5 tips for keeping IT projects on track

5 tips for keeping IT projects on track

What really works to keep IT projects from going off the rails.

After more than 20 years managing IT projects at global enterprises, I have seen and experienced many situations. I've celebrated many successes and also faced many challenges. Some of these experiences have served as good examples of what works and what doesn't in IT project management.

Now I am putting these lessons to work in my current role as chief technology risk officer at GE Capital. My job includes oversight of our IT investments, making sure our largest-scale IT projects stay on track and remain strategic to our business. Based on this broad set of experience, here are five key lessons that have proven particularly useful:

Undoubtedly, technology will continue to evolve, and tomorrow's IT projects will look different from the ones developers are working on today. While no one knows exactly what the future will hold, I know one thing is certain: An unwavering commitment to sound governance will always be critical to ensuring that the money your organization invests in IT development is well spent.

And while I've learned these lessons at large companies, they are fully scalable to any organization. You do not need to have operations on multiple continents to deploy these project governance tips. Whether you are investing thousands of dollars in IT development or billions, the importance of IT project governance and risk management is universal. 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.

Patrick McGuinness is chief technology risk officer at GE Capital.

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