By Rodney Lewis,2014-05-18 00:38
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Project Management is a crucial element for IT investment ensuring the investment satisfies the mission need and business requirements.

    PURPOSE Project Management is a crucial element for IT investment success. It involves executing the necessary skills and management practices to ensure successful investment development and implementation. This integrated skill set addresses such areas as project planning, scope management, cost, schedule, performance, risk, and organizational management. The Project Manager is ultimately responsible for the investment’s success and ensuring the investment delivers the functionality and capabilities expected by

    stakeholders (i.e., users, customers, and senior leaders). Perhaps the greatest project management challenge is identifying risks and then executing management techniques that mitigate the risks to ensure timely and successful completion.


    Project Managers should complete the following project management components to help ensure the investment’s successful completion:

Project PlanningProject planning is a critical element of every successful investment. It provides a

    foundation on which to base anticipated efforts. Additionally, it helps identify investment components and illustrates these components in a project plan. Project planning includes:

? Scope definition

    ? Activity identification

    ? Activity duration estimation

    ? Activity sequencing

    ? Cost estimation

    ? Schedule development

    ? Project staffing/resourcing

    ? Project plan development.

    Investments typically involve multiple components that may be complex or interface with other proposed/existing systems or data. Integrating these components can be challenging. To support improved integration and management, it is useful to develop a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). A WBS provides a management framework by separating the investment lifecycle into distinct, manageable components related to various activities and interfaces. Each component is defined with appropriate sub-components and activities, such that one individual or team can implement each component. This enables the Project Manager to more effectively estimate the cost and schedule for completing individual components, supports sequencing activities and identification of interdependencies, and provides a basis to identify milestones and develop resource and schedule estimates. Table H-1provides an example of

    a WBS.

Scope Management—The scope frames what is expected of the investment’s ultimate capability and

    functionality. As such, it directly impacts functional and system requirements development. The Project Manager should obtain the Project Sponsor’s concurrence on the investment’s scope, and then effectively manage that scope and mitigate “scope creep” by maintaining requirements traceability throughout the project lifecycle and implementing configuration management procedures. It is important for the Project Sponsor to determine whether existing requirements have been redefined, new requirements have been identified, or existing requirements eliminated based upon events. The project scope should be based on the business requirements identified during the Pre-Select Phase and traced throughout the project lifecycle. All system features, functions, and capabilities should be linked to original customer


    April 2007 H - 1 USDA CPIC Guide to Information Technology

requirements throughout the entire planning, acquisition, design and implementation phases to ensure

    accurate system or network design.

RiskRisk is inherent in every investment. To aid in effectively identifying, analyzing, and managing risk,

    Project Managers should develop a risk management plan early in the planning stages, ideally during the

    Select Phase. Project Managers should employ subject matter experts (SMEs) among the various

    functional areas of the investment to identify risk and provide mitigation strategy. Key risk areas may

    include technology, cost, schedule, and performance/quality. The risk management plan is continually

    updated throughout the investment’s lifecycle and is part of annual and periodic reviews. Appendix F—

    Risk Assessment provides additional guidance on risk assessment and management.)

Cost and Schedule ManagementEffective investment management entails establishing cost and

    schedule baselines. Actual information is continuously collected, analyzed, and compared to original

    projections and the current baseline. Variances are identified, and appropriate actions are taken to inform

    senior management and mitigate the impacts of increased costs and schedule slippages. The WBS,

    milestones, activities, and project plan assist the development and tracking of cost and schedule. Earned

    value techniques provide a means to more completely evaluate costs and schedule, and assist in early

    risk identification (see Appendix IEarned Value Analysis).

    Table H-1. Example of a Project Planning WBS

    Plan Project

    100 Define Project

    10 Determine Project Objectives

    20 Define Project Scope

    30 List Project Products

    40 Determine Project Constraints

    50 Select Project Approach

    60 Determine Project Standards

    70 Assess Project Risks

    200 Make Project Plan

    10 Define Work Breakdown Structure

    20 Determine Activity Dependencies

    30 Define Project Milestones

    40 Determine Project Organization

    50 Estimate Effort

    60 Allocate Resources

    70 Schedule Activities

    80 Develop Budget

    90 Assess Project Risks

    300 Obtain Project Approval

    10 Assemble Project Plan

    20 Present Project Plan

    30 Agree to Project Plan

    MPMP1 Milestone PMP1

     2 April 2007 H - 2 USDA CPIC Guide to Information Technology

Performance—An investment’s ultimate objective is to meet or exceed stakeholder performance

    expectations by ensuring the investment satisfies the mission need and business requirements. In the

    Pre-Select and Select Phases, performance planning includes defining performance measures and

    identifying activities required to ensure performance objectives will be met (see Appendix G

    Performance Measurement). This may include benchmarking to establish a baseline and to further refine

    the investment’s performance objectives. The Control Phase includes a continual monitoring of the

    performance baseline to potentially include quality reviews, tests, or pilot tests. In the Evaluate Phase, a

    PIR helps compare actual investment performance with expectations (see Appendix JPost-

    Implementation Reviews). During the Steady-State Phase, performance measures are analyzed to

    determine whether investments are continuing to meet mission needs and performance expectations.

Organizational ManagementOrganizational management skills needed to manage an investment

    include project staffing, communications, and organizational understanding. Project Managers should be

    able to identify the needed skill sets and assign appropriate personnel to accomplish a given set of

    activities. Project Managers should also have the requisite interpersonal and leadership skills to

    communicate with both the project team and stakeholders. This includes possessing a vision for the

    investment and how to best meet stakeholder expectations, as well as ensuring the project team is able

    to focus on assigned tasks/activities. Additionally, Project Managers should be able to communicate and

    build consensus with key stakeholders, since this ultimately impacts the investment’s success or failure.

     3 April 2007 H - 3 USDA CPIC Guide to Information Technology

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