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Mapping and Managing Momentum in IT Projects

Ryan Nelson, Karen Jansen

Abstract


Every IT project experiences a distinct energy pattern—or momentum—during its lifecycle. An important role of the project manager is to recognize that pattern and make the adjustments necessary to ensure project success. This article defines the concept of momentum within the context of IT projects, introduces a tool for mapping and analyzing momentum, presents a representative case example, and identifies the lessons gleaned from analyzing the momentum maps of 51 IT projects. It also identifies a set of levers that project managers can use to proactively manage momentum and provides three specific guidelines for using momentum maps as a proactive management tool, as a retrospective tool (for post-implementation audits), and as a tool for communicating with project stakeholders.

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ISSN 1540-1960