It may be the most common scenario in IT. Too many projects, and not enough staff to handle the work.
Add a down economy, the downsizing of staff, trimming of costs, and pressure to get strategically competitive projects up and running yesterday, and you have a stress cauldron boiling over that requires tough leadership and a great deal of pushing back.
It leads to the question: Does your CIO push back enough on the business pressures facing your team and co-workers?
CIO Insight's article "The CIO's Role in Project Management" delves into how deep leaders at the top of the technology food chain have to go into the business of running projects, managing budgets and showcasing milestones.
"When establishing project priorities, the CIO's role is "to make sure the priority process happens and to be an enabler, making sure those decisions get made," says Bob Benson, a senior consultant at Cutter Consortium.The CIO also has to be ready to put his foot down, says Bill Hagerup, a senior consultant with Ouellette & Associates. "The CIO has to be firm enough to say, 'We can't do everything at once; we don't have adequate resources for that,'" says Hagerup. "It's easy to say 'yes' at the top when you're not doing the work at the bottom.""
The article also looks very closely at how IT pros have to get more of their own staff to be able to speak intelligently to the business.
""I really like the idea that the CIO mentors the project management group or PMO in how to deal, in a businesslike fashion, with clients and how to communicate effectively and see things from other people's points of view," Hagerup says."
As the article so clearly presents, fighting for resources is helped by having a PMO (project management office) that documents and details the needs of every business and IT project, something that CIOs can then use to lobby and negotiate for the needed resources.
Does your company have an effective PMO?