Here’s what you should expect from your outsourced IT service provider.
Project management is critically important when working with an IT service provider. Without it, the stigma is sure to be true that IT projects always go over budget and take longer than anticipated. It has taken years of Operational Maturity Level (OML) development to get to the point that we consider Project Management a strategic advantage of Advanticom’s service delivery function. We have developed Project Management processes that deliver communication and transparency to our clients. Advanticom utilizes the ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) framework, which is designed to standardize the selection, planning, delivery, maintenance, and overall lifecycle of IT services. The goal of ITIL is to improve efficiency and achieve predictable service delivery. As such, Advanticom’s entire staff is ITIL foundations certified, we even have an ITIL expert on staff.
Project Management interfaces with all stages of ITIL, starting with Service Strategy and Service Design, moving into Service Transition and Service Operations and then last but not least, Continual Service Improvement (CSI). Advanticom’s Project Managers facilitate a lessons learned review meeting after the completion of each project in an effort to seek out operational efficiency and effectiveness for our service delivery teams for future projects.
Advanticom manages projects with a structured communication cadence to ensure that client expectations are met, and projects don’t take unexpected turns. If you find yourself considering a new IT service provider, it is prudent to evaluate their PMO (Project Management Office) as they will have a significant impact on the outcome of your future projects. The more effective and operationally mature the PMO is, the higher degree of likelihood that projects will meet their expectations, deadlines, and their budgets.
Here’s what to look for:
The best service providers will have Project Managers involved early in the sales process. The very best service providers will have you meet your Project Manager before a proposal is formally accepted. Advanticom’s focus of Continual Service Improvement (CSI) led us to the realization of the importance of involving Project Managers in the sales process before client commitments are made. Project managers are involved in client discussions, and they peer review sales proposals to ensure our sales commitments always have a plan to be delivered upon. Early engagement from project management reduces delays in project delivery and drastically reduces the chance of any IT project going over budget.
Project Managers should be providing regular and comprehensive client facing communications. You should be hearing from your service provider’s Project Manager regularly. Advanticom’s Project Managers deliver frequent progress updates to clients and transparently communicate any risks to the project as they arise. There should be regularly scheduled client communications with your Project Manager and not just your sales contact. You should always know which project milestone the team is working on without having to ask.
IT service providers should be charging you for their Project Manager’s time. If you are not being billed for project management time, then you are likely not receiving the full attention of a Project Manager. A careful and persistent Project Manager will drive value far beyond their cost by increasing the productivity of the engineering team by instilling rigor and focus on the necessary tasks to achieve each milestone. As the size and scope of any project grows it is critically important to have dedicated project management resources to influence the success of the project from a time and budgetary perspective. Many operationally mature service providers like Advanticom offer PMaaS, Project Management as a Service, to service clients with project management processes for their internal projects.
Be wary of service providers without the operational maturity to offer dedicated Project Management resources. Some service providers have been in business for decades and others may still be learning and scaling as they go but project management is critical to successfully executing projects. An organization’s project management function is responsible for balancing the demand with resource capacity while keeping projects within the specified timeline, budget, and scope. You should always evaluate the quality and capabilities of the Project Management team supporting the delivery of your outsourced IT projects.
Advanticom believes Project Management is integral to the success of IT service delivery. This belief is baked in the education and accreditations of our staff. As an organization we are ISO 27001 certified, and each member of our team is ITIL certified. Together these accreditations and frameworks have taught us the importance of practicing consistent process to consistently deliver high quality services to our clients.