Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Developing ISO to be good project managers

Artikel Dari Penaja

According to a KPMG study, a survey of 100 ICT projects of Canadian public and private sector had revealed 30% exceeded schedule and more than 50% exceeded budget by a substantial margin. The same case might happen to Malaysia ICT projects.

Since 1967 the first government ICT project successfully implemented in National Electricity Board (NEB), thousands of ICT projects had been approved and implemented worth billions of Ringgits. By now, we should have a project management culture of our own. But our culture of excellence in managing projects is still in questions.

Today’s successful ICT projects must be ready to meet the challenges of the never-ending users expectations and demands. Having project management will be a key competency. A consistent approach to managing projects is needed to ensure that costs are minimized, deadlines are met and quality is enhanced.

The management of construction projects such as building or roads is more simpler compared with today’s ICT projects. 80% of ICT project involve people while construction project are not. They are building the project which “we build, they use”. But ours is “smart partnership in building and using”.

Although many people may call themselves project managers, but many do not earn project management certification, or even don’t have enough experience in handling projects. But still, the departments appoint them as project managers.

Since there is no prerequisite for having project management certification, it is strongly suggest that a project manager should have project management certification or had completed at least a number of ICT projects. This requirement should be stated in the tender document.
As such, it is timely to establish a national competency standard as a benchmark for under taking government ICT projects especially involving projects management consultants.

INTAN should look in setting up a variety of ICT project management training options to improve individual and agencies performance. INTAN should also consider establishing Project Management Centre of Expertise that regularly publishes educational materials, provides training, provide monitoring and showcase best practice of case studies.

We should strive to have the best human capital in project management expertise. It is a challenge for system information officers to establish a group of experts in project management within information system officer community. If we could perform an excellence job in managing ICT projects, we could do it better in other projects.

We should lead the public sector in having a pool of experts in project management. And, who knows, in the future we will be chosen as a project leader in any government projects.

* ISO = Information System Officer

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