CapEx Management Automation Preventing Capital Project Overrun in IT
Large-scale IT projects are a possibility at any company and become more prevalent every year. The scope of these projects often makes them seem less complex than they actually are. IT projects usually cover multiple departments with differing needs and everyone’s contribution is valuable. Many businesses struggle with the intricate aspects of IT project. This results in scheduling delays, inadequate testing, and often “scope creep”—spread of a project beyond its original requirements. All of these problems cost time and money. In order to avoid spending overrun and possible project derailment, take extra precautions to stay diligent about your project’s size.
Planning, Planning, Planning
When you’re dealing with a software implementation, it’s difficult to plan too much. There are thousands of considerations of all sizes across the company. Often, the scope of the project is defined primarily by the IT department for cost estimation purposes. Although it may appear easy enough to gather requirements, the “tech team only” strategy is too limited to really encompass the entire organization’s needs. Project deployments need to incorporate a steering committee that incorporates regular input from stakeholders in all the varying departments. All of this information should be gathered in the earliest possible phases of the project so that the design considers all the important elements in its initial architecture.
Defining all of the requirements at the outset of the project is critical but incomplete. An adage in the project management world is if it’s not written down, it isn’t a requirement. After a long meeting, the last thing most of us want to do is write up the details. Even for documentation specialists, repeated revisions are often tedious and sometimes frustrating. Design documents are long and exceptionally detailed for a very good reason. The larger your project, the more important it is that all the details are noted. Trying to hunt back through email chains for changes is time-consuming and unreliable. Some changes are simple but some may change the way the underlying design needs to be configured. Rather than make assumptions, it’s best to have all of your information centralized and to make sure all the stakeholders have had a chance to review and approve before work begins on the project.
Having IT resources available is essential for project success but not always a priority when designing the timelines. Companies may take for granted how much their internal IT teams can accomplish independently but others may just have too much disorganization to adequately plan. It’s critically important for everyone to commit to their deliverables early in the project to avoid any unnecessary delays where resources or momentum could be lost. This also means organizing your project team so that they work together. Make sure you account for differences in availability and personality when assembling the project team.
Good documentation and thorough planning will help you stay on budget. The project’s expected cost will be defined within are part of the full requirements. You can track the expenses for each piece of the project through effective budgeting tools. NextProcess’ Capital Expense Management software lets you follow the increase in spending prior to its approval and customizable reporting tools make it easy to get the full picture. See how software tools and improved practices can improve your next IT project.