If you are working IT, most likely you are working on projects and it doesn’t matter what you role is. For example, you could be an IT network administrator, a java developer or work in computer operations. Your users see IT as the main channel to deliver business and technical change and they have projects that need to get done and you’re expected to do them.
The Potential Number of IT Projects is Endless
In many organisations, there is no limit to the number of IT projects businesses will undertake. In the insurance sector, there are large industry wide change programmes, eg Solvency II. For many insurance organisations, cost savings are important so your insurance organisation may be looking to save costs by moving more of its IT operations and applications to the Cloud. For other insurance businesses, automation is the name of the game so many insurance organisations are looking to automate their front and back office functions.
And if you’re lucky, your are a dedicated full-time IT project manager. This means that you have to wear many hats as “IT Project Manager.” In this series of posts we are going to review the top pitfalls that can cause many projects to fail or not reach their full potential and here we are going to discuss Pitfall number 3.
Project Management Pitfall #3 – Taking on the Subject Matter Expert’s (SME) Role
IT projects can be very complex undertakings and include a whole range of technologies and business challenges. It is very common for people who are new to project management or leading project teams to feel embarrassed to admit their lack of experience in a particular aspect of the project. There is a great temptation for project managers to take on too many roles and not delegate and trust their project team. For example, building complex versions of a program or coding a Java function, you might be tempted to think that it is not too complex and start to think:
- How hard can it be?
- Will it really take that long?
This again is where you truly need to know your team and be able to trust their expert assessments. As Project Manager you are right to question assumptions and timescales with your team. However, remember that you are the project manager, not a developer, not a software engineer, not a network expert or a licensing expert. Too many Project Managers get too wrapped up in the “hows” of doing particular tasks and lose focus on the “what” to be delivered. They try and “do” the project themselves and not rely on their team members – big mistake!
Project Managers Need to be Project Managers
As Project Manager you need to focus on providing your project team with accurate and clear expectations as they have been given to you by the stakeholders or project champions. Your job is not to know how to do their job – your job is to deliver the expectations to the experts and see the project through to completion. With the right information, your SMEs should be able to provide you with a dependable, cost-effective solutions in the expected time frame.
How JMR Consulting UK Ltd can Help Your Insurance Organisation
We have worked very successfully with some of our major clients to deliver fairly complex business projects. Here at JMR Consulting UK Ltd we promote the use of project management best practices on all our projects. If you want advice or help with your projects or project tools and software, please contact us.
To find out more about how we can help you with project management, please get in touch by using the contact form, sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling us on 0845 052 0900.