management information system

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An Introduction to Project
What is a project?
• A project is a
temporary endeavor
undertaken to produce
a unique product or
• Examples:
– Build a house
– Design and implement
a network
What is a project?
• What are the differences
between projects and
– Characteristics of Operations
• Ongoing – Continuous cycle
• Repetitive – Expected inputs
and outputs
– Characteristics of Projects
• Temporary – Definitive
beginning and end
• Unique – New undertaking,
unfamiliar ground
What is a successful project?
• Customer Requirements
• Completed within allocated time frame
• Completed within allocated budget
• Acceptance by the customer
Project Management Failures
• Over 70% of IT projects fail
in some way
• Major reasons for failure
– Scope creep – the adding of
unplanned requirements to
the budget
– Budget creep – unexpected or
poorly projected costs
– Schedule creep – unexpected
delays or poorly projected
time requirements
Why do projects fail?
• No up-front commitment by stakeholders
• Poor communication among the project team
and stakeholders
• Scope creep
• Poor requirements gathering
• No functional input in planning
• Lack of sponsorship
• Unrealistic planning and
scheduling/impossible schedule commitments
• Lack of resources
What is Project Management?
• The purpose of project management is
prediction and prevention, NOT
recognition and reaction
• Effective management of the triple
– Scope
– Cost
– Time
IT Project Management
• the Project Management Life Cycle (PMLC) – the
process steps and best practices
• Project Governance – the body of stakeholders
who oversee the project
• Sponsor (line of business) – puts up the cash and
signs off on the deliverables
• Stakeholders (a.k.a. working clients) (also line of
business) – members of governance
• Chief Information Officer (CIO) – IT business
• Chief Technology Officer (CTO) – IT products
and architecture
IT Project Management
Vocabulary – continued
• Project Manager – coordinator, reporter, scorecard
• Business Analyst – business requirements gatherer
• Systems Analyst – translator of business requirements
into functional requirements (of IT solution)
• Prototype – a low cost simulation of the IT solution
• Quality assurance and quality control – testing to ensure
tha the solution meets business requirements
• Risk management (concerning projects) – to mitigate risk
• System implementation approaches – piloting, phasing,
paralleling, plunging.
Project Triple Constraints
• Scope
– Identified or
• Cost/resources
– Staff, money,
• Schedule/time
Project Execution and Control
• A project schedule empowers a Project
Manager to:
– Manage the time, cost, and resources of the
– Assess the progress of the project against the
– Assess and communicate the impact of issues
and change management
– Forecast and what-If scenarios
• Issue Management
• Change Management
Project Management Life Cycle
(PMLC) Process Workflows, Part 1:
initial scoping
discussion with
clients; OK to proceed.
score card
and approval
formal project
kickoff by core
project team
functional and
technical reviews
with stakeholders
if appropriate,
develop prototype
of desired solution
proceed to infrastructure
phase of process
Project Management Life Cycle
(PMLC) Process Workflows, Part 2:
review final technical
specifications with
partner providers
OSDA changes
& commitments
identify existing
resources to be
develop solution
for production
including reports
and related
user & tech
fix bugs
certify, define
release strategy
trained support personnel
documentation, OSDA’s
and SLA’s in place;
formal customer signoff
Launch and Release
prepare test
lab and test
test scripts
and process
retire older system
hardware and software,
place project docs in KM
store, hold lessons learned
Project Closure: customer sign-off; lessons learned review
Project Management Role
What are “People, Process, and Technology” challenges for these areas?
• Communications management – how project communications will
be handled to ensure all project stakeholders are informed. Could
also be considered “relationship management.”
• Human resource/talent management – development of the project
team, reporting structure, resource capacity/workload (including
augmenting with outsourcing)
• Requirements management – identifying, prioritizing and then
ensuring that the appropriate functions/features are included in the
production/go live system (no more, no less)
• Procurement management – materials purchasing, contract
processes (including sourcing)
• Issue management – formal recording, attribution, and follow up on
potential problems identified (related to bug / defect tracking, but not
the same thing
• Change control management – identifying, prioritizing, and
scheduling revisions to the scope (increase or decrease)
Project Management Areas
Scope management
Issue management
Cost management
Quality management
Communications management
Risk management
Change control management
Scope Management
• The process to ensure that the project is
inclusive of all the work required, and only the
work required
• Primarily it is the definition and control of
what IS and IS NOT included in the project
• Communicates
How the scope was defined
How the project scope will be managed
Who will manage the scope
Change Control
Scope Management
• The process to ensure that the
project is inclusive of all the work
required, and only the work
• Primarily it is the definition and
control of what features ARE and
ARE NOT included in a project
Source: mysticMundane (2008)
Issue Management
• Where issues will be maintained and
• The process for updating issues regularly
• The escalation process
• The vehicle by which team members can
access documented issues
Cost Management
• Resource Planning
– physical resources required and what quantities are
necessary for successful project completion
– Staffing/human resources / expertise – insourcing,
partnering, outsourcing (onshore, offshore) for successful
project completion
• Budget
– Budget estimates (forecast)
– Baseline estimates (change in scope, schedule)
– Project actual costs
• TCO considerations
– Budget forecasting timeline should match magnitude of
investment (e.g., ERP, 3+ years)
– Must include ongoing and safeguarding costs for staffing
Scope/Quality Management
• Processes that insure the project will satisfy
or exceed information requirements
• Quality planning, assurance, and control
– Clearly define performance standards (project,
– Identify how standards are measured and
– Determine how testing/assurance will verify
standards satisfaction
Related activities:
Defect management (bugs, inaccuracies, unmet expectations)
Change control management (adjustments to features)
Quality Management:
User Participation
IS specialist
Executive Sponsor
End user
Schedule Management
• Overall project forecast and tracking of work
• Understanding interdependencies between
• Identification of “critical path” tasks – i.e.
those tasks in the process that are absolutely
necessary for the successful completion of
the project.
• Clear milestones for key deliverables
A project schedule empowers a Project Manager to:
• Manage the time, cost, and resources of the project
• Assess the progress of the project against the baseline
• Assess and communicate the impact of issues and
change management
• Forecast and what-If scenarios
Schedule Management – Gantt
chart show tasks and dependencies over time
Communications Management
• Communications planning
– Who needs what information
– When they need it,
– How it will be delivered
• Information distribution
– How information will flow to the project
• Schedule appropriate project meetings
• Communications can make or break a
Risk Management
• Define risk management plan (e.g., tolerance)
• Identify risks
• Perform risk analysis (sources, probability,
• Develop responses
• Monitor and control risks.
Related activities:
Issue management
Communication management
Change control management
Probability of Occurrence
Dimensions of Risk
Do these projects?
Negative Consequence of Occurrence
Risks by source
• Project complexity
– Volume of parts, variety of parts, interactions between parts, dynamism
• Organizational / Structural
Degree of business units/functions affected (RID)
Degree of business procedures/activities affected
Degree of organizational chart / reporting relationships affected
Level of executive support / commitment (enthusiastic-resistant)
Level of end-user attitude to technology adoption (pro-con)
• Technological
– Novelty of technology in market
– Novelty of technology for end-user
– Novelty of technology for IS specialists
• Market / Regulatory
(McFarlan 1981)
Change Control Management
• Define how changes to the project will be
• Formal change control is required for all of
the following
Scope change
Schedule changes
Budget changes
Technical specification changes
• All changes require buy from project sponsor
signature prior to change implementation
Information System
* Today very few information systems are developed in-house. Businesses more
typically license and deploy software packages developed by software companies.
The Overall Approach
Define problem/
Select best
Design solution
IS Development Life Cycle – SDLC
System Definition:
Goals & Feasibility
Requirements Analysis:
Functional Requirements
Component Design:
System Design Specs
Here is when most
companies will seek
a vender solution as
FastFit did.
System Implementation:
Operational System
System Maintenance:
Improved System
System Definition ?
Feasibility Study
Should we develop the system?
1. Organizational Feasibility –
a) how well does this system support the strategic
business priorities of the business?
b) Does it fit the culture and way of doing things and
will it be used?
2. Cost Feasibility – will the benefits exceed the
costs and over what time frame?
3. Schedule Feasibility – can it be done on
4. Technical Feasibility – Can we build/buy it
and will the technology work?
Requirements Analysis ?
Functional Requirements
What should the system do?
• Organizational Analysis
– How does the organizational function?
• Present System Analysis
– What are users doing now?
– Inputs, processes, outputs, controls
• Future Functional Requirements Analysis
– What kinds of tasks will users perform?
– What information and functions will they need?
Component Design ?
System Design Specifications
• Hardware
• Software
• Data
• Roles
• Procedures
Prototyping – when to use
•Requirements are difficult to specify (tacit
•Iterative refinement required (feedback, learning,
•Heavy user participation (more accurate, more
•Rapid turnaround to show progress (less
need for forecasting)
•Often used with traditional SDLC on user
interface (input screens) and outputs (e.g., reports,
data feeds)
Modify as needed
• Iterate until ready
• Align to IS standards
• Install
Driven by users,
working with IS
• Create prototype
• Test with users
• Modify
• Do again
System Implementation ?
Operational System
• First Step = Evaluate software acquisition
Software acquisition
• Create in-house
• Subcontract a third party to
develop the system for you.
• License pre-made (“Packaged”)
and possibly adapt to your needs
• Rent pre-made (ASP) –
outsourced solution
System Implementation ?
Operational System
• Evaluate software acquisition alternatives
• Evaluate and acquire hardware if needed
• Modify and test software against
• Convert data
• Train users
• Convert system
Implementation: Conversion Methods
Old System
New System
Old System
New System
Old System
New System
Old System
New System
System Maintenance ?
Improved System
• Post-Implementation Review
– Close the loop back to the plans, time frames ,
budgets, functionality, usage and user satisfaction
• User Support
– Continued training
– Help desk and personal support.
• Modification
– Track defects and improvements
– Propose a new development project to perform the
upgrade using the SDLC
Session 21 – An Introduction to Project Management
From the MIS Integrative Framework, we know that work within all enterprises also entails the
collection, use, analysis and presentation of information. Information systems enable our business
processes, allowing us to transact, manage and innovate as need be. To these ends, the IT organization
within any business must execute projects that bring to life the information systems and supporting
information technologies that we use each day. You may not see yourself after graduation as one of
these IT people but be certain that you will find yourself on project teams throughout your career.
Much of the work in modern businesses is both team based and project oriented. It is therefore
essential that you come away from MISM 2301 with at least a rudimentary appreciation for how
projects teams operate and project management best practices. Therefore Sessions 21 and 22 will
devote themselves to this topic.
The purpose of this introduction is to provide you with a simple yet comprehensive approach to project
management. We will pay special attention to two of the most common pitfalls in IT project execution,
initial project scoping
ongoing customer expectation management and project communications
The approach outlined below focuses on field tested methods and tools. For larger, IT organizations, we
recommend the establishment of an internal Project Management Office (PMO) to support the ongoing
project management process. Whatever the scope and nature of your own project management
assignments, these pages offer a series of applied examples that will prove useful in the self-assessment
of in-house IT team practices, and that may be readily adapted and repurposed based upon the
particular requirements of your business and project. Finally, at the close of this article, we have
included a glossary of project terms and a fleshed out Project Management Life Cycle (PMLC) matrix.
What is an IT Project? What is Project Management? Why bother?
In the simplest of terms, most information technology organizations within businesses provide services
in any one of three logical categories. First, IT solves customer problems in support of existing products
and services. This type of service usually involves a Help Desk or Call Center, hardware and software
support personnel, and training and documentation services. The objective of problem resolution is to
address the specific performance issues of the end user as quickly and as painlessly as possible. Second,
IT responds to service requests that call either for the extension of existing products and services to a
new employee or the modest expansion and enhancement of an established product or service to
existing employees. Here too a Help Desk or Call Center is often employed as the intake mechanism for
service request work, typically complemented by dedicated support and maintenance teams specifically
assigned to customer servicing and delivery. Neither problem resolution nor service request efforts
entail large capital outlays, major changes in platform technologies. But in most instances, they do
consume a significant amount of IT team resources to service, fix, or build upon what is already there.
Generally speaking, the line-of-business end user’s expectation is that delivery will be immediate or
nearly so.
The third category of IT team activity – projects – encompasses the significant expansion of existing or
the introduction of new products and services. Unlike the aforementioned categories, projects typically
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Session 21 – An Introduction to Project Management
require major capital outlays, larger more-complex scopes of work, a project management
infrastructure, the involvement of external technology partner providers, and long as opposed to short
or immediate delivery time frames. To differentiate “projects” from maintenance and support work,
most IT organizations establish a quantifiable threshold level for the “project” designation and its
associated management overhead. For example, an IT undertaking is typically viewed as a project:
if the IT investment under discussion leads to the establishment of a new IT product or service.
if the IT investment exceeds a certain dollar amount, where the clip level for a particular
“project” will vary from enterprise to enterprise (e.g. $10,000 for some; $100,000 for others).
if the IT investment requires the participation of two or more IT operating units and/or external
partner providers for delivery (i.e. scope and complexity factors).
if the IT investment involve high levels of complexity or risk (e.g. multiple technologies,
emerging technologies, systems integration).
Bear in mind that the entire purpose of project management is effective risk mitigation so as to deliver
IT projects on time, within budget, and in keeping with customer expectations. New IT products and
services typically require broad-based participation and call for business process as well as technological
These efforts will benefit from the rigor of a project management process that
comprehensively pursues IT delivery requirements and process workflow adaptation. Similarly, if the
parent organization is investing a significant sum of money in an IT project, the executive team will
expect a professional approach that assures the realization of their business objectives and a reasonable
return on the investment. Furthermore, where many players, especially across business-unit silos,
complex work processes, and diverse/new information technology components are called upon to
deliver the IT solution, the challenges to successful delivery are high. Here too it only makes sense to
rely on the discipline of a systematically implemented project management methodology.
For that matter, once the IT organization designs and implements a common process in keeping with its
own needs and corporate culture, these project management methods will help streamline delivery and
eliminate more costly “one-off” practices. The key to success here is the broad adoption of simple,
un …
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