A methodology provides a strategic-level plan for managing and controlling IT projects. Think of a methodology as a template for initiating, planning, and developing an information system. Although information systems may be different, it is the product, and not necessarily the process, of managing the project that makes them different. As you can see in Figure 2.1, the methodology recommends the phases, deliverables, processes, tools, and knowledge areas for supporting an IT project. The key word is recommends because different types of projects, such as electronic commerce (EC), customer relations management (CRM), or data warehousing applications, may require different tools and approaches.
IT Project Management Foundation
PM processes: Initiating, planning, executing, controlling, closing PM objectives: Scope, schedule, budget, quality Toois: Project management, information systems development
Infrastructure: Organizational, project, technical
PMBOK areas: Integration mgmt, scope mgmt, time mgmt, cost mgmi, quality mgmt, H.R. mgmt, communications mgmi, risk mgmt, procurement mgmt
Figure 2.1 An Information Technology Project Methodology
Methodologies provide the project team with a game plan for implementing the project and product life cycles. The team can then focus on the tasks at hand, instead of always worrying about what they are supposed to do next. In addition, a methodology also provides a common language that allows the project team, project sponsor, and others within the organization to communicate more effectively. By standardizing a methodology throughout the organization, management can compare different projects more objectively because each project's planned and actual progress is reported the same way. Ideally, this will allow management to make better-informed and more objective decisions with respect to which projects get selected and whether funding should continue to support a particular project.
A good methodology should be flexible and adapt to the needs of the project organization over time. For example, whether a structured or rapid applications development (RAD) approach is used depends upon the project and application system. During the analysis and design phases of the systems development life cycle, a team may use one modeling approach or a combination (i.e., process modeling, data modeling, or object-oriented modeling).
The development and modeling approach used, however, depends on a number of factors. These factors may include the organization's experiences, the knowledge
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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.