Toolkit for IT Project Management

Setup

SETUP phase of IT Project ManagementKeywords: User requirements, Project Charter, Right to exist
In this phase the project is constituted and the required approvals of obtained for the project to be set up as a virtual entity. For this purpose, the user requirements are captured clearly and completely, and the user and IT representatives agree on the purpose, benefits, high level scope and resourcing requirements. Once the highest level approval is obtained and the project charter has been signed off, this constitutes the passing of a major project checkpoint and the procession with the next phase of the project.

Define

DEFINE phase of IT Project ManagementKeywords: Scope, Functional Specification, Vendor proposals, specification, terms of reference
In the ‘Define’ phase of the project, the scope and the design of the system is articulated in a focused, clear, and objective manner, such that no part of the project delivery can be questioned at a later stage. It will clearly indicate what will be delivered, including the technical product/ service, integration and dependency on other systems, training, support and service agreements. Equally as important is to define what is NOT in the scope to be delivered by this project.
The user requirements may be passed on to vendors (if applicable, and 3 at a minimum) such that they can provide detailed proposals for delivering part or the complete project. The scope of work should be clearly defined to the vendors such that an objective comparison can be made once all the proposals have been received.
Once the vendor has been selected (on the basis of technical merit, reasonable cost and company reputability), the technical functional specification document can be drafted, in which the detailed system design is documented. This is important as it serves as the basis of the acceptance criteria and test cases. That is, all functionalities as defined in the functional specification documented should have an associated acceptance criteria and a test case which will the conducted to determine if the acceptance criteria has been met. If there is any dispute in the understanding of what business problem will be satisfied by this system, they should be listed clearly in the ‘gap analysis’ section, and the steering committee should meet to resolve all of the gaps before the functional specification is ratified.
The functional specification can also be used as the basis for the system manual, in which case it is updated for the as-built scenario (incorporating any amendments/ scope changes/ design changes).