Information Technology Project Management | Jack T. Marchewka

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

Introduction

In the age of rapid technological advancements, Information Technology (IT) projects have become essential for organizations to maintain a competitive edge. Diving into the practical guide ‘Information Technology Project Management: Providing Measurable Organizational Value’, author Jack T. Marchewka helps you navigate the unique challenges accompanying IT projects. The book offers a comprehensive overview of planning, organizing, and controlling IT projects while highlighting the best practices for creating business cases, project charters, and managing scope and risks. With attention to human resources, communication, procurement, and leadership, this summary prepares you to excel at managing IT projects to generate maximum value for your organization.

Successful IT Project Management

IT projects are unique in that they require technical expertise along with the ability to navigate people issues. IT upgrades should be justified by demonstrating the added value they will bring to the organization. IT project managers must consider all stakeholders and document all systems implemented and their use. Ignoring formal project management practices leads to inefficiency.

Effective IT Project Management

Develop a proven IT project management template to achieve success. Start with a well-structured business case that includes MOV, alternative approaches, feasibility, cost, and timeline. Explore how to finance, govern, affect, and support your company’s strategy with the project.

Crafting a Winning Project Charter

A well-written project charter serves as a contract that outlines the project’s objectives and required resources, enabling the team and stakeholders to avoid misunderstandings. The charter summarizes the project plan and should be drafted with great care and clarity. To create a successful project plan, the team must answer several critical questions such as the project’s objectives, necessary tasks, who will handle them, deadlines, and estimated costs. The project plan should complement the charter and be tactical in nature. This ensures that the estimates provided in the project plan correspond with the broad lines outlined in the charter.

People-First IT Project Management

The success of an IT project depends on people, not just technology. As an IT project manager, it’s essential to understand how your project impacts all stakeholders. While an exciting technical feature may thrill an IT manager, it may not resonate with others. To minimize friction, show sensitivity to the needs of people, and train them in new technologies. It’s critical to ensure that management understands the project’s true impact, benefits, and potential disruptions to daily operations. Focus on people-first IT project management to achieve your project goals and maximize success.

IT Project Scope Management

Properly defining a project’s scope is critical for determining its timeline, cost, and outcomes. Scope creep, arising from changes in the project’s objectives, can lead to delays, increased costs, and failure to achieve desired results. To avoid scope creep, detailed protocols should be included in the project specifications, outlining procedures for managing changes, additional costs, and the people affected by them. Successful IT project management requires a precise definition of what the team will deliver and the resources necessary for timely completion, while allowing for flexibility in adapting to changes to maintain project success.

Effective Project Planning

Learn to plan for success with the Work Breakdown Structure and expert estimation techniques such as Delphi and Bottom-up approaches.

Get a grip on project planning with the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). This essential tool connects your project’s vision to a detailed plan with a logical hierarchy and categorized tasks. To make accurate project estimates, companies use various well-established methods such as the Delphi technique, time boxing, top-down and bottom-up estimating. It’s critical to set realistic timelines and factor in real-world experience to achieve project success. So, build on your planning skills with this valuable guide to gain better control over your project outcomes.

Essential Steps to Create a Baseline Project Plan

To create a baseline project plan, project managers should sequence all project tasks and resources into a schedule using project management software. This software has benefits such as identifying dependencies, spotting the critical path, and enabling collaborative work. To monitor expenses, actual costs should be compared to budgeted amounts. The resulting plan serves as a yardstick for measuring project activity and requires approval from upper management. It’s important to run changes through a change approval process to maintain control of the project.

Embracing Business Risks

Many individuals associate risk with loss and try to avoid it. On the other hand, successful companies know how to leverage certain business risks to their advantage. This means that taking on ventures with potential risks may be worthwhile. Uncertainty can challenge project plans, and incorrect assumptions about external circumstances can impact the project. The key is to analyze risks, take appropriate steps to maximize benefits, and minimize negative consequences. Developing contingency plans for unfavorable outcomes is critical.

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