Project Management for IT Professionals
Rationale for selecting this course:
Getting a go ahead in the project management field, which is becoming important in today’s workplace.
How this course relates to modern world:
I can handle the projects more easily and in a professional way. Now that work is been done more of, in a project wise manner, it’s essential to acquire the project management skills.
Project Management for Software development by Learning Tree International, web articles, & IT magazines.
A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.
The application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to run project activities to in most efficient and cost effective manner.
Need for a Project in business context:
- Research new technology
- Research new products
- Develop new software
- Provide a better service
Project management benefits:
- Assign a dedicate team of professionals to make them accountable for a certain project.
- Each project team member role is clear
- Goal is predictable
Need for a I.T. Project management:
- Uncover user requirements
- Set realistic due dates and hit them
- Schedule with crystal clear check points
- Motivate your team and gain commitment
- Stop fighting fires, put yourself in control
Managing I.T. Projects
- Requirements from multiple users
- Control a cross-functional team
- Craft crystal clear accountabilities for everyone
- Optimize your schedules & allocations
- Accurately estimate duration and cost
- Avoid fire-fighting by mitigating risks
Typical Project management team members:
Project Manager, Audience, Participants, Owners/management.
Role of a Project Manager:
- To keep audience informed about the project progress
- To build commitment from participants
- To identify and meet the needs of management in a cost effective manner.
Project Management Framework:
- Designing the Project Organization.
- Standard Methodologies.
- Project / Customized Methodology.
- The Use of CASE / RAD / JAD and Other Tools.
- The S/W Development Process: Evaluation / Life Cycles / Prototyping.
- Process Improvement & Capability Maturity / The SEI-CMM Model & Project Mgmt.
- International Standards and their role.
- The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).
- The Product Breakdown Structure (PBS).
- Responsibility Assignment for Planning and Implementation.
- Time and Cost Estimation: COCOMO / Function Points / Visual Env’t /Other.
- S/W Measurement / Metrics Programs.
- Scheduling with CPM and PERT.
- Configuration Management: Project Change and Version Control.
- Quality Assurance and Quality Control for IS Products.
- Risk Assessment and Management.
- The Project Integrated Plan.
- Using the Planning Products as Control tools.
- (WBS / CPM / CM Plan / QA Plan / Risk Mgmt Plan / Integrated Plan)
- Capability Maturity through Implementation.
- Implementation Levels / Gantt Charts.
- Measuring the Implemented Work: Software & Hardware.
- Progress vs. Plan / Keeping on Track.
- Earned Value Analysis.
- Re-Planning / Corrective Action.
- Commitment and Empowerment.
- Motivation and Productivity in the IS workplace.
- Team Building and Teamwork.
- Selection / Staffing for IS Projects.
- Identify minimum data requirements for project scheduling
- Develop and document best practices, in an easily accessible web-based tool
- Determine minimum data requirements needed for the project portfolio
- Gather, report, analyze initial project portfolio data
- Establish and facilitate first governance meeting
- Deliver a library of easily accessible user guides for project managers, resource managers, team members, sponsors and executives
- Develop and implement processes to enable all project managers to deliver on minimum criteria
- Add/hire staff to take on roles that provide effective enterprise support Implement necessary training/education/development processes
General Code of Conduct for Project Management Professionals
Organizational Code of Conduct
The Organization and its employees must, at all times, comply with all applicable laws and regulations. The Organization will not condone the activities of employees who achieve results through violation of the law or unethical business dealings. This includes any payments for illegal acts, indirect contributions, rebates and bribery. The Organization does not permit any activity that fails to stand the closest possible public scrutiny.
All business conduct should be well above the minimum standards required by law. Accordingly, employees must ensure that their actions cannot be interpreted as being, in any way, in contravention of the laws and regulations governing the Organization's worldwide operations.
Employees uncertain about the application or interpretation of any legal requirements should refer the matter to their superior, who, if necessary, should seek the advice of the Law Department.
General Employee Conduct
The Organization expects its employees to conduct themselves in a businesslike manner. Drinking, gambling, fighting, swearing and similar unprofessional activities are strictly prohibited while on the job.
Employees must not engage in sexual harassment, or conduct themselves in a way that could be construed as such, for example, by using inappropriate language, keeping or posting inappropriate materials in their work area, or accessing inappropriate materials on their computer.
Conflicts of Interest
The Organization expects that employees will perform their duties conscientiously, honestly and in accordance with the best interests of the Organization. Employees must not use their position or the knowledge gained as a result of their position for private or personal advantage. Regardless of the circumstances, if employees sense that a course of action they have pursued, are presently pursuing or are contemplating pursuing may involve them in a conflict of interest with their employer, they should immediately communicate all the facts to their superior.
Outside Activities, Employment and Directorships
All employees share a serious responsibility for an Organization's good public relations, especially at the community level. Their readiness to help with religious, charitable, educational and civic activities brings credit to the Organization and is encouraged. Employees must, however, avoid acquiring any business interest or participating in any other activity outside the Organization that would, or would appear to.
- Create an excessive demand upon their time and attention, thus depriving the Organization of their best efforts on the job.
- Create a conflict of interest-an obligation, interest or distraction-that may interfere with the independent exercise of judgment in the Organization's best interest.
Relationships with Clients and Suppliers
Employees should avoid investing in or acquiring a financial interest for their own accounts in any business organization that has a contractual relationship with the Organization, or that provides goods or services, or both to the Organization, if such investment or interest could influence or create the impression of influencing their decisions in the performance of their duties on behalf of the Organization.
Gifts, Entertainment and Favors
Employees must not accept entertainment, gifts, or personal favors that could, in any way, influence, or appear to influence, business decisions in favor of any person or organization with whom or with which the Organization has, or is likely to have, business dealings. Similarly, employees must not accept any other preferential treatment under these circumstances because their position with the Organization might be inclined to, or be perceived to, place them under obligation.
Kickbacks and Secret Commissions
Regarding the Organization's business activities, employees may not receive payment or compensation of any kind, except as authorized under the Organization's remuneration policies. In particular, the Organization strictly prohibits the acceptance of kickbacks and secret commissions from suppliers or others. Any breach of this rule will result in immediate termination and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.
Organization Funds and Other Assets
Employees who have access to Organization funds in any form must follow the prescribed procedures for recording, handling and protecting money as detailed in the Organization's instructional manuals or other explanatory materials, or both. The Organization imposes strict standards to prevent fraud and dishonesty. If employees become aware of any evidence of fraud and dishonesty, they should immediately advise their superior or the Law Department so that the Organization can promptly investigate further.
When an employee's position requires spending Organization funds or incurring any reimbursable personal expenses, that individual must use good judgment on the Organization's behalf to ensure that good value is received for every expenditure. Organization funds and all other assets of the Organization are for Organization purposes only and not for personal benefit. This includes the personal use of organizational assets such as computers.
Organization Records and Communications
Accurate and reliable records of many kinds are necessary to meet the Organization's legal and financial obligations and to manage the affairs of the Organization. The Organization's books and records must reflect in an accurate and timely manner all business transactions. The employees responsible for accounting and record-keeping must fully disclose and record all assets, liabilities, or both, and must exercise diligence in enforcing these requirements.
Employees must not make or engage in any false record or communication of any kind, whether internal or external, including but not limited to-
- False expense, attendance, production, financial or similar reports and statements
- False advertising, deceptive marketing practices, or other misleading representations
Dealing With Outside People and Organizations
Employees must take care to separate their personal roles from their Organization positions when communicating on matters not involving Organization business. Employees must not use organization identification, stationery, supplies and equipment for personal or political matters.
When communicating publicly on matters that involve Organization business, employees must not presume to speak for the Organization on any topic, unless they are certain that the views they express are those of the Organization, and it is the Organization's desire that such views be publicly disseminated.
When dealing with anyone outside the Organization, including public officials, employees must take care not to compromise the integrity or damage the reputation of either the Organization, or any outside individual, business, or government body.
In all matters relevant to customers, suppliers, government authorities, the public and others in the Organization, all employees must make every effort to achieve complete, accurate and timely communications-responding promptly and courteously to all proper requests for information and to all complaints.
Privacy and Confidentiality
When handling financial and personal information about customers or others with whom the Organization has dealings, observe the following principles:
- Collect, use, and retain only the personal information necessary for the Organization's business. Whenever possible, obtain any relevant information directly from the person concerned. Use only reputable and reliable sources to supplement this information.
- Retain information only for as long as necessary or as required by law. Protect the physical security of this information.
- Limit internal access to personal information to those with a legitimate business reason for seeking that information. Only use personal information for the purposes for which it was originally obtained. Obtain the consent of the person concerned before externally disclosing any personal information, unless legal process or contractual obligation provides otherwise.
Impact Analysis of a typical project management plan
Describe the impact (what and why):
CEO, CIO, CFO
Executives will have a real-time view of how their project capital and resources are allocated. This enables more informed decision-making and what-if scenario planning. Executives will have improved information around the implications of timeline constraints and scope changes. All projects will be prioritized by the executives.
Project Offices will have access to processes, to a portfolio view of their collection of projects and to a detailed analysis of how their project resources are being deployed.
Improved project management competencies, standardized life cycle, planning and scheduling methodologies, help with resource issues, issue tracking and collaboration will help reduce project overruns. Most project managers will need training to leverage the capabilities of tools provided. Sponsor support will be significantly enhanced. Cross-functional executive support will be more visible.
Team members will be called on to help improve delivery. They will better understand the link between their work and the organization’s goals. Team members will not make decisions on task priorities. Cross-functional barriers between team members will be broken down to improve workflow and quality.
Project priorities will be clear. Conflicts between project and resource managers will be significantly reduced.
Critical Success Factors
- Executive and Project Management Office support across the organization
- Project Management Training and Skills Development at every level of the organization
- Quality marketing of the PMO, its tools and support
- Acquisition/Development of quality products to support excellence in portfolio management and project management
- Effective tool training
- Executive ownership of the portfolio
Improving Project Management Process:
- Develop a vision of the desire process
- Understand the current status of the development process
- Build a plan of the required process improvement actions in priority order
- Commit the resources to execute the plan.
Principal functions of phases:
- Identify the requirements
- Designing the project plan
- Constructing the physical solution
- Testing for success
- Maintenance (correction of crrors and managing the changes)
Means to deliver a balanced Project:
- Identify the project objectives (goal, deliverables)
- Decide the project approach (life cycle)
- Construct the plan
- Analyse the plan
- Implement the plan
- Review the project
Reasons for Planning:
- Think the problem through
- interpret what is happening to the project
- impact assessment
- compare possibilities
- visible road map
Risk assessment may be the most important step in the risk management process, and may also be the most difficult and prone to error. Once risks have been identified and assessed, the steps to properly deal with them are much more programmatical.
Part of the difficulty of risk management is that measurement of both of the quantities in which risk assessment is concerned can be very difficult itself. Uncertainty in the measurement is often large in both cases. Also, risk management would be simpler if a single metric could embody all of the information in the measurement. However, since two quantities are being measured, this is not possible. A risk with a large potential loss and a low probability of occurring must be treated differently than one with a low potential loss but a high likelihood of occurring. In theory both are of nearly equal priority in dealing with first, but in practice it can be very difficult to manage when faced with the scarcity of resources, especially time, in which to conduct the risk management process.
Conceptual thinking for Project Success:
Defining project success before you start requires conceptual thinking. We need to conceive a project as a linked chain of measured achievements. We create this chain by starting at the end of the project -- yes, the end. The last achievement is the sponsor's definition of success. This success definition needs to be measurable and preferably quantifiable.
- "Provide the best possible customer service," is neither. Sure it sounds good and no one will disagree, but it's mush. We can't measure whether or not we have achieved this.
- "Answer 95% of our customer's calls within 120 seconds," is measurable and quantifiable. People will argue about whether this is what they want and that's the point; we want to define good customer service before we start the project.
After a sponsor "buys off" on this second definition of success, we will not have to argue about whether or not we succeeded. Let's go back and look at how a PM would develop this measure of success using this customer service example. As the PM, you're assigned a project which the sponsor describes as consisting of a new information system, training and installation for a customer service division that answers telephone inquiries. Immediately, you find yourself deluged with the technical details of hardware, programming and training that the new customer service system requires. As challenging and important as these are, they are only activities.
The success definition is not to install hardware and software. The success definition must be a strategic result. The sponsor wants to talk about activities. As project manager, you need to force a discussion of what the end result will look like in terms you and the sponsor can measure. After long discussions, you may finally unearth that the sponsor's real desire is to reduce the number of times that a customer problem is not solved on the first call.
Now we're getting someplace. You and the sponsor work out the measurement process and come up with a tight success measure like the one we had above; resolve 95% of all customer problems during the first call (i.e., no call backs or second calls about the same problem). Of course, finding out how stakeholders will measure a project's success at the end is not an easy task. The measurement is never just a budget and due date. Often the project's sponsor doesn't know how he will measure success and the PM and sponsor are both easily snared in the same activity trap. Focusing on activities, the PM would not discover what the sponsor really wants to "buy" until the project is complete, and stakeholders and sponsors express their disappointment.
Work Breakdown Structure (WBS):
A deliverable oriented grouping of project elements which organized and defines the total scope of the project. Each descending level represents an increasingly detailed definition of a project component. Project management may be products or services.
WBS can be organized by phase, discipline, product, or geographical location on the activities.
Milestone Identification and Creation:
A milestone is a significant event in the project, usually the completion of a major deliverable.
Examples of milestone:
- Project goal and deliverables documented and agreed
- Strategic risk
A Gantt chart is a popular type of bar chart, that aims to show the timing of tasks or activities as they occur over time. Although the Gantt chart did not initially indicate the relationships between activities this has become more common in current usage as both timing and interdependencies between tasks can be identified.
In project management, a Gantt chart can show when the project terminal elements start and finish, summary elements (shown) or terminal element dependencies (not shown). A terminal element is defined as the smallest task tracked as part of the project effort.
The Program Evaluation and Review Technique commonly abbreviated PERT is a model for project management invented by United States Department of Defense's US Navy Special Projects Office in 1958 as part of the Polaris mobile submarine launched ballistic missile project. This project was a direct response to the Sputnik crisis.
PERT is basically a method for analyzing the tasks involved in completing a given project, especially the time needed to complete each task, and identifying the minimum time needed to complete the total project.
By itself, the network diagram pictured above does not give much more information than a Gantt chart; however, it can be expanded to display more information. The most common information shown is:
- The activity name
- The normal duration time
- The early start time (ES)
- The early finish time (EF)
- The late start time (LS)
- The late finish time (LF)
- The slack
Project management in software development environment
- Understanding requirements
1. Understanding requirements Phase:
“The most difficult part of requirements gathering is not the act of recording what the users want; it is helping users figure out what they want”, by Steve McConnell.
- Communications channel between customer and developer
- First documented model of the system
- Basis for system design
- Partial basis for system/acceptance testing
- Used as a very approximate basis for project scoping
2. Design Phase:
During the Detailed Analysis and Design Phase, the Project Manager and the System Development Manager work closely together to:
- Complete business process engineering of the functions to be supported,
- Complete component selection.
- Develop detailed data and process models,
- Refine functional and system requirements that are not easily expressed in data and process models,
- Refine the high level architecture and logical design to support the system, functional, and electronic records management requirements,
- Continue to identify and mitigate risk that the technology can be phased-in and coordinated with the business.
There are three key reviews during the Detailed Analysis and Design Phase: the Detailed Level Requirements Review, Logical Design Review, and the Technical Design Review. This phase is completed when the Technical Review Board approves the high level architecture and system requirements, revised economic analysis, the logical design including the business process description, and the technical design. This approval is provided at these three reviews.
3. Construction Phase:
This phase has several goals:
- To describe the remaining requirements
- To flesh out the design of your system
- To ensure that your system meets the needs of its users and fits into your organization's overall system portfolio
- To complete component development an d testing, including both the software product and its documentation
- To minimize development costs by optimizing resources
- To achieve adequate quality as rapidly as possible
- To develop useful versions of your system
4. Testing Phase:
The following tasks should be completed during the Integration and Test phase.
Establish the Test Environment
Establish the various test teams and ensure the test system(s) are ready.
Conduct Integration Tests
The test and evaluation team is responsible for creating/loading the test database(s) and executing the integration test(s). This is to ensure that program components integrate properly into the subsystems and the subsystems integrate properly into an application.
Conduct Subsystem/System Testing
The test and evaluation team is responsible for creating/loading the test database(s) and executing the system test(s). All results should be documented on the Test Analysis Report, Test Problem Report and on the Test Analysis Approval Determination. Any failed components should be migrated back to the development phase for rework, and the passed components should be migrated ahead for security testing.
Conduct Security Testing
The test and evaluation team will again create or load the test database(s) and execute security (penetration) test(s). All tests will be documented, similar to those above. Failed components will be migrated back to the development phase for rework, and passed components will be migrated ahead for acceptance testing.
Conduct Acceptance Testing
The test and evaluation team will create/load the test database(s) and execute the acceptance test(s). All tests will be documented , similar to those above. Failed components will be migrated back to the development phase for rework, and passed components will migrate ahead for implementation.
Revise previous documentation
During this phase, the Systems Technical Lead or the Developers will finalize the Software Development Document from the Development Phase. He/They will also finalize the Operations or Systems Administration Manual, User Manual, Training Plan, Maintenance Manual, Conversion Plan, Implementation Plan, Contingency Plan and Update the Interface Control Document from the Design Phase. The Project Manager should finalize the System Security Plan and the Security Risk Assessment from the Requirements Analysis Phase and the Project Management Plan from the Planning Phase. The Configuration Manager should finalize the Configuration Management Plan from the Planning Phase. The Quality Assurance office/person should finalize the Quality Assurance Plan from the Planning Phase. And finally, the Project Manager should finalize the Cost Benefit Analysis and the Risk Management Plan from the System Concept Development Phase.
Roles and Responsibilities of Project manager during Test Phase:
- Project Manager. The project manager is responsible and accountable for the successful execution of the Integration and Test Phase. The project manager is responsible for leading the team that accomplishes the tasks shown above. The Project Manager is also responsible for reviewing deliverables for accuracy, approving deliverables and providing status reports to management.
- Project Team. The project team members (regardless of the organization of permanent assignment) are responsible for accomplishing assigned tasks as directed by the project manager. This includes establishing the test environment.
- Contracting Officer. The contracting officer is responsible and accountable for the procurement activities and signs contract awards.
- Security Program Manager. The Security Program Manager is responsible for conducting security tests according to the Systems Security Plan.
- Oversight Activities. Agency oversight activities, including the IRM office, provide advice and counsel for the project manager on the conduct and requirements of the Integration and Test Phase. Additionally, oversight activities provide information, judgements, and recommendations to the agency decision makers during project reviews and in support of project decision milestones.
- User. Users participate in acceptance testing to ensure systems perform as expected.
DELIVERABLES during Test Phase:
The following deliverables shall be initiated during the Integration and Test Phase:
Test Analysis Report
This report documents each test - unit/module, subsystem integration, system, user acceptance and security.
Test Analysis Approval Determination
Attached to the test analysis report as a final result of the test reviews and testing levels above the integration test; briefly summarizes the perceived readiness for migration of the software.
Test Problem Report
Document problems encountered during testing; the form is attached to the test analysis reports.
IT Systems Security Certification & Accreditation
The documents needed to obtain certification and accreditation of an information system before it becomes operational. They include: System Security Plan; Rules of Behavior; Configuration Management Plan, Risk Assessment; Security Test & Evaluation; Contingency Plan; Privacy Impact Assessments; and the certification and accreditation memorandums. The Systems Security Plan and certification/accreditation package should be approved prior to implementation and every three years thereafter
5. Implementation Phase
This phase covers the activities necessary to produce, test and commission project deliverables in accordance with the project plan. The scope may also include the decommissioning of any existing or legacy systems and the migration to the new system if included in as part of the project.
The purpose of this phase is to ensure that:
- Project implementation occurs in accordance with the project plan
- Project progress is monitored and tracked against the planned schedule
- unacceptable variance is identified early and action taken to bring the project back on track
- The products and deliverables are produced to the required standard and specification
- The product or service is commissioned and brought into operation
6. Maintenace Phase:
Maintenance includes the following on-going activities:
- technical and functional upgrades
- desktop and server hardware upgrades
- backing-up data
- disaster planning
- support of application and hardware maintenance
- communication to community
- configuration management
- functionality enhancements
- access management
- change management