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Week2 IBS 540. NEEDS IDENTIFICATION CONCEPTS. The first phase in the project life cycle

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needs identification concepts

The first phase in the project life cycle

The needs identification process is the initial phase of the project lifecycle. It starts with the recognition of a need, problem, or opportunity and ends with the issuance of a request for proposal.


Purpose of preparing and RFP :

The purpose of preparing a RFP is to state,

comprehensively and in detail, what is

required, from the customer’s point of view,

to address the identified need.

Why are the terms comprehensively and in detail so important ?


A good RFP allows contractors or a project team to

understand what the customers expects

so that they can prepare a thorough proposal that will

satisfy the customer’s requirements

at a realistic price.


Preparing a request for proposal occurs at the end of the needs identification phase.








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Guidelines for drafting a formal RFP

The example starts off with an opening statement that covers the general objective of

the project and establishes confidential treatment of the project information.


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Guidelines for drafting a formal RFP


An RFP must include an SOW.

An SOW communicates the scope of the project, outlining the tasks or work elements

the customer wants project team to perform.


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Guidelines for drafting a formal RFP


An RFP must include the customer requirements, which define specifications and


Requirements should cover size, quantity, colour, weight, speed, and other physical

or operational parameters the contractor’s proposed solution must satisfy.


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Guidelines for drafting a formal RFP


Required Process Details

Performance / Quality expectations


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Guidelines for drafting a formal RFP


The RFP must state what deliverables the customer expects the contractor and

project team to provide.

Deliverable are the tangible items that the contractor or project team is to provide.


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Guidelines for drafting a formal RFP


The RFP should list any customer supplied items.


The RFP might state the approvals required by the customer.


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Guidelines for drafting a formal RFP


Some RFP’s might mention the type of contract the customer intends to use.

Some contracts can be for a fixed price and some can be for time and materials.

Due Date:

The RFP should state the required due date for proposal submission.


The RFP should state the required schedule for completion of the project.


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Guidelines for drafting a formal RFP


An RFP should state the payment terms the customer intends to utilize.

A detailed definition of “complete” should be defined on the contract and in terms of measurable deliverables. This will ensure that payment terms are tied to finite deliverables.


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Guidelines for drafting a formal RFP

The RFP should provide instructions for the minimum format and content required in

the proposal. This will allow the review process to be easier due to standard format

and clearer expectations on minimum information requirements.


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Guidelines for drafting a formal RFP

Evaluation criteria is the criteria that the customer will use to evaluate proposals from

competing contractors in order to select the one to perform the project.

Criteria could include:

Contractor’s experience with similar projects, technical approach proposed, the

schedule, and the costs.


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Once the RFP has been prepared, the customer solicits proposals by notifying

potential contractors that the RFP is available.

A method is for the customer to research and identify a select group of contractors in

advance and send them a copy of the RFP.

Another method is for large organizations like governments to post the RFP’s in

standard publications (Commerce Business Daily) or bulletin boards for viewing by

potential contractors.


Why would a a customer give contractors instructions in the

RFP to submit their proposals according to a standard format?




The Proposed Solution process is the

second phase of the project lifecycle.

It starts when the RFP becomes available at the

conclusion of the needs identification phase and ends

when an agreement is reached with the person,

organization, or contractor selected to implement the

proposed solution.


The Proposed Solution phase is complete when an agreement is completed

between customer and vendor.








project brief
Project Brief
  • Project BriefIncludes Business Overview
  • Also called Creative Brief, or User Experience
    • Target audience
    • Sites Goals
    • Competitors
  • Provides more details about what is to be done than indicated RFP
  • Just indicate user-system interaction
    • don’t specify how
    • use plain English
  • Important for team communication
  • Very important for next phases.
  • We are done with
    • Identifying a need
    • Creating an RFP
    • Creating a proposal
    • Creating a Project Brief
    • Now that we know what really the customer wants we can start creating our team. But how?
      • Are there enough programmers or marketers available within the company?
      • Can I (as a project manager) work with anybody I want to work with?
  • “Full Time Equivalents” – used for creating a team and estimating a project budget
  • Your team has specialists in many fields, but may only draw on each one as needed
  • Examples: Designers, QA, anybody
  • Link to FTE example, discuss
the need for fte
The Need For FTE
  • You are requesting resources from the upper management
    • You may want to include certain team members in your team but they may not be available
    • FTE also helps you create project’s schedule and budget
process management
Process Management
  • Introduction
    • Information system development and maintenance are business processes — very complex business processes.
    • Like most business processes, information system development processes must be managed.
    • Process management is a prerequisite to systems development project management.
      • Process management is the planning, selection, deployment, and consistent application of standard system development methods, tools, techniques, and technologies to all information system projects.
    • For most information system organizations, process management is built around a system development methodology.
process management1
Process Management
  • Management of the Methodology
    • Once a methodology has been selected (or developed), it must be implemented.
    • This can be an enormous undertaking that requires the following:
      • Establishing visibility for the methodology by educating all developers, managers, and technical support staff in the basic development process, tools, and techniques to be used.
      • Providing just-in-time detailed training to development teams as each team begins its first project.
      • Providing consultation to project teams as they apply the methodology.
      • Improving the methodology.
jjg 5 planes
Jjg – 5 planes

From “The Elements of User Experience” by Jesse James Garrett

teams work
  • Client-contractor relationships
  • Broad expertise
  • Communication is key
client team
Client Team
  • Client team members
    • project leader (producer, team leader, …)
      • coordinates efforts of client organization
      • liaison to developer
    • decision maker(s)
      • needs information
    • webmaster(s)
      • manages/maintains site hosting
client team1
Client Team
  • Client team members
    • contentmasters
      • responsible for providing content
    • other content contributors
      • writers, photographers, artists, designers, etc.
  • Timely coordination important
developer types
Developer Types
  • Proprietors
    • individual or small group
    • only interested in creating site
    • not much interest in administrative aspects
  • Partnerships
    • more serious about developing sites
    • usually start with small projects
developer types1
Developer Types
  • Boutiques
    • larger partnerships (10+ people) that includes administrative and sales personnel
    • many design-oriented jobs or some technically-oriented jobs
  • Agencies
    • multidisciplinary; go after larger jobs
    • usually outsource many design functions
    • look for accounts rather than single jobs
development team
Development Team
  • Formal teams more productive
  • IT or advertising often vie for site control
  • Classification of team members
    • core
      • key personnel for all kinds of web development
      • examples: producer, designers
    • extended
      • personnel not always needed or have cross-functional roles
      • examples: programmer, network engineer
    • special
      • have skills not part of core or extended team
      • examples: audio engineering, security specialist
developer team
Developer Team
  • Executive production (COO)
    • Responsible for informing, empowering team
    • Some skills needed
      • similar project management and development experience (software, film, etc.)
      • understanding of scheduling, budgeting, resource allocation
      • leadership ability
      • oral and written communication skills
      • ability to handle stress
developer team1
Developer Team
  • Account manager
    • client advocate in large companies
    • handles business relationship with client
  • Technical lead
    • helps design staffs for all current jobs
  • Production specialist
    • implements website with HTML, Java, etc.
    • integrates all components for delivery to client
  • Production manager
    • manages production staff
    • schedules resources
developer team2
Developer Team
  • Creative director
    • provides vision for site
    • plans site with designers
  • System administrator
    • maintains computer/network systems
    • updates, security, tools, etc.
  • Designer
    • makes design decisions including user-interface and navigation
    • gives site “look and feel”
developer team3
Developer Team
  • Project manager
    • manages day-to-day activity
    • keeps project in budget and on schedule
  • Creative staff
    • copywriters, artists, strategists, interface designers, etc.
  • Office manager
    • handles administrative details (contracts, paying bills, payroll, etc.)
developer team4
Developer Team
  • Information architect
    • responsible for navigation, interactive design, search and data retrieval, etc.
  • Quality assurance lead
    • assures that site produced meets specifications provided
  • Technical support staff
    • supports design function
technical support staff
Technical Support Staff
  • Database Architect
    • designs database
  • Developers/programmers
    • client-side (Java apps, scripts, etc.)
    • server-side (connect HTML to databases)
  • Technical writers
    • document process for client and developer
technical support functions
Technical Support Functions
  • Database development and use
  • Extensive programming
  • Security issues
  • Video/audio engineering
  • Webcasts
building a team
Building a Team
  • Identify necessary skills
  • Assessing skills of personnel
  • Other considerations
    • critical deadline?
    • risks
    • interpersonal skills
  • Cross-functional capabilities
building a team1
Building a Team
  • Professional motivation
    • task-oriented
      • motivated by work
    • self-oriented
      • motivated by personal success, recognition
    • interaction-oriented
      • motivated by presence, actions of co-workers
building a team2
Building a Team
  • Work habits
    • Programmers
      • solitary, usually work alone
      • ask about risks, concerns
    • Designers
      • usually perfectionists
      • keep on task
    • Writers
      • solitary
      • must know who audience is, project objectives
leading a team
Leading a Team
  • Provide motivation and support
  • Balance timeline with budget
  • Keep goals in mind
  • Don’t let personal attributes get in way of completing project
communication strategies

Communication Strategies

How do you communicate the necessary information to a large team?

What are the pros & cons of different strategies?

meetings vs documents
Meetings vs. Documents
  • Two of the major means of team communication
  • Both meetings & documents have their uses
  • Both work as a dialog
  • When do you have a meeting, when do you write a document? (discuss)
have a meeting when
Have a meeting when…
  • People are available, but you have more questions than answers
  • The information available is fuzzy, and may require clarification
  • You need group communication quickly
  • Communication levels are low, and/or people are ‘unclear’ or tense (face-to-face contact is good for communication)
  • At the beginning of every project!
  • When important information has changed
  • On a regular basis (weekly)
write a document when
Write a document when…
  • You have the answers / information
  • You’ll need this info at some later date(detailed information, reference information, contractual agreements, schedules)
  • The info is stable, not going to change quickly (project requirements, for example)
  • You need precise, detailed answers, or approval on precise, detailed proposals
  • After an important decision in a meeting (especially if it only included part of the team)
tips for running a meeting
Tips for running a meeting
  • Reserve a space and a time
  • Make sure everyone can be there
  • Have a written agenda (copies for everyone)
  • Start promptly (make sure everyone’s there)
  • Make the introductions (esp. w/clients, vendors)
  • Stick to the agenda (stay focussed, but be flexible)
  • Finish promptly (don’t drag on 3hrs if you scheduled 30min)
  • Decide on Next Steps
  • Follow up with an email (notes, decisions, & next steps)
tips for writing documentation
Tips for writing Documentation
  • Be detailed & thorough, but concise (it’s not a letter to grandma)
  • Use topic headings to organize subjects, make it easy to scan (people are busy, you want them to read this)
  • Keep documentation current (and announce changes!)
  • Put a date on everything (simple version control)
  • Numbering is a matter of style (1.1.2, 1.2.3…)
  • Post documentation on your Project Site(what’s a Project Site?)
next deliverable
Next Deliverable
  • Project Briefand User Experience Includes Business Overview
    • Target audience
    • Sites Goals
    • Competitors
    • Customize and complete the questionnaire
next deliverable1
Next Deliverable
  • Provides more details about what is to be done than indicated in RFP
  • Just indicate user-system interaction
    • don’t specify how
    • use plain English
  • Keep updated; implementation will likely occur close to launch
  • Important for team communication
  • Very important for next phases.
  • FTEs – create your team, and indicate how much of each member’s time you expect to need during each phase of your project