Project Management Best Practices Pros Rely On

How does one strategically manage a project’s evolution? Over the course of development and deployment, new factors and unforeseen obstacles can steer a team off-course.

With a multitude of initiatives to keep in focus, SDI’s Senior Project Manager Tanesha Johnson leans on each project’s initial planning phase to align new developments with fundamental objectives.

First, tell us a bit about the types of projects you manage in your role.

As a Senior Project Management Office (PMO) Manager for a major client of SDI Presence, I am responsible for implementing and leading the PMO for SDI’s client delivery services. My day-to-day duties include managing a rolling portfolio of 20 to 30 developing IT projects and programs, 53 ongoing projects, a budget of over $2.5 million, and overseeing a team of seven project managers.

SDI has myriad capabilities to meet the demands of its clients’ IT environments. Our projects are multifaceted, and programs range from infrastructure development and data center migrations to server upgrades and asset management.

“Regardless of how urgent or time-sensitive our project requests are, the best practice is to follow the initiation and planning phases.’’

What’s one critical best practice you follow when it comes to project management, and why?

Regardless of how urgent or time-sensitive our project requests are, the best practice is to follow the initiation and planning phases. In these phases, we identify project scope and stakeholders to influence perception, adoption, and transition within the organization, as well as project goals and objectives.

SDI delivers innovative and cost-efficient expertise to our clients’ projects and extended organization through targeted planning, integration, and optimization. To maximize the success of our project outcomes, the SDI PMO team ensures time and resources are efficiently allocated across all projects and aligned with the client’s overall mission.

What’s one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced managing projects, and how have you overcome it?

One of the biggest challenges we face is helping stakeholders understand the value of having a highly professional PMO, who acts as an owner’s representative for complex, multi-year technology initiatives.

We want them to view project management as a valuable service that will speed up delivery by bringing resources together in a cohesive way, improving success rates. To overcome this challenge, the project manager’s role is clearly defined in the initial phase, and we reiterate the value proposition throughout the duration of the project. In addition, SDI’s IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)- and Project Management Professional (PMP)-certified team of experts are integrated with our approach and empowered with the right tools to serve as advocates for SDI’s project management process.

Lastly, customer satisfaction is the hallmark of every project delivery at SDI. We achieve that by delivering industry-recognized project management standards and disciplines, along with our commitment to being available for our clients when needed.


The “Guide to Effective Project Management and Best Practices” blog was originally authored for BuiltIn Chicago’s channels by SDI’s IT Senior Project Manager Tanesha Johnson, PMP, MBA.

She is a self-directed and driven strategic consultant with comprehensive accomplishments leading organizational development, technology transformation, change management, and cross-functional teams to achieve success. Her expertise lies in earned value management, technology integration, project value assessment, client delivery, project and software development methodologies, and leading traditional, transitional, and agile teams through the SDLC to deliver project objectives.

Tanesha continues to demonstrate success in developing and seamlessly executing plans for organizations focused on transitioning technology platforms, business strategy, and interactions with customers.