On IT projects, multiple IT vendors and service providers are involved. And because most IT professionals have not been trained on project management, they do not manage vendors and service providers well. They expect that vendors will always deliver on time and without any complications.
For example, if you ask an IT professional how long does it take to setup a new server, most will answer based on how much time it takes if the hardware is delivered on time, there are no hardware problems, the operating system installs with no complications, and the wiring was done correctly. In reality, this is rarely the case. So, there are project delays.
How can most delays be avoided? Make sure your IT team is proactive with vendors and service providers:
- Allow sufficient time for service providers to execute on their piece of any projects, and don't assume everything is on schedule unless you hear from them. For example, when you are planning a move, your IT team should follow up with the wiring company to ensure that new cabling has been completed before they are scheduled to set up the network.
- Be prepared for minor delays in hardware delivery and with internet service providers. We frequently have hardware delivered a day or two behind schedule as so many hardware companies use just-in-time inventory. Build in a day or two between expected delivery and scheduling installation of the equipment to avoid project delays.
- Use appropriate communication for urgent problems. Far too often, IT professionals send an email at 3pm on a Friday afternoon and expect a quick response to an urgent problem. They need to get the vendor on the phone if something needs to be addressed before the weekend.
When vendors and service providers are managed proactively, projects are much more likely to be finished on time and within scope.
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