What does a fractional CIO do? Project Management Service

We are continuing our series that gives back to the industry answering the question, “What does a fractional CIO do?” and each article will outline a specific service offering of Outsourced CIO LLC in the day and the life of a fractional CIO.  Some call this “virtual” Chief Information Officer or “fractional” CIO (we prefer fractional as the “vCIO” term has become a buzzword and misleading – see our FAQ on this).  Because the fractional CIO creates value for growing businesses who might not otherwise be able to afford a Chief Information Officer, our topic for today is “Project Management Service” most of the definitions and ideas are going to be coming from the PMBOK Guide 6th Edition and The Agile Practice Guide (both PMI publications – in a combined edition! – PA6) and Official Project+ Study Guide Bundle (PK0-004, CompTIA, OPSG)  These are critical resources for anyone who is involved in IT Consulting and we highly recommend your familiarity with them.

This is a quarterly project or service, estimated time 10 hours.

Deliverable:  “A project is considered a success when the goal it sets out to accomplish is fulfilled and the stakeholders are satisfied with the results (OPSG).”  Project management activities are based upon the best practices methodologies of the authoritative and industry-standard references mentioned above.  “A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result (PA6).”

Description:  What is the current problem with IT Project Management:  It has been our experience that IT consultants, companies, and professionals suck at project management, specifically Project Communications Management, and Project Stakeholder Management (PA6).  Two critical knowledge areas that can make or break a project.   Further, because “IT-guys” tend to keep their face in the keyboards rather than coming up for air to see what is going on, communicate what is going on, and assuring it is producing the right deliverables, most IT project management styles are reactive versus proactive.  When we have encountered bad IT project management and many times the excuse has been “scope creep” or no system in place to handle issues.  An average SME (subject matter expert) is usually “busy” enough to actually keep things afloat and resources are not available for development initiatives. That leads to the failure of important projects which suppose to create more productivity leading to more capacity. Also, IT-related projects are involving the business part more and more as the projects are not “IT Tech” projects anymore. To be competitive organizations have to practice project management processes to make sure initiatives are successful no matter what. 

What benefit does a Project Management Service provide:  The Project Management service helps to make sure projects are going to be successful. It helps to scope the project, plan properly with resources, force the execution and close it properly. The used project management methodology is collaboration and execution based using an application to let everybody on track. The project manager’s role to orchestrate the vendors, service providers and the internal teams to push things forward. The service return on investment is huge. The proper processes, software, trained project manager and being an “outside force” make sure that the majority of the projects hit the target on time on budget. “In today’s business environment, organizational leaders need to be able to manage with tighter budgets, shorter timelines, scarcity of resources, and rapidly changing technology. The business environment is dynamic with an accelerating rate of change. To remain competitive in the world economy, companies are embracing project management to consistently deliver business value…Effective and efficient project management should be considered a strategic competency within organizations. It enables organizations to:

  • Tie project results to business goals,
  • Compete more effectively in their markets,
  • Sustain the organization, and
  • Respond to the impact of business environment changes on projects by appropriately adjusting project management plans

Project success may include additional criteria linked to the organizational strategy and to the delivery of business results. These project objectives may include but are not limited to:

  • Completing the project benefits management plan;
  • Meeting the agreed-upon financial measures documented in the business case. These financial measures may include but are not limited to:
    • Return on investment (ROI),
    • Internal rate of return (IRR),Project Management Service
    • Payback period (PBP), and
    • Benefit-cost ratio (BCR)
  • Meeting business case non-financial objectives;
    • Completing movement of an organization from its current state to the desired future state;
    • Fulfilling contract terms and conditions;
    • Meeting organizational strategy, goals, and objectives;
    • Net present value (NPV),
    • Achieving stakeholder satisfaction;
    • Acceptable customer/end-user adoption;
    • Integration of deliverables into the organization’s operating environment;
    • Achieving agreed-upon quality of delivery;
    • Meeting governance criteria; and
    • Achieving other agreed-upon success measures or criteria (e.g., process throughput).” (PA6)

Tools:

  • Meeting Notes and Agenda Template (We use a modified L10 for all our meetings project or otherwise)
  • Project Management Service To-Do List Template
  • *Email us if you would like a copy of these templates.

That is it!  That is what a fractional CIO does.  Have a tech-stress free day from Outsourced CIO LLC, where we demystify technology for growing businesses.

*Extra resource reinforcing the topic area is below.  Disclaimer, resources/links are not necessarily endorsing the products, goods, and services of the author and should not be construed as an Official OCIO endorsement of said resource/vendor.