Project Management and Implementations

Success in today’s competitive higher education marketplace, where students have higher expectations than ever before, requires colleges and universities to strategically leverage and deploy IT solutions. Of course, some of these solutions and systems are massive and significant undertakings, requiring buy-in from a wide range of stakeholders and collaboration between a number of different units and teams.

Moving a major project forward—from identifying an issue to gaining buy-in for a solution to actually finding and implementing that solution—is no small matter. It requires meticulous planning, equal parts flexibility and rigidity, and the right combination of financial investment, personal dedication and support from senior leaders and staff.

This Feature dives into what it takes to get a major project off the ground and reflects on the process of going from idea to implementation and beyond.

Day1

Shifting Away From the Status Quo

Defining the Factors that Affect (or Block) a Shift Away from the Status Quo

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A few key, but often uncommunicated, factors in whether or not a committee decides to shift away from the status quo include organizational maturity, the type of project and the proposal writer’s ability to appeal to organizational objectives.

Pursuing a Major Implementation and Improvement: Why Take the Plunge? (Part 1)

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While the amount of time, investment and effort that goes into a major implementation (and the accompanying business process changes that follow) can be significant, the outcomes and benefits tend to make up for the work that went in.

Day2

Engaging Stakeholders to Support Change

Change Management and Stakeholder Engagement: Involving End Users and Executive Sponsors

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Properly engaging end users and executive sponsors is critical for the success of a major project and can help to drive buy-in for, and engagement with, the project.

Day3

Bringing New Parties Into the Conversation

Coming Into the Fold: Why (and How) Trustees Should Participate in Institutional Procurement

While avoiding micromanaging, it’s critical for governing boards to be involved in major implementation and purchasing processes in order to meet their fiduciary responsibilities to the institution.

Day4

Creating Change from the Ground Up

Driving Opportunities for Change: How Users Can Mobilize Change in their Divisions

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By properly identifying a problem or opportunity, and then approaching a solution systematically, individuals can inspire massive changes in their environments.

Day5

Tips for Project Leaders

The Art of People People and the Power of Why

The capacity to clearly communicate is critical to avoiding some of the most prevalent and impactful roadblocks that stand between a project’s conception and its implementation.

Defining “Needs” and Separating them from “Wants: Central to Any Successful IT Project

While maintaining a collaborative environment, IT leaders must take a leading role in helping to define the scope and requirements of major projects on their campuses – ensuring needs and wants are defined, understood and kept separate.

Day6

Creating Consensus

Building Support for Change: Eight Strategies to Achieve Consensus

Though it can be challenging, focusing on consensus building can help leaders ensure their institutions stay ahead of major market shifts while also keeping everyone on the team pulling in the same direction.

Understanding and Achieving Consensus: Best Practices and Pitfalls to Avoid

Building consensus between multiple parties is a critical responsibility of IT leaders today, and while there are a few best practices that can be employed to help find common ground, there are a few significant pitfalls that, if not avoided, can spell disaster for a project.

Day7

Driving Change Across the Board

A University-Wide PM Methodology to Improve Efficiency and Drive Projects to Completion

By standardizing the institutional approach to project management, it’s possible for a university to realize massive efficiencies while also seeing major projects through to completion closer to (and even under) their anticipated time and budget.

Day8

Project Management Secrets

Preparation, Expectation Management and Commitment Central to Driving Major Projects Forward

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The process of launching a major IT project can be time-consuming and stressful, but the positive impact the new system can bring to the institution or division makes that effort well worth it.

Embracing Failure: The Secret Sauce in Project Management

Even with all the best practices and intentions in place, failure is a reality in project management. To recover from those failures and to minimize their future occurrences, project leaders must learn to embrace failure.

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