Friday, November 28, 2014

Where does the PM fit “in the cloud?”



With the advent of cloud computing, Project Managers (PM) now have another technology they have to learn and become experts in at a quickened pace. At this time, PMs are not required to have the deep knowledge of the cloud regarding the intricacies of the business case for implementing a cloud application. However, it would benefit the PM to have some knowledge regarding the complexities of cloud computing, as that knowledge will give the PM an advantage regarding risk management. Implementation of cloud computing brings up a number of important questions. Where does the PM fit in an organization that will be deploying cloud applications? Does the PM treat the cloud project differently from other IT projects? Should the PM treat the stakeholders differently from other project stakeholders?
Where does the PM fit in an organization that will be going to the “cloud?”
Similar to any new project or type of technology, the PM should be knowledgeable about the product, the stakeholders, and especially the type of project the PM will be managing. In the case of cloud computing, the PM must also be knowledgeable about the additional risks unique to a cloud technology implementation. These include, but are not limited to:
  • Increased telecom costs
  • Increased resource costs
  • Increased validation costs
This does not mean that the risks associated with other projects are not valid in a cloud implementation. As a matter of fact, the risk of scope creep becomes an important area where a PM must be vigilant.
Does the PM treat the cloud project differently?
Absolutely not! A PM must approach a cloud project with the same project outlines that we have discussed previously. Yes, cloud computing is a relatively “new” type of implementation. However, the PM must keep in mind all of the PMI standards that are associated with a project implementation. And like other projects, the PM must keep in mind the turnover to operations or in IT terms, the production deployment. 
Should the PM treat the cloud project stakeholders differently?
In this case, I would say yes. The reason is that a cloud deployment may be very new to an organization. The stakeholders may be the same, but this type of implementation brings about a change from a Capex to Opex expenditure. This change is the most important differentiator of a cloud implementation. That means that the PM must keep a close eye on costs.
Overall however, a PM must still be concerned with the triple constraint; budget, schedule and resource. We also know that quality is a major concern for any project. In a cloud project, this is also true and possibly a fourth constraint as with a cloud project, the team is replacing an old technology that may be an old “standard” within the organization.
In conclusion, the PM has to work ensure that the level of work is at the same or better level of quality that the organization historically delivered in the past.
I am open to discussion at any time on these blogs or anything else related to project management you would like to explore. If you would like to comment about this blog, please do so by posting on this blog or by responding in an email at Benny A. Recine. You may inspire a blog article. I look forward to your comments.

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