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IT Project Management



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  • 2. Objectives of Project Management 2 The important goal is to deliver a quality product that meets the business needs on time, every time with an affordable budget. There are 3 basic constraints that needs to managed to achieve this. They are : Time Scope Cost
  • 3. SOME DEFINITIONS 3 Project A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service. It typically is a one time initiative that can be divided into related activities that require coordination and control, with a definite beginning and ending. Project Management The application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements of a particular project.
  • 4. SOME DEFINITIONS 4 Program A group of projects managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually. Program Management Office An organizational unit with full-time personnel to provide full range of standard approaches to project management support and services that are utilized across projects; lessons learned from each project are collected from post- project reviews and shared across project managers.
  • 5. IT PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT 5 Its typically the responsibility of a committee of senior business managers and IT leaders of an organization to prioritize, manage and maintain the approved IT projects. Decision making about any important aspects in the project are made here. It is the responsibility of the organization to maintain a trusted relation with the business, and also monitor the progress of the approved projects.
  • 6. PROJECT PRIORITIZATION 6 The idea of prioritization on different projects is based on organizational standards and vision of implementation. Most organizations prioritize their projects based on the investment, financial returns and obviously the strength in personnel, and the technologies that can actually handle the project.
  • 7. PROJECT PRIORITIZATION 7 According to Denis et al(2004) prioritization is of four types: Absolute Must A mandate due to security, legal, regulatory, or end-of-life-cycle IT issues. Highly Desired/Business-Critical Includes short term projects with good financial returns and portions of very large projects already in progress. Wanted Valuable, but with longer time periods for returns on investment. Nice to have Projects with good returns but with lower potential business value.
  • 8. PROJECT MANAGEMENT 8 New projects requests are typically submitted using an organizational template.
  • 9. PROJECT MANAGEMENT ROLES 9 Usually every project in an IT organization may contain 3 roles in common. Project Manager Project Sponsor Project champion However the role of project manager is more critical in every project management.
  • 10. PROJECT MANAGER 10 Any systems project is typically led by an IT project manager demonstrated with both technical and managerial skills. He is responsible for managing relationships with the project sponsors and other stake holders, as well as initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing a project. He is the one who is responsible to identify, and manage risks during any phase of project execution.
  • 11. PROJECT MANAGER 11 Project manager is the one who should maintain the metrics and monitor the progress of project. He is the one who should make sure all the deliverables are delivered to the business as per the schedule. He also maintains the project budget and work towards improving financial returns on the project. He takes care of scheduling, and staffing the resources.
  • 12. PROJECT MANAGER 12 Effective project manager should not only have technical expertise, but also should possess some non technical skills.
  • 13. 13
  • 14. PROJECT SPONSOR 14 Project Sponsor is a high level fiscal owner of the project. He is typically a business manager who financially “owns” the project (i.e., the person who “writes the check” for the project). For systems projects that will be implemented in multiple business functions or business units, the sponsor is likely to be the officer of the company(e.g., a CFO or COO) or designated owner of major business process (e.g., a supply chain manager).
  • 15. PROJECT CHAMPION 15 The project champion is a business manager with high credibility among the business users who will be impacted by the new system. Project champions are usually business analysts who have a very good knowledge on the domain and the workflow of the customers. For some projects project sponsors may also play a role of project champion.
  • 16. THE PROJECT LIFE CYCLE 16 There are four different phases in which any project life cycle is categorized into. They are: Project Initiation Project Planning Project Execution and Control Project Closing
  • 17. PROJECT INITIATION 17 This is the first phase in which the project is formally authorized and a determination is made as to whether the project should actually proceed or not. The important deliverable in this phase is a Project Charter. Project Charter is a document that describes a project’s objectives, scope, assumptions, and estimated benefits.
  • 18. PROJECT INITIATION 18 Project feasibility is assessed in various dimensions here. Like : Economic – Positive Financial Return? Operation – Impact on Organizational operation? Technical – Technology and required expertise? Schedule – Time constraints and impact? Legal or Contractual – Legal conflicts? Political – positive support from all stake holders?
  • 19. PROJECT PLANNING 19 The objective of project planning process is to ensure that the project goals are achieved in the most appropriate way. The 3 major components of project planning are: Scheduling Budgeting Staffing These components are obviously interrelated, and poor planning for one component can severely effect the another.
  • 20. SCHEDULING 20 Project Scheduling usually starts with work breakdown analysis. Work breakdown is a basic management technique that systematically subdivides blocks of work down to level of detail at which the project can be controlled. Once the work is broken down, estimates are given for each and every task based on the past experience. A master schedule is defined with Project milestone dates and deliverables.
  • 21. BUDGETING 21 It documents the anticipated cost for the whole project. There are two traditional approaches to estimating project costs: Bottom-up approach – costs estimated based on the tasks in project plan and are then integrated.(Most preferred) Top down approach – used when not much information is known in the project or not very clear about the tasks.
  • 22. BUDGETING 22 According to Frame(1994), inexperienced estimators typically fall into 3 estimation traps: Too optimistic about what is needed to do the job. Tend to leave components out of estimates. Do not use a consistent methodology for estimations. Good training in how to estimate project estimates should be mandatory for all the PMs involved in estimations.
  • 23. BUDGETING 23 Sometimes project estimates are done inaccurate purposefully and can have adverse effect on the project. They are : Highballing(budget padding) – Overestimating project costs on purpose.-- Projects may not be approved sometimes because of this. Lowballing– Underestimating project costs on purpose.-- Sometimes helps in gaining project approval, but can resultin failed projects due to over budget.
  • 24. STAFFING 24 Project team must have a mix of IT skilled resources to be a successful one. PM should be capable enough to estimate the skill type, proficiency level, quantity and time required for a resource to complete a particular task. Appropriate “knowledge transfers” are done for a specific project. Established COE to achieve skilled resources for future projects. Provide incentives to retain high skilled resources. Ensure proper knowledge on business is delivered to resources from SMEs.
  • 25. STAFFING 25 Staffing must include exercises which help in “team building” to inculcate motivation and team spirit among all team members. Some resources must be assigned full time for the project, and some can be hired on contract based on the skillset required for the project. However having employees on contract is not always advisable because of the risks and standards of the organization from which they are hired.
  • 26. PLANNING DOCUMENTS 26 Two primary deliverables from the Planning phase Statement of Work(SOW) – A high level document for the customer that describes what the project will deliver and when. Project Plan – A formal document that includes the project schedule, budget, and assigned resources that is used by the project manager to guide the execution and control of project.
  • 27. PLANNING DOCUMENTS 27 Other common planning documents are : (1) PERT or CPM charts (2) Gantt chart. PERT(Program Evaluation or Review Technique) or CPM(Critical Path Method) graphically models the sequence of project tasks and interrelationships using a flow chart.
  • 28. PLANNING DOCUMENTS 28 A Gantt chart graphically depicts the estimated times (and later, the actual times) Overlapping tasks can be easily seen.
  • 29. PROJECT EXECUTION AND CONTROL 29 The objective of the execution process is to effectively coordinate all the resources as the project plan is carried out. Most projects exhibit the following characteristics: Risk and uncertainty are highest at the start of the project The ability of the project stakeholders to influence the outcome is highest at the start of the project Cost and staffing levels are lower at the start of the project and higher toward at the end The deliverable for this phase is the completed project.
  • 30. PROJECT EXECUTION AND CONTROL 30 Good communication among the team members are also critical for task coordination and integration Communications with other stake holders should be simple and accurate
  • 31. PROJECT EXECUTION AND CONTROL 31 Request for change (RFCs) are something which effects the project flow. All the changes are to bedocumented with the RFCs so thatwe will have a record of the cost,and schedule being effected.
  • 32. PROJECT EXECUTION AND CONTROL 32 Be considerate about people-related and process-related “early warning signs”. People related “Early warning signs” Required business stakeholder may be unavailable sometimes Process related “Early warning signs” Lack of documentation
  • 33. MANAGING PROJECT RISKS 33 Reduce the risk of failing to achieve the project’s objectives
  • 34. MANAGING BUSINESS CHANGE 34 Change Management is the ability to successfully introduce change to individuals and organizational units. According to Lewin/Schein most of business changes have their roots in 3 stages. Unfreezing Stage – Should be in “safe to change” environment. Moving Stage – Requires KTs for necessary information Refreezing stage – Changing the original setup.
  • 35. MANAGING BUSINESS CHANGE 35 Kotter change management model: Establish a sense of urgency Form a powerful guiding coalition Create a vision Communicate the vision Empower others to act on the vision Plan for and create short term wins Consolidate improvements and produce still more change Institutionalize new approaches
  • 36. PROJECT CLOSING 36 Project closure includes a post-project review session. Discussions during post project review: What went good? What went bad and how can be overcome that in future? What are the lessons learned through this project?
  • 37. MANAGING COMPLEX IT PROJECTS 37 Most of the times experienced IT PMs in an organization are asked to handle complex IT projects. Three high level factors that are critical for a complex IT projects are: The business vision was integral part of project A testing strategy was used at the program level The projects used a phase release approach.
  • 38. MANAGING VIRTUAL TEAMS 38 Outsourcing IT applications Virtual teamwork can also introduce new IT project risks due to 3 related factors: Difference in communication norms Unfamiliarity with different cultures Lack of trusting relationships across team members. However this strategy is encouraging because of cost effectiveness.
  • 39. LESSONS LEARNED 39 Most IT projects are successful when they actually follow all the standards that are defined for the project. Be pro active in every phase of project until closure. PMs are important and should be hired with appropriate knowledge. Document everything as it would be used for other teams following the same standards. Managing different teams would be a risk but can be handled if dealt properly. Risks should always be kept in mind in every phase.
  • 40. QUESTIONS 40