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Manage an IT Project. Aim This presentation is prepared to support and give a general overview of the ‘How to Manage and IT Project’ Guide and should.

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Presentation on theme: "Manage an IT Project. Aim This presentation is prepared to support and give a general overview of the ‘How to Manage and IT Project’ Guide and should."— Presentation transcript:

1 Manage an IT Project

2 Aim This presentation is prepared to support and give a general overview of the ‘How to Manage and IT Project’ Guide and should be read in conjunction with the publication.Introduction Use of the Guide The guide covers all aspects of the management of an IT project from the initial setting up of the project through to reviewing and maintaining the project. To this end it includes a check list for you to complete when managing an IT project. The guide also includes separate case studies highlighting important aspects of IT project management. The steps any business takes during an IT project will depend on the size and nature of the project being undertaken.

3 Effective project management is essential to co-ordinate the many organisations and activities that comprise a typical construction project. Effective project management is essential to co-ordinate the many organisations and activities that comprise a typical construction project. Generally acknowledged that widespread good practice exists within this field in the construction industry. Generally acknowledged that widespread good practice exists within this field in the construction industry. Often the case that the good practice that exists is not applied to the specific case of the management of an IT project. Often the case that the good practice that exists is not applied to the specific case of the management of an IT project. The main challenge is that of fully involving the relevant business areas so that IT projects are not simply seen as “IT projects run by IT managers”. The main challenge is that of fully involving the relevant business areas so that IT projects are not simply seen as “IT projects run by IT managers”. The guide seeks to provide guidance on: The guide seeks to provide guidance on: the specifics aspects of IT projects, the specifics aspects of IT projects, encourage the involvement of appropriate business areas, encourage the involvement of appropriate business areas, ensure that the good practice that is applied in construction projects is applied also to IT projects. ensure that the good practice that is applied in construction projects is applied also to IT projects. IT project management

4 Key defining factor of a project is that it aims to achieve a unique outcome, unlike other types of work that are essentially repetitive processes. Key defining factor of a project is that it aims to achieve a unique outcome, unlike other types of work that are essentially repetitive processes. An IT project can therefore be any such activity that involves the use of IT and can cover for example: An IT project can therefore be any such activity that involves the use of IT and can cover for example: The development of an IT strategy The development of an IT strategy The procurement and installation of a complete business system The procurement and installation of a complete business system The setting up of a network The setting up of a network The development of a piece of software The development of a piece of software The development of a company web site The development of a company web site The procurement of a single piece of software The procurement of a single piece of software The movement of equipment The movement of equipment The completion of an IT project would result in the hand over of the project to those who are responsible for the repetitive processes of the maintenance and support. The completion of an IT project would result in the hand over of the project to those who are responsible for the repetitive processes of the maintenance and support. What is an IT project?

5 Document structure 1. Setting up the project 4. Reviewing & maintaining the project 3. Carrying out the project 2. Managing the project

6 1. Setting up the project 4. Reviewing & maintaining the project 3. Carrying out the project 2. Managing the project 1.1 Establish the need for the project 1.3 Determine scope and objectives of the project 1.5 Appoint sponsor 1.9 Seek professional advise 1.7 Appoint user representative 1.4 Establish the project team 1.2 Produce a clear request for work 1.6 Appoint project manager 1.8 Appoint IT specialist

7 1. Setting up the project 1.3 Determine scope and objectives of the project The project should have a clearly defined scope which should define the extent of the project and a set of objectives which should clearly define what the expectations of the project are. 1.4 Establish the project team Establish a project team leader and staff appropriate to the project. Possibly contact an IT Consultant who can assist. A typical team should consist of: A sponsor, a project manager, a representative of the business user and an IT specialist. 1.2 Produce a clear request for work This should contain a background to the request, how it relates to the business plan, what the expected outcome of the project, the timescale, time or resource constraints and a list of deliverables. 1.1 Establish the need for the project Assumed that any project will form part of an overall business strategy and the project has come about because of a clear requirement of the business. Construct IT’s publications ‘An IT Self-Assessment Tool’ and ‘Measuring the Benefits of IT Innovation’ should help in establishing a clear business case for an IT project. 1.5 Appoint sponsor First thing to do when setting up any project is to ensure you have a senior manager as a sponsor. This person will champion the project within your business, ensure the resources are available and supply any information requested by the project team.

8 1. Setting up the project 1.8 Appoint IT specialist The IT specialist will be expected to review the technical requirements of the project; ensure the solution will not cause problems with the existing systems; advise on the technical suitability of the solutions on offer. An external IT specialist is often useful where companies lack experience or when small businesses cannot afford a full time IT professional. 1.9 Seek professional advise Professional advice can be obtained from many sources depending upon your requirements. 1.7 Appoint user representative The user representative should review specifications; review the solutions on offer; act as an interface between the users and the project team; test any solutions; help with any implementations. 1.6 Appoint project manager The project manager might not be a full-time role, however the person will be required to spend as much time on the project as is required. The project manager is responsible for the development of the project plan enquiring sufficient resources are made available to the project at the relevant times. The project manager will also be expected to liase between the supplier team and the users representative and/or sponsor; produce the project plan; monitor progress and report to the sponsor; ensure resources are available at the correct time; monitor costs and report to the sponsor

9 2. Managing the project 1. Setting up the project 4. Reviewing & maintaining the project 3. Carrying out the project 2. Managing the project 2.1 List deliverables 2.3 Develop project plan 2.5 Define roles of participant 2.7 Allow for risk 2.4 Set success criteria 2.2 Set milestones and target completion dates 2.6 Plan review stages

10 2. Managing the project 2.3 Develop project plan A project plan should be developed by the project manager and include all of the milestones broken down into the major elements of the project. Resource requirements should be clearly shown. The developed plan should be agreed with the project sponsor. 2.4 Set success criteria An important element when setting up a project is to ascertain how the success of the project will be measured. It is important that the user representative is involved in agreeing these criteria. 2.2 Set milestones and target completion dates This should include milestones and any specific dates. This will aid the sequencing of the project and assist teamwork. 2.1 List deliverables At the start of the project there should be a comprehensive list of deliverables. Where possible give examples.

11 2. Managing the project 2.7 Allow for risk When planning the project it is important to establish the risks that may be involved and how they could be overcome. Risks often occur due to changes to the project. Review stages can control this, however users, developers and suppliers must not be allowed to change the scope of the project with the approval of the the system sponsor. 2.5 Define roles of participants It is important that every participant is sure of his or her role in the project. 2.6 Plan review stages It is useful, particularly for larger projects, to plan a series of review stages. These will enable you to amend the plan if there are some unforeseen difficulties. Subsequent stages should become clearer as each phase is completed.

12 3. Carrying out the project 1. Setting up the project 4. Reviewing & maintaining the project 3. Carrying out the project 2. Managing the project 3.1 Allocate resources 3.3 Procure equipment 3.5 Evaluate proposals 3.7 Manage changes 3.4 Develop procurement schedule 3.2 Procure business solutions and software 3.6 Consider data management procedures 3.8 Issue progress report 3.12 Implement project 3.10 Issue project documentation 3.9 Develop test procedures 3.11 Devise training plan

13 3. Carrying out the project 3.3 Procure equipment Procure of equipment may be a project on its own. The hardware required can be dictated by a number of factors: The requirement of the software Any company policy with regards to standards The operating system Any existing equipment and their interface if required Future expansion of the business or department 3.4 Develop procurement schedule Draw up a list of all equipment required and agree on delivery dates. The delivery dates will indicate when an order should be placed. 3.2 Procure business solutions and software You will need to consider the procurement of IT if the project needs to solve business solutions. You will need: A specification of the business needs. A list of possible suppliers Selection requirement – essential, beneficial and ‘nice-to-have’ 3.1 Allocate resources Once the project plan has been completed it is important that the correct level of resources should be allocated to the project.

14 3. Carrying out the project 3.7 Manage changes The area if change management must be adhered to at all times: For example: All requests for changes to the project are made in writing. The effect of the change should be agreed with the project manager. Any financial affect should be presented to the project sponsor so that they can sign off the change. Unscheduled changes can cause problems to the project therefore changes must not be made until the above procedure has been followed. 3.6 Consider data management procedures If a change of IT system is involved your data management procedures need to be careful considered in terms of: Legacy data and its transfer to the new system Data interference with other systems Data ownership and who will maintain it. Problems associated with maintaining two systems if parallel running is required. 3.5 Evaluate proposals This criteria will vary on the requirements of the project but some aspects that should be considered are: Does it meet the business requirements Is it available within your timescale Will it need to be modified How much does it cost Who else (within your business sector) is using it? Is the supplier able to support your company during both the installation and the life of your project?

15 3. Carrying out the project 3.10 Issue project documentation Various levels of documentation are required on a project. System Documentation –a description of the system User Guide –designed to help the user understand the system and hoe to use it. Training guide – designed to be used by the trainer when delivering training courses. The development of documentation is often overlooked at the end of a project. Do not underestimate this task – it often requires specialist skills. 3.9 Develop test procedures Agree who will be responsible for any testing required. Timings of testing should be established along with the data requirements. Establish the volume of data that will be used during the testing as testing within inappropriate amounts of data can give misleading results. Make testing realistic by trying to simulate the day-to-day business environment. 3.8 Issue progress report Keep everybody informed at all time be issuing regular progress reports. These reports should contain the following sections: The work completed to date Actions required during the next period of the programme. Resource requirements A list of the work carried out during the next period. Any agreed changes to the plan. Business Impact Issues. The progress report should not be limited to the project team members but must be made available to all end users, key managers and board members.

16 3. Carrying out the project 3.12 Implement project The next phase is implementation. The best projects can fail if the implementation is poor. Implementation needs to be planned with both users and suppliers. Everybody needs to be aware of what their role is. Any data that is used needs to be available in the correct format. If the system is being upgraded, users need to know what the upgrade contains and any changes they are likely to encounter when they first access the system. Productivity usually drops when a new or upgraded system is introduced as staff need time to adjust. If output from a new or upgraded system is critical then arrangements for additional resources should be made by ensuring the developers of the system are on hand to assist with faults or training. Large projects should be implemented with the minimum impact on end users and an allowance should be made for users to become competent at one phase before implementing another one. If the project is implemented in in multiple locations then allow for the one location to settle down before implementing the new system in another location Devise training plan Do not underestimate the training needs of the users. Systems often fail due to lack of, or inadequate, training. Training is best carried out in phase with the implementation. The primary training phase should be ‘system and project awareness’. The next phase should be the normal use of the system. The final phase should be a refresher course, to remind staff of parts of the system which they do not use regularly.

17 2. Managing the project 1. Setting up the project 4. Reviewing & maintaining the project 3. Carrying out the project 2. Managing the project 4.1 Review the project 4.3 Maintain and support hardware and equipment 4.4 Maintain and support software 4.2 Consider external and internal support

18 4. Reviewing and maintaining the project 4. Reviewing & maintaining the project 4.3 Maintain and support hardware and equipment Hardware and equipment often comes with a manufacturer’s twelve month warranty, which can usually be extended to three years at a cost. Consider peripheral components of a computer, as these will not be covered by the computer’s manufacturer but by the component’s manufacturers’ warranty. Also consider the conditions of the warranty. 4.4 Maintain and support software Software can be supported by a third-party support agreement, which covers applications which are interfaced or you can purchase an upgrade to ensure that all software versions are the latest editions and are therefore compatible. It is also worth considering renting the software rather than buying it. 4.2 Consider external and internal support The support of both the software and the hardware needs to be considered, either by internal resources or by outsourcing. If the support is internal then the true costs needs to be evaluated. If the support is external then the supplier has the advantage of economy of scale compared to internal resources. Another area of consideration is whether one person has the knowledge to support multiple software packages. 4.1 Review the project You should establish which aspects of the project went well, noting any reasons for success for future projects. You should investigate any areas where things did not go to plan and the reasons why. Many systems can only be reviewed when the system is fully operational.


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