June 18: IT project management: the process of last resort

UPDATE: This presentation has happened; see the slides and a recording!

Next week, June 18 2-3 PM ET, John will be presenting to the EDUCAUSE Project Constituent Group. The presentation is private to the constituent group, but after the presentation this blog post will be updated with a link to the slides.

Here’s a description of the presentation:

The roles and duties of IT project management depend greatly on the maturity of other IT processes. For example, if no change management process exists then project management must “pick up the slack” and, for each project, identify how to move deliverables into production.

However, for project managers and project teams, they often do not notice these other processes are missing and they can become frustrated that projects require so much work that seems immaterial to the task at hand: defining access policies, for example, or training the Service Desk.

At the same time, the role and expectations of project managers and project teams will vary wildly over time as related processes are developed and improved. Project management maturity is also dependent on other processes: an immature request intake process can limit portfolio management’s predictive ability, for example.

One way of thinking about project management is it ends up being the “process of last resort”–project management will get the work done (somehow), even if no other processes exist. Project management is often the first IT management process that departments consciously build, and can be a key source of ideas for process improvement.