What has tech consulting got to do with project management?
More than you might think, depending on how tight your current information technology setup is.
The Project Management Institute’s Pulse of the Profession survey found that businesses with a clear project management structure in place had 38% more successful projects than those that did not and 33% fewer projects deemed as failures.
Tech consulting isn’t primarily designed to correct your project management structure in its entirety. However, if you want to understand how your IT infrastructure could better support your PM team and underpin a successful project management structure, it’s exceedingly valuable.
What Do Tech Consultants Do?
Broadly speaking, tech consulting services help you understand how you can make better use of technology to meet your business needs.
There are a variety of services tech consultants offer, including:
- Examining the risks and limitations of your current software systems
- Designing or developing new tools that better suit your business model and needs
- Managing new software implementations
- Putting long-term technology strategies in place
- Security and disaster recovery planning
Clients might want all of these as a full, end-to-end package, or choose specific areas to focus on.
In a project management context, tech consultancy can help you understand whether your current setup is a good fit for how you want to do things, and what you could gain by further technology investment. Does your current technology offer poor visibility into project goals, for example, and how would it be best to solve this problem?
Cases of How Tech Consultants Can Simplify Your PM Efforts
Let’s look at some specific cases where tech consultancy can simplify your project management.
Tech Consulting Can Identify Whether You Need New Software
How do you manage your projects, typically?
Notably, 61% of companies using project management tools complete projects on time, compared to only 41% of those not using them.
It could be that your current software is complicating things – particularly if you spread your project communication over several channels or are using general-purpose software like Excel far beyond its intended capacity.
You could take an “If it’s not broke, why fix it?” approach – but this may require you to gloss over some awkward questions. Is everything really “working fine”, or has your organisation accepted that various inefficiencies – such as rework due to poor communication, cost overruns and extended project timescales – are an unavoidable part of running a business?
Tech consulting can help you identify where your tech-related project management pain points are, and where appropriate, assist in identifying key requirements for project management software.
Tech consulting can also identify siloes that may be holding you back and – with the help of a specialist systems integrator – turn them into a functioning, fully-integrated whole.
For example, if you’re trying to run a Kanban-style system on software that doesn’t give everyone a heightened degree of visibility into project stages, you’re setting yourself up to undermine your entire project management methodology. If you’re spreading communications over several channels or running tasks off a spreadsheet that’s inaccessible to half of those involved, your Kanban ideal becomes impossible.
In this instance, a tech consultant could identify where your current use of tech is hindering efficiency and suggest a suitable upgrade. Alternatively, they could look at how to integrate your current tools with each other to provide heightened project-level visibility.
Tech Consultants Can Build Custom Project Management Software
Perhaps you’ve tried various different project management tools and not found them fit for purpose.
If you have specific requirements that make off-the-shelf software a difficult proposition for your business, you can also use tech consulting to design and develop custom project management software. Whilst this might require more upfront investment than an off-the-shelf SaaS product, returns will be higher.
This is because when you onboard consultants for a custom software product, they can create a bespoke system that’s built specifically around your business processes. As a result, you lose significantly less time reworking your project management processes to fit new software – you can carry on doing what works best for you and build your software around that.
Tech consultants can help extend your existing functionality.
What if you’re broadly satisfied with your existing project management software, but find that it’s lacking in one small but significant area?
Tech consulting can help by creating a custom app, plugin, or integration that adds this functionality to your existing information technology architecture. So, rather than embarking on a risky and expensive software replacement project, you can target one particular function.
Tech Consulting Can Identify Outsourcing Opportunities
There is one way in which tech consulting can simplify your project management entirely: recognising where outside help is the way forward.
Large-scale technical projects, for example, have a colossal failure rate. And that’s not because your in-house project management team are bad at their jobs – it’s because some software projects require a certain level of technical expertise your PMs might not have unless your organisation’s main proposition is technology related.
Many companies opt to bring consultants in to run large, high-risk enterprise software implementations so they can take advantage of years of experience working on similar projects and expertise in coding customisations and non-standard integrations.
An initial round of tech consultancy can help you identify whether your in-house team has the expertise needed to manage such a project successfully. If you realise that you have a skills gap, it’s often simpler to opt for further consultancy or outsourcing to make up the difference.
Looking to Find the Right Technology Services Partner?
For tech consulting to really pay off, it’s essential to look for a consulting firm that suits your needs.
Evolve is a technology consulting and development agency specialising in building and implementing IT solutions that simplify project management and help organisations achieve their business objectives.
If you think tech consultancy is the right next step for you, take a look at how our services have helped organisations similar to yours.