Five tips for controlling IT projects

On behalf of our project manager readers, I’d like to say that they– and not the servers or the switches — are the true heart of enterprise IT. PM’s get things done. Every organization has IT projects.

Which is not to say they couldn’t use some advice. This week Patrick McGuinness,, chief technology risk officer at GE Capital, had a guest column in Computerworld U.S. where he outlined five lessons he’s learned as a project manager. I think they’re sound, which is why I’m passing them on:

–Consistency is critical. Consistent results come from consistent execution. Project management is a valuable skill set,” he writes. “Train it, nurture it and reward it.”

–Frequent milestones keep things on track.If you only set long-term or high-level milestones, you won’t realize a project is in trouble until it’s too late.”

–Asking for help is not a weakness. “I have seen many successful projects that could have turned out quite differently if the manager hadn’t indicated (and I’m sure it felt to them like “admitted”) that the project needed help.”

— There’s value to be taken from your failures.

–Conflicts between speedy innovation and governance must be governed with care.

“Hard work and a consistent, rigorous approach to IT governance will help protect your company’s IT investments and make sure your IT group is prepared to innovate its way to success,” he concludes.


Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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