Information Technology Department

From the health care industry to large retail organizations, the only software developed is on an as-needed basis. If commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software can be used, it will be. If COTS software can be modified for use, surround code will be written. If new software needs to be developed, a team is formed to develop it. The team leader generally sets the rules for coding and documentation that may interpret corporate guidelines much differently than the team leader on the last project.

In many cases, IT departments have created one or more and sometimes several "quick and dirty" applications with little or no documentation. These applications may have been written to accommodate an immediate, but unplanned business need, such as specific membership data needed by sales representatives that might not be available through the current application set. There may be long-term plans for resolving a mass of temporary applications quickly put into place to accommodate combined data from company mergers. Seldom is there sufficient documentation to flesh out the inner workings of the system and, due to employee turnover, there may not even be anyone that understands why it was done the way it was. Survival of the business is based on users being able to do what they have to do in order to meet the business needs of the company. Funding for IT efforts becomes a competition with primary business products and services.

The result of these methods being used by IT organizations at one company after another is a complex web of applications with undocumented interface and application modules. The problems that this causes were brought to full light when these companies had to deal with the Year 2000 remediation effort. Even getting an accurate inventory of program assets was challenging and putting a quality program in place to ensure Year 2000 confidence of continuing operations too often included as many exceptions as audit criteria.

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Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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