Information Technology Project Management | Jack T. Marchewka

Summary of: Information Technology Project Management: Providing Measurable Organizational Value [With CDROM]
By: Jack T. Marchewka

Introduction

Dive into the fascinating world of Information Technology (IT) Project Management with Jack T. Marchewka’s book that focuses on providing Measurable Organizational Value (MOV) while navigating the complex landscape of IT projects. This summary will highlight key themes, such as building a solid business case, understanding the project’s charter and scope, managing human resources, and the significance of maintaining strong and effective communication with stakeholders. Get ready to explore various concepts including work breakdown structure, risk management, quality assurance, procurement, leadership styles, and effectively implementing a new IT system.

Managing IT Projects

IT projects require a delicate balance of technical expertise and people skills. Project managers must justify the additional value their projects will bring to the organization and ensure they understand the impact on all stakeholders. The implementation of new systems should not ignore project management formalities, and documentation of IT systems and processes is key. With these considerations in mind, IT projects can be successful.

Streamlining IT Project Management

Begin your IT project by creating a business case with a core team, including a Measurable Organizational Value (MOV), to ensure success. This framework should include feasibility assessments, cost and timeline estimates, alternative approaches, and financing details. Additionally, discuss how it will affect stakeholders and support company strategy. Having a proven template to tailor to your project is effective and essential, saving time and avoiding the need to create a new framework every time. The business case serves as the first deliverable in the IT project life cycle and sets the foundation for success.

Crafting a Successful Project Charter

A project’s charter should clearly state its MOV and required resources. This serves as a contractual agreement that can be used to prevent misunderstandings. A well-crafted project plan should address the objectives of the project, the required tasks to achieve those objectives, who will perform them, and various cost estimates. The project plan should be based on the charter, which provides an overview of the project plan.

Human Resources as Crucial Assets

Your company’s machinery, supplies, and assets are dependent on human resources. As an IT project manager, it’s crucial to comprehend the impact of your project on individuals and the company. Technical aspects that are exciting to you may not interest others. Besides completing technical requirements, you must manage your team, understand stakeholder needs, minimize friction, train new users, and enlighten management on the project’s benefits and effect on day-to-day operations. Consider people’s needs and responsibilities as you lead the project team towards success.

Mastering IT Project Scope

Before initiating an IT project, it’s crucial to determine its scope and define team deliverables, resources, timeline, and costs. Accurately specifying the project scope is key as it helps prevent “scope creep”-the phenomenon of constant changes to your project that further inflate its objectives without proper protocols. To manage scope creep, include a detailed explanation of how it can be handled, who’s liable for extra cost, and how people affected by the changes will be managed. Without proper specification, scope creep may cause overrunning project duration, increased costs, and a devaluation of its MOV.

Effective Project Planning

Connect your project scope to a detailed plan by using the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and standard approaches to project estimates such as the Delphi technique, time-boxing, top-down and bottom-up estimating.

The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a beneficial tool that enables the development of a comprehensive project plan by breaking it down into a logical hierarchy and compartmentalized tasks. Using standard approaches to derive project estimates such as the Delphi technique, “Time-boxing,” “Top-down estimating,” and “Bottom-up estimating” help to make project estimates more accurate. When estimating project time, it’s crucial to be realistic and consider delays that may occur along the way. By leveraging these methods, you can create an effective project plan that aligns with your project scope.

Efficient Project Management

In project management, determining a project’s tasks, resources, and schedules is essential for its success. Project management software is a useful tool for this process as it allows you to create schedules, identify critical paths, monitor expenses, and collaborate with team members. A baseline project plan, subject to management approval, should be formed by the combination of the project’s schedule and budget. Ensure that all changes are approved to maintain control over the project.

Embracing Business Risks

Successful companies seize opportunities in risks. Projects with risks can be lucrative if evaluated and managed effectively. Plan ahead and establish contingencies to counteract poor outcomes.

Most individuals see risks as threats and take steps to limit them. Conversely, prosperous organizations recognize certain business risks to be opportunities to increase profit. Thereby, projects entailing risks could potentially lead to success. Unreliability can challenge task execution and preconceptions about elements outside the task might require modifications. It is crucial to study the project’s chance of failure and initiate apt measures to optimize positive reach and minimize negative outcomes. Beyond this, it is imperative to have a backup plan in case of unexpected poor results.

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