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Chapter 2 : The Project Management and Information Technology Context. Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition. Note: See the text itself for full citations. Learning Objectives.

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chapter 2 the project management and information technology context

Chapter 2:The Project Management and Information Technology Context

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

Note: See the text itself for full citations.

learning objectives
Learning Objectives

Describe the systems view of project management and how it applies to information technology projects

Understand organizations, including the four frames, organizational structures, and organizational culture

Explain why stakeholder management and top management commitment are critical for a project’s success

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

learning objectives continued
Learning Objectives (continued)

Understand the concept of a project phase and the project life cycle and distinguish between project development and product development

Discuss the unique attributes and diverse nature of information technology projects

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

projects cannot be run in isolation
Projects Cannot Be Run in Isolation

Projects must operate in a broad organizational environment

Project manger need to consider projects within the organization context

Project managers need to use systems thinking:

  • A system is a set of interacting components working with an environment to fulfill some purpose
  • Taking a holistic view of carrying out projects within the context of the organization

Senior managers must make sure that projects continue to support current business needs

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

case study
Case Study

Tom Walter – Director of IT dept. in some college

Tom and his team developed plans to start requiring students to lease laptops at their college next year

In faculty meeting, chairs of other departments voiced against his idea for different reasons

Tom was in shock to hear his colleague response, especially after he and his staff spent a lot of time for planning

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

case study cont
Case study (cont.)

Tom worked in isolation with his staff

Unaware of the effect of the project on college and people

Did not identify project stakeholders, especially opponents

Did not use systems thinking

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

a systems view of project management
A Systems View of Project Management

A systems approach isan analytical approach to management and problem solving

Three parts include:

  • Systems philosophy: an overall model for thinking about things as systems
  • Systems analysis: problem-solving approach that requires:
    • defining the scope of the system,
    • dividing it into components,
    • identifying and evaluating its problems,
    • examining alternative solutions, and
    • identifying a satisfactory solution
  • Systems management: address business, technological, and organizational issues before creating or making changes to systems

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

a systems approach
A systems approach

Systems Approach

Systems philosophy

Systems management

Systems Analysis

Business

organization

technology

Political frame

HR frame

Structural frame

Symbol frame

functional

project

matrix

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

three sphere model for systems management
Three Sphere Model for Systems Management

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

understanding organizations
Understanding Organizations

Structural frame: Focuses on roles and responsibilities, coordination and control. Organization charts help define this frame.

Human resources frame: Focuses on providing harmony between needs of the organization and needs of people.

Political frame: Assumes organizations are coalitions (alliance) composed of varied individuals and interest groups. Conflict and power are key issues.

Symbolic frame: Focuses on symbols and meanings related to events. Organizational culture (how do people dress? how many hours do the work? how do they run meetings?

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

organizational structures
Organizational Structures

3 basic organization structures

  • Functional: functional managers (vice president) report to the CEO (Chief Executive Officer)
  • Project: program managers report to the CEO
  • Matrix: middle ground between functional and project structures; personnel often report to two or more bosses; structure can be weak, balanced, or strong matrix

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

functional project and matrix organizational structures
Functional, Project, and Matrix Organizational Structures

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

organizational structure influences on projects
Organizational Structure Influences on Projects

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

organizational culture
Organizational Culture

Organizational culture is a set of shared assumptions, values, and behaviors that characterize the functioning of an organization

Many experts believe the underlying causes of many companies’ problems are not the structure or staff, but the culture

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

ten characteristics of organizational culture
Ten Characteristics of Organizational Culture

*Project work is most successful in an organizational culture where these items are strong/high and other items are balanced

Risk tolerance*

Reward criteria*

Conflict tolerance*

Means-ends orientation

Open-systems focus*

Member identity (loyalty)*

Group emphasis*

People focus

Unit integration*

Control

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

organizational culture cont
Organizational Culture (cont.)

Member identity: the degree to which employees identify with the organization rather than with their job/profession (high)

Group emphasis: the degree to which work is organized around groups rather than individuals (high)

People focus: the degree to which management’s decisions take into account the effect of outcomes on people within the organization (balance)

Unit integration: the degree to which units or departments within organization are encouraged to coordinate to each other (high)

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

organizational culture cont1
Organizational Culture (cont.)

Control: the degree to which rules are used to control employee behavior (balance)

Risk tolerance: the degree to which employees are encouraged to be innovative and risk seeking (high)

Reward criteria: the degree to which rewards, such as promotion and salary increases, are allocated according to employee performance (high)

Conflict tolerance: the degree to which employees are encouraged to discuss conflict and criticism openly (high)

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

organizational culture cont2
Organizational Culture (cont.)

Means-ends orientation: the degree to which management focuses on outcomes rather than on techniques used to achieve results (balance)

Open-system focus: the degree to which the organization monitors and responds to changes in external environment (high)

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

stakeholder management
Stakeholder Management

Project objective is to satisfy stakeholders

Project managers must take time to identify, understand, and manage relationships with all project stakeholders

Stakeholders can be internal, external, involved, affected by the project

Using the four frames of organizations can help meet stakeholder needs and expectations

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

case study1
Case study

Tom Walters did not use the four frame for organization

structural frame

  • Viewed only part of the structural frame (IT staff) internal stakeholders
  • The project has many stakeholders other than IT staff such as students and senior faculty of the college

HR frame

  • Did not identify who would most support or oppose requiring laptops

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

case study cont1
Case Study (cont.)

Political Frame

  • Did not identify the main interest group that would be most affected by project outcomes

Symbol frame

  • Did not address what moving to laptops environment really means to the college. Should he did that, he could have anticipated some of the oppositions

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

the importance of top management commitment support
The Importance of Top Management Commitment (support)

People in top management positions are key stakeholders in projects

A very important factor in helping project managers successfully lead projects is the level of commitment and support they receive from top management

Without top management commitment, many projects will fail

Some projects have a senior manager called a champion who acts as a key proponent for a project

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

how top management can help project managers
How Top Management Can Help Project Managers

Providing adequate resources (HR, FR)

Approving unique project needs in a timely manner (SW, HW needs, financial support as the project run)

Getting cooperation from other parts of the organization (encourage functional manager to cooperate with project managers)

Mentoring and coaching on leadership issues (give advices for project managers in leadership and encourage them to take classes to develop their leadership skills and assign funds and time to do so)

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

need for organizational standards
Need for Organizational Standards

Standards and guidelines help project managers be more effective

Senior management can encourage:

  • The use of standard forms, templates, and software for project management
  • The development and use of guidelines for writing project management plans or providing status information

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

project phases and the project life cycle
Project Phases and the Project Life Cycle

A project life cycle is a collection of project phases that defines:

  • What work will be performed in each phase
  • What deliverables will be produced and when
  • Who is involved in each phase
  • How management will control and approve work produced in each phase

Project can have different life cycles

A deliverable is a product or service produced or provided as part of a project

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

more on project phases
More on Project Phases

In early phases of a project life cycle:

  • Resource needs are usually lowest
  • The level of uncertainty (risk) is highest
  • Project stakeholders have the greatest opportunity to influence the project

In middle phases of a project life cycle:

  • The certainty of completing a project improves
  • More resources are needed

The final phase of a project life cycle focuses on:

  • Ensuring that project requirements were met
  • The sponsor approves completion of the project

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

phases of the traditional project life cycle
Phases of the Traditional Project Life Cycle

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

project life cycle
Project life Cycle

Concept and development phases focus on planning – project feasibility

Implementation and close-out phases focus on delivering the actual work – project acquisition

A project should successfully complete each phase before moving to next phase

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

concept phase
Concept phase

Manager develops a business case, which describes the need for the project and its basic concepts

A preliminary rough cost estimate is developed

A work breakdown structure (WBS) is created

  • WBS outlines project work by decomposing the work tasks into different levels

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

concept phase case study
Concept phase – case study

Tom could have created a committee from faculty and staff to develop a business case that studies:

  • need of increasing the use of technology on campus
  • its alternative ways
  • its effects on students, faculty, and staff

Estimate initial cost of establishing laptop technology on campus

WBS divides the work into three levels

  • A competitive analysis for, say, five campuses
  • Survey for students and staff
  • Rough assessment for the effect of the project on cost and enrollment

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

development phase
Development phase

Project team creates more detailed project management plans

More accurate cost estimate

More thorough WBS

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

development phase case study
Development phase – case study

Project team would have to put a project management plan

  • Decide whether student should lease or purchase laptops
  • What type of SW and HW
  • How much to charge students
  • How to handle training

More accurate cost estimate, if it is too high compared to the benefits, the project should be canceled in the development phase before wasting time and money in the next phases

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

implementation phase
Implementation phase

Lowest level in WBS (work package)

Deliver the required work

Definitive or very accurate cost estimate

Provide performance report to stakeholders

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

implementation phase case study
Implementation phase-case study

Obtain the required HW and SW, install network equipment, deliver the laptops to students, collecting fees, provide training to students, faculty and staff

Other people may be involved in this phase such as faculty, security, …

The project team would have to report results (success/failure) to stakeholders

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

close out
Close-out

All work is completed

  • Close-out any activities related to laptops project

Report customer acceptance

  • Survey for students, faculty, and staff

Team work would have to report experience and lesson learned (learned lesson report)

  • Share lessons and experience with other college campus

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

product life cycles
Product Life Cycles

Products also have life cycles

The Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a framework for describing the phases involved in developing and maintaining information systems

Systems development projects can follow

  • Predictive life cycle: the scope of the project can be clearly articulated and the schedule and cost can be predicted
  • Adaptive Software Development (ASD)life cycle: requirements cannot be clearly expressed, projects are mission driven and component based, using time-based cycles to meet target dates

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

predictive life cycle models
Predictive Life Cycle Models

Waterfall model: has well-defined, linear stages of systems development and support

Spiral model: shows that software is developed using an iterative or spiral approach rather than a linear approach

Incremental build model: provides for progressive development of operational software

Prototyping model: used for developing prototypes to clarify user requirements

Rapid Application Development (RAD) model: used to produce systems quickly without sacrificing quality

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

waterfall model for sdlc
Waterfall model for SDLC

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

the importance of project phases and management reviews
The Importance of Project Phases and Management Reviews

A project should successfully pass through each of the project phases in order to continue on to the next

Management reviews, also called phase exits or kill points, should occur after each phase to evaluate the project’s progress, likely success, and continued compatibility with organizational goals

Project may be continued, redirected, or terminated

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

management review case study
Management review-Case study

At the end of the concept phase, Tom and his project team could have

  • Presented information to faculty, staff, and students that describe different opinions for increasing the use of technology on campus
  • An analysis of what competing colleges were doing
  • Results of a survey of local stakeholders’ opinion on the subject

This presentation is a management review

Suppose the study reported that 90% of student opposed the idea, then the college may decide not purse the project

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

diversity in it projects
Diversity in IT Projects

Project nature: IT projects can be very diverse in terms of size, complexity, products produced, application area, and resource requirements

Team Members Characteristics: IT project team members often have diverse backgrounds and skill sets

Technologies: IT projects use diverse technologies that change rapidly; even within one technology area, people must be highly specialized

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

it project nature
IT project Nature

IT projects are very diverse

Small number of people work in a small HW-oriented project(installing HW and associated SW)

  • Hardware can be diverse (personal computers, mainframe, network equipments, small mobile devices
    • Network environment could be wireless, phone-based, cable-based, satellite,…

Hundreds of people can work in a large software development project

  • Type of SW could vary from a simple standalone excel application to a global e-commerce system

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

team members characterstics
Team members characterstics

people work in IT have different background

  • Business, mathematics, liberal arts, computer science

People work in a diversity of jobs

  • Business analyst, database analyst, HW engineer, SW engineer, programmer, …
    • Java programmer, XML programmer, C/C++ programmer

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

diverse technologies
Diverse Technologies

Business analyst uses different technology than that used by HW specialist

Database analyst might have hard time understanding security specialist

A COBOL programmer can not be of much help in a Java project

People use different technologies

Technologies change very fast

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition

chapter summary
Chapter Summary

Project managers need to take a systems approach when working on projects

Organizations have four different frames: structural, human resources, political, and symbolic

The structure and culture of an organization have strong implications for project managers

Projects should successfully pass through each phase of the project life cycle

Project managers need to consider several factors due to the unique context of information technology projects

Information Technology Project Management, Sixth Edition