Is It Really a Project?

Your company’s largest most profitable client has complained to the CIO.   From their perspective,  your organization is not meeting their service level agreement.   The client was unable to process transactions on the customer portal ten times last month, and they are threatening to pull their business.  You were copied on the email that advised the customer, the business unit director and the CIO that you have been named as the IT project manager to lead the issue resolution.  Your assignment will last as long as the customer is dissatisfied.  Your charter is to pull together any IT resources that you need to make the customer happy. 

Congratulations, you’ve been named as the project manager, but is this really a project?  Well, let’s see.  Projects have a definite beginning and end.   Their objective is provide a specific unique deliverable such as a product or service.    In the scenario above, you don’t have much information to work with.  What kind of transaction was the customer trying to process?  Is it really an IT problem or is there a business process issue?   What if the employee at the customer site didn’t have a valid user id?  In short, you really don’t know what problem you’re trying to solve and you don’t know what you need to deliver.  So, satisfying the customer is important, but…you really don’t have a project…yet.  You’re going to need to gather more information before you’ll have an idea about what to do next.  You could end up with several projects when you’re done!  Next on the blog –   How are we doing? Quick earned value ratios to check your project’s health.


Tags: ,

Comments are closed.