Monday, June 25, 2007

Key Attributes of an IT Project

Lawrence J. Peter once said, "If you don't know where you're going, you will probably end up somewhere else." This is particularly true of an IT project. To ensure the success of your IT project, you need to map out and follow an effective process.

Where do you start? Perhaps the best place to begin is to look at the concept of an IT project. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is a good source for information on project management in general. PMBOK describes a project as "a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result."

Every IT project has five key attributes that play particular roles in project development and completion. Details about these key project attributes are provided below.

1. Purpose
There must be a purpose to justify the need for a project. Many ideas for projects can be discovered through company surveys or questionnaires aimed at determining needs.

For example, in an e-learning corporation, a survey identified a need in the course development department for a program to log and maintain course status records. This will be the purpose of the corporation's next IT project.

2. Length
As noted above, PMBOK describes a project as "a temporary endeavor." In other words, an IT project has set beginning and end dates.

The length of the project will depend on its complexity. For example, a short-term project might be developing a report on a company's needs. A long-term project might be the creation of a database for collecting and generating statistics.

3. Resources
Resources for an IT project can include skilled employees from inside or outside of the company, hardware, software, and other assets as deemed necessary.

4. Sponsors
There may be many interested parties who have a stake in a project, but there is usually only one main sponsor. This main sponsor provides the needed direction and financing for the project.

Non-financial sponsors may be acquired if the project incorporates many departments within a company. For example, if the product of a project will be used by the accounting and human resources departments, it may be necessary to ask experts from each department to provide input to ensure departmental needs are considered.

5. Uncertainty
Every project will face uncertainty. Anything can go wrong. Although efforts should be made to ensure that the IT project plan is concise, factors such as time and cost can change due to unforeseen circumstances.

Key attributes are an important aspect of every project. Keeping these attributes in mind throughout the project can help you and your team meet established goals.


sanjay said...

explanation with good examples

Franko said...

I am currently undertaking a Diploma in Networking which also involves Project Management. Great site and easy to understand.

athena said...

thanks for the attributes, it is really a big help .. thank you very much ..