Week 02: Managing Information Systems Projects
“The focus of this unit is on managing information systems projects and the role of the project manager in this process. A project manager has both technical and managerial skills and is ultimately responsible for determining the size, scope, and resource requirements for a project. Once a project is deemed feasible by an organization, the project manager ensures that the project meets the customer’s needs and is delivered within budget and time constraints. To manage the project, the project manager must execute four primary activities: project initiation, project planning, project execution, and project closedown. The focus of project initiation is on assessing the size, scope, and complexity of a project and on establishing procedures to support later project activities. The focus of project planning is on defining clear, discrete activities and the work needed to complete each activity. The focus of project execution is on putting the plans developed in project initiation and planning into action. Project closedown focuses on bringing the project to an end.
Gantt charts and network diagrams are powerful graphical techniques used in planning and controlling projects. Both Gantt charts and network diagram scheduling techniques require that a project have activities that can be defined as having a clear beginning and end, can be worked on independently of other activities, are ordered, and are such that their completion signifies the end of the project. Gantt charts use horizontal bars to represent the beginning, duration, and ending of an activity. Network diagramming is a critical path scheduling method that shows the interrelationships among activities. Critical path scheduling refers to planning methods whereby the order and duration of the project’s activities directly affect the completion date of the project. These charts show when activities can begin and end, which activities cannot be delayed without delaying the whole project, how much slack time each activity has, and progress against planned activities. A network diagram’s ability to use probability estimates in determining critical paths and deadlines makes it a widely used technique for very complex projects.
When managing an OOSAD project, the project manager must define the project as a set of components. Once defined, these components can be analyzed and ordered so that the most difficult components are implemented first. An OOSAD project is managed by a series of iterations, and each iteration contains all phases of the systems development cycle. Over each iteration, more and more of the system is created (component by component), and more and more is learned about the system being constructed, the capabilities of the development team, and the complexity of the development environment. As this learning increases over time, the project manager is better able to plan project activities more accurately. Therefore, it is not good practice to plan long-range activities in great detail; detailed planning should occur only for the current and subsequent iteration. Most projects have six to nine iterations, but large projects could have several more. An iteration is a fixed time period, usually about two weeks, but it can be shorter or longer depending upon the characteristics of the project.”
Valacich, J. S., & George, J. F. (2017). Modern systems analysis and design (8th ed.). Boston: Pearson.
- Chapter 3 & Appendix 3, Modern Systems Analysis and Design
- CISA Review Manual Section
- 3.3 Project Management Structure
- 3.4 Project Management Practices
- Participate in this week’s class and online discussions
- Complete written assigning 2.1 (WA-2.1)
- Complete practical assignment 2.1 (PA-2.1)
- Complete quiz 1
- Explain the process of managing an information systems project, including project initiation, project planning, project execution, and project closedown.
- Describe project governance and organizational structures
- Explain the purpose and use of estimation, evaluation and control techniques
- Explain the importance of Lessons Learned
- Describe how to represent and schedule project plans using Gantt charts and network diagrams.
- Describe the unique characteristics of an OOSAD project.
- Phases of project management (initiating, planning, executing and closing)
- Representing project plans
- Task definitions and planning (Work Breakdown Structure, Network Diagrams, GANTT charts)
- OO project characteristics
- Managing iterative projects
- OO Activity Focus over the lifetime of projects
- Project Management Structures
- Project Organizational Forms
- Project Management Practices