Lessons From IT and Non-IT Projects (by Peter W. G. Morris)

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Lessons From IT and Non-IT Projects using an article by Peter W. G. Morris. This is for a subject on Project Management

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Lessons From IT and Non-IT Projects (by Peter W. G. Morris)

  1. 1. Project management Lessons From IT and Non-IT Projects Peter W. G. Morris
  2. 2. Author Credentials <ul><ul><li>Professor Peter W.G. Morris </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In 2004, Professor Morris delivered two important research-based books: The Wiley Guide to Managing Projects (Wiley), co-edited with Professor Jeffrey Pinto, and the PMI publication, Translating Corporate Strategy into Project Strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Head of the School of Construction and Project Management at University College London since 2002 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Director of the Centre for Research in the Management of Projects, a joint UCL-UMIST collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2005 recipient of the Project Management Institute Research Achievement Award </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>IT projects have a notorious reputation, in many respects just deserved. </li></ul><ul><li>IT projects are more difficult to manage and not due to those working on IT projects are in some primitive stage of ignorance of the benefits of project mgmt </li></ul><ul><li>Often not recognized that IT was one of the pioneering industries in the development of project mgmt and has remained at the forefront of the disclipine. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Project management or management of project <ul><ul><li>What is the difference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Which is one is better/ or is there a choice </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Precondition of success in major project <ul><li>There are actually 99 factors, but the author have cut down to 22 precondition of success </li></ul><ul><li>These factors have influence a project being successful </li></ul><ul><li>And the project ranging from Thames barrier, the UK Nuclear power programme to computerization of the Pay as you Earn taxations scheme </li></ul>
  6. 6. What is the precondition of success? <ul><li>Good planning, clear schedule and adequate back up strategies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The broad system aspects of the project recognized </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sub-objective identified, assessed and developed clearly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Back up strategies prepared for high risk areas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Good design/ technology management, especially where there is technical uncertainly or complexity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The extend to which R&D is completed recognized as affecting the accuracy of the estimate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Attention paid to detail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Design ‘frozen’ once agreed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Concurrency avoided where possible </li></ul><ul><li>Effects of external factors on definitions of project success properly recognized (e.g. prices, regulation, technical development, government/corporate changes) </li></ul><ul><li>Full cognizance given to the potentially harmful effects of urgency </li></ul><ul><li>Political support obtained </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Requisite sponsorship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Political support for necessary management actions </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. What is the precondition of success? <ul><li>Good positive client, parent company and senior management attitudes, interrelationships and commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Comprehensive and clearly communicated project definition </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The project organized appropriately </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Magnitude of task properly recognized </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prefeasibility, feasibility and design study phases carried out in an orderly fashion. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The project appropriate to the size, complexity and urgency of the project </li></ul><ul><li>Community factors properly considered and controlled </li></ul><ul><li>Full financial analysis of all project risks undertaken </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sponsors interested in success of project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Availability of funding </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Innovations in contract strategy consider, where appropriate. (i.e. the form of contract) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contractors made financially responsible for their performance as far as possible though not unfairly penalized for factors outside their control </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Benefit of interference by owners in execution of contracts carefully accessed. </li></ul><ul><li>Firm, effective leadership and management from the outset </li></ul>
  8. 8. What is the precondition of success? <ul><li>Effective team working </li></ul><ul><li>Communication excellent </li></ul><ul><li>Resources adequate </li></ul><ul><li>Labour practice consistent amongst and between contractors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Site labour agreement considered </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Project controls highly visible, simple and ‘friendly’ </li></ul><ul><li>Full recognition given to quality assurance and auditing </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition at all times that projects are built by people, non of whom are prefect. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Factors Affecting Project Success
  10. 10. The management of IT projects <ul><li>6 characteristics of IT projects </li></ul>
  11. 11. External Factors <ul><li>IT projects interact with their environment much more than other industries. </li></ul><ul><li>IT industry places high demands on project definition and project management behavior that intimately matched to current and future strategic needs of its users’ business strategy. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Cost-Benefit Analysis <ul><ul><li>Considerable evidence shows that there’s a strong emphasis on ‘hard’ benefits. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Might have missed some of the softer, harder to quantify benefits. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Competitive positioning, opportunity costs, marketing gains… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Result: Many marginal projects may not be initiated despite their important benefits. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Project Definition <ul><li>Technical definition is one of the most difficult and important challenges of managing IT projects. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying who the user really is </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Which aspects of the total project are non-IT? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To do prototyping or not? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capacity </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Timing <ul><li>IT projects are implemented in phases, much more than other industries. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Project Implementation: 1. Organisational Matters <ul><li>Two most important factors in ensuring implementation success: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Top management support and project leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provides both organizational and contractual clout. </li></ul><ul><li>Ensures crucial tie-in to business strategy and organization’s actual business needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Strong leadership: internal & external project champion </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational structure </li></ul><ul><li>IT project personnel work very long hours. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Project Implementation: 2. Control and Communication <ul><li>It projects are highly complex and need user approval at frequent milestones. </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, they need extremely detailed and careful definition of project. </li></ul><ul><li>IT projects use work breakdown structures, task-responsibility matrices extremely rigorously. </li></ul><ul><li>If projects are defined carefully, progress can be identified accurately. </li></ul><ul><li>Solves the great problems of IT project implementation – the ’95 per cent complete’ syndrome. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Conclusion <ul><li>For what the IT industry had done, which is not easily found in other project industries, is to learn how to ‘project manage’ a particular class of technical challenge and at the same time facing up to even harder questions of ensuring projects gives user satisfaction in a fast-changing environment. </li></ul>

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