as “more consumers” or “greater engagement.” It should be business-specific and simple to comprehend and measure. A north star metric should also be understandable and communicable to all team members, even if they do not work in data science or analytics. When making choices regarding new features or products, having a clear north star metric helps everyone in the business stay focused on what is most important. Organizations might begin to improve their funnel after finding intermediate indicators.
Allowing them to create daring targets in order to push their teams to solve them.
Determining the Target Audience
In social psychology, superordinate goals are goals that are worth completing but require two or more social groups to cooperatively achieve. In IT projects the most important superordinate goal is to create everything with the most important person in mind – the end user. The end-user is the person who will use the solution on a regular basis as part of their day-to-day work after the project team has released it. Brands must identify the best representative end-users for their project as part of a stakeholder analysis because they will have a large influence on the requirements for the solution, which determines the solution outcomes that all end-users will have to live with.
It is important to remember collaboration, communication and goal-setting come from the beginning. A company’s C-level has to lead by example for the rest of the team. It is all about culture and this necessitates creating an environment where team members feel comfortable engaging when it comes to creating objectives and working in an agile team where complete disclosure is encouraged.