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Assessing IT Projects to Ensure Successful Outcomes

Assessing IT Projects to Ensure Successful Outcomes

Copyright Date: 2015
Published by: IT Governance Publishing
Pages: 223
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  • Book Info
    Assessing IT Projects to Ensure Successful Outcomes
    Book Description:

    Companies invest billions in technology projects each year, yet their success rates remain surprisingly low. Industry benchmarks suggest that only 15-20% of projects are completed on time and on budget.

    Project failures can impair an organisation's capability as well as having significant commercial, compliance and security ramifications, which in turn could cause reputational damage and long-term financial losses. It is therefore critical that projects meet their objectives. One way of ensuring that they do is to conduct assessments or audits at key points during their lifecycle.

    Product overview

    Assessing IT Projects to Ensure Successful Outcomesis a comprehensive reference guide that focuses on the assessment of IT projects. Organised into five main sections (Approach, Plan, Collect Information, Assess and Recommend, Package and Present), interspersed with case studies based on the author's extensive experience delivering projects, the book provides exhaustive guidance on structuring and conducting an IT project assessment, from planning to presentation.

    Assessing IT Projects to Ensure Successful Outcomesincludes guidance on:

    Types of assessments and project approaches, including the difference between a project and programme assessment.Determining a suitable assessment approach, developing a plan, preparing inventories and planning for logistics.Information collection and assessment, including identifying and addressing challenges and gaps.Project scoping, change management, schedule management and cost management.Key roles and focus areas, including team responsibilities and necessary documents, for each project stage.Communication strategies to ensure all stakeholders are kept appropriately informed of a project's progress.RAID (risks, actions, issues, decisions) management to address risks and issues that arise, actions that must be performed, and decisions that need to be made throughout the project's lifecycle.Compliance with standard frameworks.Intangibles, such as adapting to company cultures and reacting to cultural conflicts, resource and team dynamics, perception and reputations, and morale.How to package and present an assessment's findings and recommendations in a suitable manner.

    It also features a detailed summary section containing checklists for assessing all stages of projects - including typical roles on a project team, details of interview responsibilities by role, and a list of necessary project documents. This information can be used either reactively as an easy reference to assess projects, or proactively as a checklist of the considerations and activities required to plan and manage a project.

    Although principally aimed at professionals who are assessing projects - such as internal auditors, framework auditors, project assessors or external consultants -Assessing IT Projects to Ensure Successful Outcomescan also be used by project managers looking for a comprehensive view of approaches for managing projects, or as a means of preparing for an assessment of their project.

    eISBN: 978-1-84928-737-1
    Subjects: Management & Organizational Behavior, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 2-4)
    (pp. 5-6)
    (pp. 7-7)
    (pp. 8-8)
  5. Table of Contents
    (pp. 9-10)
    (pp. 11-17)

    Increasingly, corporations are investing more money into information technology (IT) solutions and projects. Forrester Research estimated that worldwide spending on information technology in 2013 topped two trillion US dollars (Forrester 2013). A significant amount of this spend will come in the form of IT projects and programs. The Standish Group estimates that we spend more than $250 billion each year on IT application development of around 175,000 projects (Standish, 2014).

    In addition to the increased spend on technology, there are several other trends in the marketplace which should be recognized.Figure 1.1highlights some of these trends with their associated...

    (pp. 18-35)

    In order to optimize the process and maximize the outcomes of a project assessment, it is important to take a methodical and deliberate approach to the review. This chapter will identify several types of project assessments, and then detail out the key steps performed during an assessment. The chapter will also distinguish between project and program assessments, and provide some insights around key lessons to consider when determining the project assessment approach.

    There are several types of information technology project assessments which can be conducted.Table 2.1identifies and describes the most common types of project audits or assessment conducting...

    (pp. 36-47)

    Planning is the critical first step in the assessment process. Having a solid plan for the assessment sets the pace for the assessment, and has many benefits which will ensure a successful assessment and maximize the value of the findings. Some of the benefits of proper planning are listed below:

    Clarity of objectives– the project assessment is being conducted based on a specific stakeholder request or set of goals and objectives. Therefore, it is important to document what these objectives are, and level-set the assessment approach based on meeting these objectives. For example, if the assessment is based on...

    (pp. 48-142)

    Once the plans are developed and the assessment is under way, pertinent project information can be collected. This is a very important step because the key to a successful assessment is collecting the right project information which will reveal the trends, themes and gaps. Information can be gathered from both interviews and documents, and so the approach for collecting it may be iterative, as documents can identify more interview questions and interviews may yield more documents to look at.

    The following sections in this chapter are dedicated to each of the different project management functions to be assessed. There are...

    (pp. 143-167)

    Once the project information is gathered, it needs to be reviewed and assessed to pull out relevant content, observations and insights. This information will then be used to document the project assessment findings, determine a set of recommendations to optimize the project delivery, and take action on the risks and challenges. This chapter will explore some methods for assessing the project information, identify some key items to look for, and review the approach for determining a set of recommendations.

    The “art” of the project assessment is taking all of the disparate information gathered from interviews, document reviews and observations, and...

    (pp. 168-188)

    The final step in the project assessment process is to package the findings and recommendations and then present them to project stakeholders. This is where everything comes together and tells the story about the project including risks and opportunities, so this step is significant as there are many ways to organize the materials.

    The assessment report should be organized in such a way that it is easy to read, has a logical flow, and conveys the key messages of the review. There are several sections which are typically used in a project assessment report. These are highlighted inTable 6.1,...

    (pp. 189-217)

    Delivering on projects is becoming critical to the success of corporations today, given the large investments and bets that corporations are making with technology. At the same time, the complexity and size of the technology, and therefore the projects, is growing. Project assessments are an important tool for corporations to use to take checkpoints on projects, measure the success of them, and identify key risks in a timely manner so as to be able to take course correcting action.

    This book has focused on the approach for assessing a project, as well as supplemented each of the chapters with multiple...

    (pp. 218-218)
    (pp. 219-223)