How To Manage Technology Projects

As your business grows, you will likely find more ways to use technology to increase production (and hopefully, profits). Making the decision to enhance your technology environment in order to achieve your business objectives is a necessary milestone, but it is equally important to identify the scope and budget of your project before jumping into implementation.

This article explains a phased approach that will help you maximize your budget and provide the greatest results when considering a technology enhancement.

Phase I – Business Need

This initial phase is designed to help you determine if you have answered the “why” questions as it relates to your objectives. You should be able to clearly identify the business benefit (return on investment) for your potential project after completing this phase. Here are the steps that will guide you through this phase:

1. What is the problem/deficiency that needs your investment in time and money to be solved?

2. Does your business challenge absolutely require new or enhanced technology?

a.Do your employees require additional training with existing systems?
b.Can the challenge be solved by changing the workflow or business practices?

3. Once the problem is clearly defined and the solution points to technology improvements, a preliminary budget can be established.

Phase II – Budget & Scope

In Phase I we qualified our potential solution within the realm of technology and now we need to define the scope of the solution. Without defining scope, you will run the risk of your project growing out of control in both time and money. This is the phase where you should spend the time to clearly document the business requirements or “what” will be implemented.

1. Bring all the necessary players together to discuss the objectives of the project.

2. Determine how the problem that was identified in Phase I affects all key players.

3. Discuss how the problem can be solved with technology and be specific as it relates to your current business practices and workflows.

4. Document your findings and discussions.

5. Once the solution has been identified, you can present your documents to your preferred vendor(s) and obtain proposals or quotes.

Phase III – Pilot

Implementing any technology project can be challenging in that technology itself changes so quickly and your employees may have different expectations with the solution. A pilot phase is very effective to “test” the solution and confirm all expectations are met.

1. Once your vendor has been identified, you can request a pilot or trial solution be put into place for limited use to test results.

2. After the pilot solution is implemented, be sure to measure the effectiveness and verify that the problems in phase I are being solved.

Phase IV – Implementation

So now you have confirmed that the pilot is solving some or all the problems identified in phase I, now you are ready to rollout the full solution. It is very important to closely manage your vendor and be sure they are delivering what they promised within their proposal.

1. Create a project plan that consists of key milestones for the implementation of your solution.

A sample plan is shown below:

* Project Kick-off
* Budget review
* Set timelines for remainder of project
* Determine training requirements
* Technology install/enhancement
* Document the changes in your existing workflow
* Create a forum for employees to provide feedback during this process
* Develop a suite of tests that verifies the newly installed technology does not break any existing processes.
* Develop a suite of tests that verifies the newly installed technology meet the expectation of the proposed solution.
* Insure your timelines are being met and budget is not growing.
* Implementation complete
* Begin training

2. After the solution has been installed, consolidate all the documents and training materials in one repository for quick reference.

Phase V – Project Review & Closure

Now that the technology solution has been successfully implemented and everyone has been trained, you will need to setup measures to ensure that the solution is effective.

1. Create an anonymous survey for employees to provide feedback.
a. Survey questions should include: overall project success, training materials and responsibility impact.

2. Develop metrics that can measure the profit and/or efficiency that was achieved as a result of this project. This will help you identify the true return on investment.

A Technology Degree Will Secure A Great Career

Now more than ever, information technology is booming. The advancements in the past few years have surpassed anything else in the industry. And this trend is almost guaranteed to continue to rise over the years.

There are many exciting career opportunities that you can get with a technology degree such as network engineering, database management or even becoming a computer technician. Therefore, choosing the technology degree that is best for you is crucial to your future success. There are a lot of qualified colleges and learning facilities that will give you the tools you need.

There is great interest in these types of jobs, so it is important to get the best training. Most institutions that offer a technology degree program will have the necessary hands on training that you need to succeed. They will also be able to work with you to make sure you find the career that is best for you.

If you have a love for computers and technology, then you have a great starting point. The next step is acquiring the skills and tools that are necessary for you to be able to turn that love into a lucrative career. Upon receiving your technology degree, you will be qualified to work in a wide variety of information technology fields.

With the amount of Internet based crimes on the rise, a career working in network security can be a great plan. Hackers are always finding new tricks to get access to secure information. If you worked in network security, you would always have to stay one step ahead of the hackers. This can be a fun and challenging position.

Depending on what course you take, you will be able to obtain recognized certifications such as Microsoft’s MCSE, MCSA, or MCAD. These types of certifications make it much easier to secure that dream job. With a technology degree, you will be trained to earn all kinds of recognized certifications.

If you lean more toward being an entrepreneur, you will learn ways you can start your own technology related business. With a technology degree, you will be able to figure out exactly what business idea is best for you.

This can be anything from making websites for companies, fixing computers or any other kind of independent contracting. The sky will be the limit because you will have such a wide variety of career options to choose from. And since you will have the training and skills that are necessary, you will be able to choose which area of information technology to work in.

It is important to have an understanding of what you are looking for in your career. This way, you will be able to gear your studies in the direction of what career path you want to take. Since there is such flexibility in this industry, it is important to set specific goals. Your instructors will be able to help you make these decisions.

By looking at your skills and strengths, they will be able to send you in the right direction. They will also be able to tell you what types of careers you should avoid. These instructors are always of very high quality who know all there is to know about the ever-changing technology sector.

No matter what type of career you are looking for, a degree will pave the way for your success. Pursuing one of the many technology degree programs now offered is a great investment in your future.

Technology Degree May Guarantee You A Job

A technology degree is a course of study that readies you for a career that involves information. This sort of degree can be very flexible, as it can prepare you to enter a number of fields, including design, healthcare, business, computing, engineering, or telecommunications. Unlike a Bachelor of Science degree, which also prepares you to enter these fields in many cases, a technology background often gives you hands-on experience and practical skills as well as an intellectual understanding of your field.

To make this educational option even more flexible, there is more than one technology degree to choose from. An associate’s degree of certification, for example, can allow you to enter an information technology career in less than two years, in many cases. A bachelor’s degree in system design, communications technology, or web development, to name just a few can give you a great career as a manager, engineer, or designer. An MBA or technology degree combined with a business focus can allow you take on plum management jobs. A doctorate in technology can allow you to pursue an academic teaching career or can prepare you for an upper-level position that involves creating systems.

The popularity of technology degree options is not just popular today because these degrees are so flexible. For a number of years, tech jobs have seemed like a sure bet. Students flocked to take degrees in technology subjects because tech jobs were waiting for graduates and degrees allowed students to take on a number of well-paying and fulfilling careers.

Even today, some students assume that a technology degree is a sure way to get a good career or at least a good job after graduation. While technology degrees remain as flexible and as valuable as ever, though, it is no longer true that they absolutely guarantee a job. Tech jobs are slightly less abundant now and many students pursuing the same career options have created a competitive job marketplace.

Nevertheless, engineers, managers and other professionals with these degrees are still in demand, and will likely always be. Anyone with a true interest in technology courses will still have many options open to them. At the same time, though, the different environment means that students will want to take a slightly different route in order to ensure a good job after completing their schooling.

Students wishing to pursue a technology course of study should, first of all, select a course of study they truly enjoy. This creates a greater chance of career success and ensures that any subsequent career is fulfilling. There is simply no point in preparing for a tech job if that is not what you want. Students will also want to select their degree program carefully. Programs of study that offer practical study and experience as well as challenging instruction are more likely than more basic studies to prepare students for a tough job market. Students may want to take a course of study that prepares them for all working environments. For example, students interested in management may want to hone business and computer skills to make themselves attractive to employers.

Networking with professionals already in the field and starting the job hunt early can mean that graduates with a technology degree may find a wonderful job waiting for them after graduation day. Most schools have career centers that can help with career planning, and local professional associations are a great place to meet professionals. Today’s students cannot afford to assume that a degree alone will guarantee a job. The best employment opportunities will go to those graduates who think ahead and plan for a successful career.