Closure Phase

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At the closure phase the several priorities need to be suitably addressed: All resources should be reassigned back to the organization, post-project reviews need to be held with the client, and sufficient post-project maintenance and support should be in place for the success of the solution.

The success of a project depends on choosing a good project management methodology at the beginning (see Figure 3.1). Three elements help ensure a project's success:

• Managing the project through its life cycle

• Monitoring and controlling the schedule, budget, quality, and risk

• Integrating methods and tools, which builds a foundation for continuous improvements in productivity, teamwork, and communication beyond the initial implementation

Figure 3.1: Managing the project through its life cycle Figure 3.2 shows an example of a life cycle methodology.
G- Methodology

^ Initiate J

Plan Engage Y Control

1. impiennent y -r

©-Business Strategy

: ^ C v. : h

Extranet fcf


Supply Chain Integrator»



Opa rations Integration


Marketing Sales A Service

Order Processing. Logistics. Warehousing, Invfintnry, otc

Finance Operations, Manufacturing, RÄD, etc

Figure 3.2: An example of a typical e-commerce project methodology


The three major factors indicating a project will succeed are (1) timely user involvement, (2) executive management support, and (3) a clear user requirement statement. There are other success criteria, but with these three elements in place, the chances of success are much greater. Without them, organizations run a high risk of failure.

Organizations should carefully consider whether projects are too excessive to undertake in one go, as this approach may impact the success or failure of a project. This is particularly important if a project is influenced by many business dependencies. The number of project failures could be dramatically reduced by dividing the entire project into relatively smaller projects or phases, with each successive one being reviewed and approved before the next one is started. The advantage of such a structured approach is that it helps to reduce the complexity of planning, monitoring, and control. Table 3.4 portrays negative factors and solutions that have been used to overcome them, thus aiding the successful delivery of projects.

Table 3.4: Factors affecting project management

Factors effecting IT Projects

Recommended Solutions

Incomplete requirements

Obtain all requirements

Lack of user involvement

Involve all stakeholders

Lack of resources

Develop resource planning

Unrealistic expectations

Negotiate with the client

Lack of executive support

Communicate with and involve executives

Changing requirements & specifications

Adopt change control

Lack of planning

Increase planning into the project

Client no longer needs project

Determine requirements

Lack of IT management

Hire correct resources

Technological illiteracy

Train staff

The most significant cause of failure to deliver the business benefits is inadequate staff preparation and training. There are several major questions that project managers should ask when managing and monitoring a project.

■ Is the project's planning time scale adequate for negotiation, purchase, development, installation, training, and support?

■ Is this still a solution that is based on a standard package implementation?

■ Are the changes to working practices and financial procedures still minimal and controllable?

■ Are the contract and supplier relationships aligned to the project?

■ Does the vendor continue to demonstrate a good understanding of the business requirements?

■ Are the mechanisms in place to manage requests for changes while the project is in progress and to identify requirements for the next upgrade to the system?

The use of appropriately skilled staff and experienced suppliers is important, and the project manager needs to be sure that he or she has obtained the best resources and made the best estimates. If the project manager selects incorrect resources, a significant increase in risk, including stopping the project, now exists.


Do not underestimate the time and effort needed to integrate a new system into the existing business and interface it to existing systems. Project managers need to be sure that the plan allows some contingency for slippage and that they are informed whenever staff encounters this. Project managers must plan for any integration tasks from the start of the overall project, not leave them until the end. The following are some considerations:

Review those interfaces used on other projects that may influence this project.

Define all project interface requirements.

■ Be certain that there are not too many third-party contractors all working on separate integration plans. A single, coordinated effort is more desirable.

■ Identify all possible risks and issues in a risk management plan.

■ Define the communication between all interested parties.

■ Define the output for each project deliverables.

■ Document the data conversion process.

■ Establish a change control procedure.

■ Be certain that there is a plan for integration testing.

■ Ensure that a contingency plan takes effect in the event of system failure.


Conducting a project review during a project provides an opportunity to revisit the issues and risks that the project is facing. Management and the IT project team must manage risk throughout the entire project life cycle. Using strategies to reduce risk increases the likelihood of a successful implementation.

Interviews with management project staff and key users should contribute to a frank and open discussion with a cross section of the organization's staff about the issues and risks. A key outcome of the discussions is an assessment of the overall risk that the organization needs to manage. Bringing issues forward can also help the project team highlight needed actions while there is time for proactive adjustments.

Information technology project failures make the headlines every day. With growing financial pressures and the need for successful deployment of information technology, management is increasingly focusing on the results of their investments. The project review can be an effective mechanism for senior management to ensure their projects are "under control" and are still able to deliver results.

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Project Management Made Easy

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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