Although Project Management is a whole that covers certain standards, it requires different critical approaches for each sector. When we look at the telecom industry, we see that a very good project management knowledge and experience is required to manage short and long-term critical projects. Project Managers must manage and control the execution of work while preparing planning projects, analyzing constraints and requirements, calculating time and costs. Project management for telecom is not only different from other industries, but also very critical, when you think about the challenges of team management and the need to ensure efficient communication among distributed stakeholders. In this article, we will examine topics such as what is Project Management, how it should be done, and what are the methods specific to the sector.
What is Project Management?
Project management is the application of processes, methods, skills and experience in accordance with project acceptance criteria to achieve project objectives, within agreed-upon variables. Project management ensures that the project achieves its goals by adhering to a limited timeline and budget.
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Why Telecom Projects Are Different From Other Industries?
The telecommunications is in the category of information and communication technology. Thus, all internet service providers, telecommunications and telephone companies play a crucial role in society's evolution of mobile communications and access to information.
Also, the coexistence of companies that are very different from each other in this industry is quite unique. The telecommunications industry encompasses many types of companies with very different products, goals and ways of working. Employees in these companies work in changing environments, various organizational structures, and many different functional areas. Traditional wired phone service providers, wireless services, and data communications or video delivery firms are some of the different types of firms within the telecom industry. Additionally, their customers range from single-line home phone users to global corporate customers with complicated voice, data, or video networks whose entire business depends on telecom service.
One of the most important common aspects of these different types of telecom companies is their need for projects and successful project management. What kind of projects might a service provider need?
- Developing a new service,
- Adding new features to an existing service,
- Making competitor analysis,
- Setting up customized networks,
- Working with a large national client to implement its network at significant savings,
- Moving all customer service to a common national call center etc for midsize business customers.
Component manufacturers working in telecom companies will also develop different projects, such as increasing the performance of planar array antennas by making a new design.
Generally, telecom companies do projects on adding new features to the general network, establishing a specialized business network, and establishing and removing ad hoc networks.
You may find this blog post interesting: "Vodafone Uses PMI Standards For A Complex Project"
The Role of Telecommunication Companies in terms of Project Management Methodologies
The popularity of Agile methodologies has increased significantly in recent years. Despite this, the importance given to Project Management has not decreased in any sector. Especially for the telecom sector, project management will always be important and there are some main reasons for this. Let's examine them item by item.
Long Planning and Execution Cycles: Telecom projects can take a few months, but they are often very comprehensive projects that take years. These projects, which will take a long time, are very complex and multi-stakeholder in nature. Plenty of work must be done at each of the project planning and execution phases, as mistakes can be very difficult and cumbersome to reverse.
Serious Changes Are Usually Not Made in the Midst of the Project: Telecom projects are planned with a very serious study from the beginning and there are no gaps when the project emerges. In fact, making a serious change in the project can be costly, and the budget of the project may be exceeded. Therefore, a good project management and plan is more essential for the telecom industry than an agile methodology.
Project Assets of Major Stakeholders: There is rarely a single party involved in the execution of a telecommunications project. Often, multiple stakeholders are involved. In these complex projects where continuous and regular communication is imperative, it is always important to have a solid grasp of what stakeholders can expect at each stage.
Users' Need for Telecom Services: We all benefit from telecom services in our daily lives and we want to have access to the internet and telephone from anywhere at any time. This makes it very important for telecom companies to provide perfect service. For these companies with too many users, the failure of the projects will be a big problem.
Challenges of Telecom Projects
If the scope of the project was not clearly defined when it was built: It is essential that the objectives, tasks, costs and deadlines of each project are clearly defined to avoid problems later on.
Not enough resources have been allocated for the project: If the project's budget is not initially realistic, the project may cause the firm to lose rather than make money. A solid financial plan is essential for any project.
If conflicts arise between different departments: In stressful situations, it is normal for some conflicts to arise. However, this should never affect the objectives of the project and the quality of work. It is important to allocate all responsibility correctly from the beginning and to ensure a healthy communication between the teams so that telecom projects are not disrupted.
While most project managers come from engineering backgrounds across all industries, project teams are made up of professionals from a variety of departments. The Project Manager should be aware of all team members' expertise and skills, trust them, and delegate responsibility appropriately.
Following unrealistic deadlines: Of course, we can't expect all tasks to be completed in perfect conditions. Changes should be anticipated, and caution should be exercised in order to avoid wasting time and money in the process of adapting to them.
Benefits of Project Management
- Existing resources, workforce, knowledge and experience of employees, time and budget of the project are used in the best and most efficient way.
- The probability of achieving the objectives of the project is much higher.
- The expectations and needs of the project stakeholders are met in a healthy way.
- By establishing a healthy and continuous communication within and between the teams, it is ensured that the employees use their time and experience in the most correct way.
- Since a definite start and end date is determined, the timings of different projects and works can be adjusted, and a successful calendar is created.