Internet project management

Internet projects are of specific character and their management is not an easy task – one needs appropriate knowledge to cope with them. The management of a project team and, at the same time, the pursuit to fulfill the needs of users and investors who f

Internet projects are of specific character and their management is not an easy task – one needs appropriate knowledge to cope with them. The management of a project team and, at the same time, the pursuit to fulfill the needs of users and investors who fund the undertaking is the reason why people who are in charge of an IT project have to have extensive knowledge and should engage in cooperation with every department of a given enterprise. They also have to be able to immediately react to the changes in project specifications and have to cope with the development of technology. Quality check is also another important issue. What is more, everything has to be done according to a previously prepared schedule. It is imperative that the staff meets specific deadlines. Otherwise, an enterprise experiences losses resulting from not fulfilling a given contract. These can be very heavy losses, especially in relation to company finances. As a result, instead of gaining profits from a given project, a company has to give money to simply finish the undertaking.

We shall try to provide hints on how to manage an internet project as effectively as possible. We will show how to establish priorities, how to react in the face of changes, and what should be avoided.

The reasons for failures of IT projects

The biggest reason why IT projects are not fully realized, or why deadlines related to them are not met, lies in people and their approach to professional duties. They are the ones who fail, and they are the reason for poor results. The incompetence of subordinates, the lack of commitment to the project, and a number of other issues related to company personnel make the life of a project manager much more difficult. Projects never appear totally out of nowhere, and they cannot function alone. It is up to man to show commitment, to formulate a vision, to propose some solutions and realize them in practice. It is up to people to finance project activities, choose a team and manage it. Appropriate handling of such matters will decide the fate of a given internet project.

The responsibility of a project manager

The manager is the one who takes up the burden of responsibility for the proper execution of all project-related activities. The effective management of a project team can lead to the success of the entire enterprise. The management of a group of people who possess certain skills and knowledge is a process that is carried out in order to solve particular problems which are inseparable from projects and which appear during every stage of their development. The difficult thing is that a project manager must be in charge of people that are not totally under his direct control. Therefore, he must make use of certain influences in order to achieve best results. Because there are many ways of exerting influence on people, it is indeed possible to achieve the goals related to a given internet project. A very important thing is to understand the attitudes of individual members of the team.

A project manager is not an omniscient person – especially when it comes to such complicated matters like internet projects. He does not have full knowledge of project related activities and that makes the management of the team much more difficult. A manager, while making decisions, is forced to rely on people who belong to the project team. The whole team must have enough knowledge and must show initiative if the undertaking is to be completed successfully. A contemporary manager also has to be able to find the golden mean to significantly increase commitment and initiative among employees. A thing worth noting is that programmers, graphic designers, web developers, and other specialists in the field of internet creation are not strongly tied to their workplace. This is a big generalization of course, however, it is true that a good employee of the IT department will find work in a competing company without significant problems if he becomes dissatisfied with his present work or certain matters related to it.

Under such circumstances, it is natural that an effective project manager has to manage his workforce by means of totally new tools in order to achieve the expected results.

A company that works on the realization of an internet project has to base its structure on a group of specialized employees who think and act on its behalf. Project managers usually have only general knowledge – individual members of the team are the ones who have the necessary technical knowledge and imagination; they are the ones responsible for contacts with clients, contractors, or the market as such.

Modern and innovative internet technologies significantly change the way in which people work. They also influenced the way in which essential data is processed. A good manager has to mobilize his subordinates in such a way that they work more effectively in shorter period of time. He has to be able to evoke commitment and initiative among his employees in order to achieve the best possible results. On the other hand, he has to be fully aware of the challenges that lie before his
subordinates in order to clear the way for them and to create an optimal environment for success.

Motivating people to work

By now we know that the realization of a project depends on the people, i.e., the project staff, therefore, if we want to have the work finished on time and in accordance to our suggestions, we have to find appropriate means to motivate our team to work effectively. Most people carry out their professional duties in order to earn money to sustain themselves and their families. There are people who work because they simply like their work and the development of their own career brings them satisfaction. Others like their job because it evokes the feeling of prestige. There are also those who find pleasure in solving problems and coping with difficulties.

Regardless of the reason why people start working at an IT department, they demand good payment for their work. Can money motivate people to work better? The answer is yes, but only for a short period of time. However, there are many methods that prove to be long lasting solutions, e.g., we can assign an important role to a given employee, or give him or her a responsible task to complete. In short, if somebody already earns a satisfying amount of money, financial motivation will be ineffective and will not make him more committed to a project.

People might be dissatisfied with their work, and this is why managing them during the preparation of a project can have little effect. The reasons for dissatisfaction can stem from organizational matters like an overall mess in the company and on the desks of its employees. At first glance, this may seem to be a petty issue, but that can truly be the real reason of problems. A project manager should try to eliminate the conditions which lead to his team’s disorganization and frustration. Dissatisfaction can also be caused by such factors as: strict policy of the enterprise, complicated administrative policy, low payments, too excessive supervision over work, working conditions, and personal relations at work.

The basic notions concerning project management

In the previous paragraph we pointed out the reasons for dissatisfaction related to work which can be signaled by our internet project staff. At the same time, these reasons can influence the most important issues related to the project.

In short, the enterprise policy and administrative laws should be adjusted to the surrounding conditions. We have to organize a basic structure of our business activity to make our subordinates’ work more effective. In the case when regulations and procedures do not increase the effectiveness of employees’ work, they should be subjected to detailed evaluation after which they should be corrected. There is no doubt that a person responsible for managing an internet project has to accept and follow the laws and the policy of his enterprise, however, he also has to formulate and implement regulations related to information technology. He should aim at creating rules and procedures which would facilitate his subordinates’ work. In this case, their opinion on the subject should be the most important thing for him. The manager should eliminate everything that might inhibit work.

Project managers do not have much power over the payment of individual employees. They can only prepare a business case for the owner of their company in order to be given a standard amount of money currently typical for the market. The manager of an IT department or the internet project manager should try to establish higher than average payments for members of the project team. If employees have to deal with some other special projects or any other kind of additional assignments and do not receive extra payment, they might feel exploited and overworked.

Among the many qualities that should describe every internet project manager there should be the ability to properly supervise the whole team during the process of project creation. The manager should demand from his employees to meet specific deadlines.

The working conditions surrounding the execution of an IT project also prove to be a very important factor in achieving success. Proper, well-functioning equipment has an influence not only productivity, but also the overall morale of the team.

It might not be an obvious thing, but managing an internet project also means managing interpersonal relations. People who work on a given project should do it with people they like and respect. It is up to the manager to solve any conflicts within the team.

Managing an internet project is a special kind of task that requires some unorthodox skills. It is worth to emphasize that the manager usually does not have extensive knowledge on the particularities of the technologies implemented in a given project and this is why he has to rely to a large extent on the talents and on the knowledge of the members of the project team. After all, their commitment is the decisive factor when it comes to the success or failure of an IT project. The project manager has to positively shape their approach to work by using every possible means of motivation. It is also up to him to eliminate any factors that might be disadvantageous for the whole undertaking.