Objectives

When you have completed this chapter you will be able to:

carry out an evaluation and selection of projects against strategic, technical and economic criteria;

use a variety of cost-benefit evaluation techniques for choosing among competing project proposals;

evaluate the risk involved in a project and select appropriate strategies for minimizing potential costs.

3.1 Introduction

Deciding whether or not to go ahead with a project is really a case of comparing a proposed project with the alternatives and deciding whether to proceed with it. That evaluation w ill be based on strategic, technical and economic criteria and will normally be undertaken as part of strategic planning or a feasibility study for any information system development. The risks involved also need to be evaluated.

In this chapter we shall be using the term project in a broader sense than elsewhere in the book. Our decision as to whether or not to proceed with a project needs to be based upon whether or not it is desirable to carry out the development and operation of a software system. The term project may therefore be used, in this context, to describe the whole life cycle of a system from conception through to final decommissioning.

Project evaluation is normally carried out in Step 0 of Step Wise (Figure 3.1). The subsequent steps of Step Wise are then concerned with managing the development project that stems from this project selection.

Do nothing' is an option which should always be considered.

The BS 6079 guidelines (see Appendix B) use the term project in this way.

Figure 3.1 Project evaluation is carried out in Step 0.

D. C. Ferns defined a programme as a group of projects that are managed in a co-ordinated way to gain benefits that would not be possible were the projects to be managed independently' in a seminal articie in the International Journal of Project Management, August 1991.

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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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