Understand the principles of project management and the methodologies used by organisations to manage IT projects.
IT projects: software application development, installing IT systems and networks, information collection and analysis, digital marketing campaign, etc.
Project life cycle:
Conception and start up: project mandate, client requirements, and feasibility.
Definition of the project: set up project team, create the Project Initiation Document (PID).
Planning: timescales, costs, quality management, risk management and controls.
Launch and execution: carrying out the plan, monitoring activity, checking progress.
Closure: handover of the product, user acceptance testing, disbanding project team.
Post-project evaluation: reviewing the project against success criteria.
Concepts include the key factors, processes and stages that make up a project, such as:
Costs and timescales: project budget, setting milestones and deadlines, interim reviews.
Project management tools: Gantt charts, PERT charts, critical path methods, specialised software packages such as Microsoft Project.
Quality and deliverables:
Application of current quality standards, for example: ISO/IEC 25010:2011 as a benchmark for software development, World Wide Web Consortium for website design and functionality standards.
Defining success criteria and using SMART objectives to define project outcomes.
Customer requirements in terms of functional requirements and non-functional requirements.
Product description or product breakdown structure, to describe the product to be delivered.
Issues: effects of changing external factors, monitoring progress, taking corrective actions where necessary, communications, working within relevant guidelines (internal and external) and legislation, dealing with conflict, impact of project outputs on other systems e.g. staff, organisational structures.
Benefits: saving money, maintaining or increasing profits, improving services, growing the business, increasing market share, improving productivity, expected return on investment, justification for the project, forecasting project success.
Risks: identifying typical project risks (internal/external risks), risk management cycle, identification of risks, assessing the severity of risks, accept the risk, plan contingency or avoid the risk, monitor and control the risks through the project, handling issues when a risk occurs.
Project management methodologies:
PRINCE2 – suitable for most projects.
Rapid Application Development (RAD) – suitable for short-term, large scale, big budget projects.
Waterfall – suitable for websites, database or network projects.
Agile – suitable for medium/long term projects where user requirements frequently change and outputs are required at regular intervals.
Explain the stages of the project lifecycle as they apply to a given IT project.
Describe key concepts, issues and risks when managing IT projects.
Compare the characteristics of different project management methodologies used by organisations.