Trend To Outsourcing

Eastman Kodak was an early pioneer in the outsourcing movement. In 1989, Kodak contracted with Integrated Systems Solutions Corporation (ISSC), IBM's services branch, to do the computer work that Kodak had been performing at four of its facilities. Then in 1994, Xerox signed a 10- year outsourcing contract for 4.1 billion with Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS) to do a major portion of its computer work. AMTRAK expects to save 100 million over a 10-year period from its outsourcing arrangement....

Success Tip Determine The Business Case For Or Against Outsourcing

Many firms do not thoroughly analyze the need for IT outsourcing. Instead, they seek outsourcing because it provides immediate gain, only to later realize that it delivered long-term loss. As a result, some firms lock themselves into massive, long-term contracts only to find that such an arrangement is a liability rather than an asset (e.g., delivery of no longer necessary services at above market prices). A good business case, looking at different pricing alternatives (e.g., fixed or cost...

Relational Database Systems

The widespread use of relational database technology and its advantages have been well documented. Such use has been applied mainly to critical business applications in the user department. One essential task in relational technology is to plan an enterprise data model that can support the development of various applications. Theoretically, the enterprise data model can also be extended to support project management applications in IS departments. However, project data must be planned as an...

Package Types

Project management-related software tools are generally divided into the three categories of project management software, process management software, and time accounting software. Project management software packages perform scheduling, as well as limited project tracking. They do this by allowing project managers to enter project WBSs, assign inter-task dependencies, allocate resources, and assign effort work estimates for each task. Once these basics are entered, the tool calculates and...

Outsourcing Considerations

Even when an outsourcer's staff works on the client company's premises, IT is not vulnerable to claims of co-employment. This is because of the fundamental difference between staff augmentation and outsourcing. In outsourcing, the company contracts for a service, not a person. It is the outsourcer's responsibility to determine how many people will be required to perform the service, and what technical background they must have. The company normally does not interview them, and it does not...

Outsourcing And The

When measured on the CMM scale of maturity, the best outsourcers rank quite high. While a consulting company may be successful in an occasional outsourcing engagement through excellent staffing, it cannot provide reliable and predictable levels of service, quality, and profitability across multiple projects without a well-managed set of outsourcing processes documented in a methodology. Highly experienced outsourcers develop a set of world-class processes that they customize and apply to each...

Mistake The Benefits of Risk Management Are Not Presented to Business Owners

Business owners want results and many times do not want to be told of the multitude of issues affecting the completion of their project. They just want the project done, regardless of how a project team gets it done. Business owners tend to stay in a passive role when they should be actively operating in the project. Like a homeowner who is having a house built, a business owner needs to see the work site at set intervals throughout the build process, or the investment may fizzle away. It is...

IT Service Provider Objectives

At the same time, the service provider was undertaking efforts to standardize project management tools and techniques across its own sites. Significant workforce flexibility could be achieved by using common processes at all work sites. Consistently defined work breakdown structures and deliverables would enable employees to step into a project at any location or in any work group within a location, and immediately understand the project status and expected results. The provider was winning new...

Customers and Their Requirements

The final steps in the definition phase are to identify customers, their requirements, and the relative priority of those requirements. The objectives of these steps are to ensure that the project is addressing the right problem and to align project deliverables with customer expectations. When identifying customers, the team realized that there were two different groups. The ultimate customer was the employee whose records were to be changed (e.g., the VP of Marketing). Although it was...

Creating WBS Estimating and Tracking Standards

The first standard to be established is how project WBSs will be created. Many organizations develop project templates for the most common types of projects developed in the organization, and then specify that project managers work from these templates. The advantage of this is that project managers are not reinventing the wheel on each project. In turn, this speeds up planning, and allows better project tracking. After WBS standards are established, the organization must decide how estimates...

Conclusion

A primary imperative of a PMO is to raise a project's visibility. A clear and direct line from the project manager to a high-level manager and emphasis on project success greatly increase the chance for actual success. Although responsibility for a project rests with the project manager, in the PMO structure, senior level management shares that responsibility and can positively influence a project. When a senior manager assumes an important role in project management, many ancillary,...

What Is Project Management

The generally accepted definition is presented by the Project Management Institute in its Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) as the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities in order to meet or exceed stakeholder expectations from a project. The project lifecycle can be generally broken into three categories as follows 1. Definition the earliest part of the project, in which the purpose and requirements are clarified. 2. Planning the second part of...

The Opportunity To Test New Project Management Approaches And Techniques

Given that under the PMO, the project manager can concentrate on the management of the project at hand and avoid distractions in other areas, there should be an opportunity to think beyond the traditional IT project boundaries. Some time can be devoted to the consideration of some different approaches to the management of IT projects. A number of sound methods exist that can be successfully used to improve the delivery of IT projects. One of the added value aspects of the PMO should be, as the...

Selecting Project Management Methodologies

For organizations that do not have a methodology or are looking for a new one, this section explains what to look for in project management methodologies. It discusses the benefits and drawbacks of in house versus vendor-supplied methodologies, as well as canned versus customized methodologies. It then describes the most popular vendor methodologies. First, an exploration of the benefits and drawbacks of vendor methodologies is in order. The greatest benefit of a vendor methodology is that the...

Project Management Experience

Large-scale project management experience is one of the most important characteristics of a successful outsourcer. If the outsourcer does not have a solid track record of achievement, all of the other components in this list are suspect. For example, the methodology of the outsourcer represents the codification of this knowledge. If the outsourcer has limited experience, how strong can the methodology be While experience in managing ongoing outsourcing projects is crucial, experience in...

Implementing Project Management Software Packages

While selecting appropriate software packages is important, it is more critical to successfully implement these packages. This section discusses the differences between project management software, process management software, and time accounting software, and then examines various methods for implementing these packages. It also discusses the benefits and drawbacks of each approach, and outlines a process for successful implementation. Although there are various software tools on the market...

Implementing Project Management Methodologies

This section explains how to implement a project management methodology. It covers how to establish project work breakdown structures (WBSs), as well as estimating, tracking, change control, quality control, and communication standards. It then explains how to conduct IS departmental and client training regarding both the methodology and the standards. Once an organization has either selected a vendor methodology or developed one in-house, it is ready to start the long, often tedious process of...

Current Project Management Systems

Almost all the current products for project management are microcomputer-based GUI programs aimed at both technical project managers and analysts. Examples are Microsoft Project and SuperProject for Windows (by Computer Associates International Inc.). These products are designed to support the process management for single projects consisting of approximately 200 to 500 tasks. Although in their infancy as single-project, single-user, record-keeping systems, these programs are already starting...

The Power of Three

As project managers, IT professionals must produce deliverables that satisfy three task factors. Deliverables must (1) meet certain quality standards, (2) be installed within a specified period of time, and (3) be completed within a specific budget. From the project management perspective, the principal task of IT professionals is helping users fit their aspirations for information technology-enhanced performance improvement with the realities of time and resource constraints. To keep these...

New Directions in Project Management

Chapter 30, Outsourcing as a Means of Improving Process Maturity An Approach for More Rapidly Moving up the Capability Maturity Model, 1998 by Keane, Inc. Used by permission. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data New directions in project management edited by Paul C. Tinnirello. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-8493-1190-X (alk. paper) 1. Project management. I. Tinnirello, Paul C.II. Best practices series (Boca Raton, Fla.) T56.8 .N492001 658.4'04--dc21...

Project Management And

A business endeavor must meet three criteria to be a project. It must have a fixed duration, require performing a sequence of tasks, and produce something once the tasks are complete. Becoming ISO certified satisfies all three criterions. Becoming certified typically takes up to one-and-a-half years a series of tasks must occur (e.g., conducting pre-audits) and deliverables (e.g., quality control policy) and a final product (e.g., ISO 9000 certification) are produced. Being classified a project...

Review Assessment And Conclusion

Given the top four mistakes that are made in maintaining a risk management system, the following questions can be arrived at, asked of the project team, and documented as to the responses to them. In addition to asking the questions, a walk-through should be performed to observe key risk management components. The major questions are as follows Have the benefits of risk management been properly communicated to business owners Has adequate time been provided for a risk assessment phase of the...

Section I Essential Concepts of Project Management

Chapter 1 Ten Ways to Improve Project Performance Chapter 2 Nine Factors for Project Success Chapter 3 Managing Project Management Chapter 4 Strategies for Heading Off IS Project Failure Chapter 5 Six Myths about Managing Software Development in the New Millennium Chapter 6 Back to Basics Getting Systems Development Right Chapter 7 Process Management Integrating Project Management and Development Chapter 8 Project Meetings A Communication and Coordination Tool Chapter 9 Managing Systems...

The Business Need Customer Drivers

Over a period of three to five years, the customer organization progressed from demanding that the IT service provider remain static in delivering services (as had been done successfully prior to the outsourcing), to demanding innovative IT solutions and approaches from the provider. The enterprise was finding that its own customers demanded innovation, speed, and predictability in their products, and this demand had to be met by the IT service provider to enable the business to respond quickly...

Six Functions Of Project Management

Building a help desk is a project that requires laying the groundwork for its successful completion. This involves performing six key, basic functions leading, defining, planning, organizing, controlling, and closing. Leading is motivating people to perform in a manner that contributes towards meeting or exceeding project goals and objectives. It is the only function that occurs throughout the life cycle of a help desk project. It requires not only doing the right things but doing them...

Defining Staff Augmentation And Outsourcing

Whether called contractors, consultants, or rent-a-body firms, the primary function of these IT service providers is to supplement existing IT staff. They are typically engaged when the IT department is unable to obtain or retain permanent staff, or when it needs specialized skills for a short period. As may be surmised from the term staff augmentation, contractors function as members of the department, taking their day-to-day direction from IT managers. Except for the fact that their paychecks...

Project Execution Responsibilities

Responsibilities for project execution or delivery are closely tied to ownership of resources. A PMO that owns resources, typically project managers or a project resource group, generally takes on much of the responsibility for delivering projects. A PMO that has responsibility for project execution will require expertise in the range of project management knowledge areas and project management processes. Many PMOs do not have this direct responsibility. Their responsibilities are more...

Work Breakdown Structure

The WBS is a top-down, hierarchical list of the deliverables and the steps to produce them. The purpose is to identify the major deliverables and the final product and list the tasks to build them. An effective WBS has a level of granularity that makes estimating and tracking of tasks meaningful, usually requiring less than two weeks of effort. The WBS is based upon the content in the SOW and the input from the people who perform the work. Once complete, the project manager does estimating,...

Selecting The Pmo Project Manager

The person chosen for the role of project manager must be someone who has strong project management experience and is comfortable with the use of effective project management tools and techniques. It is also a good idea to have the project managed by someone who does not have a vested interest in the project beyond seeing the project completed. In that regard, the more objective the person managing the project can be when issues arise, the better. As the project moves forward, being able to...

Informal Project Management

Formal project management can be automated because it makes use of such approaches as critical path analysis. Informal project management is concerned more with intuitive judgment and relationships among personnel. Informal project management tries to answer such questions as How reliable are an employee's estimates A group of programmers is on the critical path this week how can they be motivated to finish faster Who needs formal training in which areas, and who needs coaching What is the...

Project Management Activities

The main goal of project management is to develop an acceptable information system on schedule and within the allocated budget. Projects usually involve a team of analysts, programmers, technical specialists, and user representatives who work together. Managing projects is the continuing, iterative process by which an analyst plans, controls, and executes tasks and resources, and communicates progress and results. Specifically, project management involves the following fundamental activities...

Project Management Methodologies And Life Cycles

Although managers can manage projects without a formal methodology, having one can be a big help. This section explains what project management methodologies are and why they are important, and gives a brief history of project management methodologies. It also defines life cycles, describes some common IS life cycles, and explains how life cycles relate to methodologies. Project management methodologies have been around for decades, but first started to become popular in IS in the early 1970s....