Sunday, April 17, 2011, AM | Leave Comment
If you have been a project manager but have never managed an IT project or you are new to project management and you have been given the responsibility of handling IT project, then you must realize that IT projects are different than other types.
They require a lot more analysis and design upfront, before the project even begins.
You ought to step through the classical life cycle for an IT project.
A wise man once said: “The Whats and the Whys must come before the Hows and the Cows.” Once you know what it is that you ought to do and why, then it becomes easier to find the means and resources to do the how part of the project. When all is done and well, then eventually your project can become a cash cow for the company for years to come.
The Whats and the Whys part is usually done by the marketing department or rather it should be done by them. Those guys have supposedly researched the market, know what the customers want and are able to specify the marketing requirements for the project. This is the part where the WHY is taken care of.
According to Google, IT and Software are now the most common type of projects undertaken within the field of Project Management.
So what are the various steps or phases in a project life cycle that involves IT and Software?
The following are the 5 essential phases of an IT project:
Functional Specification – Initiation
First off, to provide solutions, you need to analyze your IT processes, systems, and people. Write a functional spec, internal to the IT department but must be based on the requirements set forth by marketing.
That sets out the specification formally against which the solution can be measured at every phase of the project. On the basis of the WHY requirements, this would be the WHAT part of the project.
Design Specification – Definition
This is the HOW part. Now is the time when you must decide how to design the project. You are responsible for providing various IT resources to your team members.
In the design phase, you will design all of the components of the solution, including the hardware, software, user interface, security and integration with other systems.
The Project Manager will often get a prototype built, so that the customer can see roughly what the solution will look and feel like, before the development phase begins.
Develop – Execution
The longest and most time consuming phase is always the development of the system. This involves writing software code, constructing hardware, building the database, writing the user interface and fitting together each of the components into a complete product for the customer.
If any delay is bound to happen, it will be in the development phase. The typical delay is basically due to insufficient analysis and design being completed.
Test – Monitoring
When the product has been built, it’s time to test it to see if it performs as expected. You will have already agreed with the customer what it is that should be tested and what the outcome should be.
There are various types of testing including system, load, performance, security, and user interface testing.
Implement – Completion
You go live, so to speak, by installing the hardware and software at the customers site, and migrating the data over from the existing system to the new system.
Some final checks and balances are performed to ensure that the data is accurate and the system is performing as expected. You are then done and you have successfully finished the project.
In a Nutshell
While the phases in an IT project may be different than other projects, the way you manage them will be the same.
This column is © copyright to www.Method123.com and originally appeared in their weekly project management tip newsletter.
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