Many projects involving information Technology fail due to a lack of planning and a set of clear and defined goals. For a project to be termed as successful, there needs to be a tactical plan in place that will assist in running the project. The manager should come with a model used for the initiation, scheduling and developing, and building of an Information system and architectures that come with it. The template should include phases of the project, these details in a succinct manner the timeframe to be followed by participants in the project. The template should also include clear deliverables and tools necessary that will aid in the measuring of objectives. We have to mention that many projects that involve IT are essentially immeasurable. A project that is supposed to make the employees in an organization happy cannot be measured if it fails because one cannot measure to which extent the project achieved in making the employees happy. I.T managers have to acknowledge that a successful project has to involve best practices that have been mastered over a period of time (Marchewka, 2003). A project that is defined by measurable organizational value should bring about changes in the organization that has been agreed upon by all the stakeholders. The stakeholders, in this case, involve project managers, software developers, analysts and management. They are the ones tasked and bear full responsibility in case the project doesn’t succeed. These people are fundamental in checking whether the deliverables set have been achieved (Pinkerton, 2003).
The project should also be validated after completion. It is assumed that it is difficult to assess whether a project has been successful as a characteristic I.T project whether successful or not can only be validated over time. A project is mostly assumed to increase in value as time goes (Thomsett, 2002). A clear and defined project can only be judged at the end of its usage time. Validation is just one of the phases that a typical project should undergo. A successful project should have a clear methodology that identifies the phases to be followed, that applies the notion of its measurable organizational value, and the methodology should include the techniques of developing a business case. The first phase involves the initial phase of the whole process including the conceptualization process. The second part of the project is aimed at coming up with a project charter. A project charter is a declaration of the scope and aims as well as the participants of the project. The charter also describes in clear terms the budget that the team will spend. The budget stated in the charter is just an approximation as most times the budget is not able to cover each and every aspect in terms of cost.
This is due to factors such as sudden inflation during the time of the project (Linberg, 2007). Quality objectives are also in the charter and these are the level of class that is specified in order for the project to be deemed as satisfactory. The second phase of the project touches on the execution and management of the project. During the management of the project, various approaches are used in order to do this task. A Popular approach is the SDLC approach, which stands for system development lifecycle which engages and guides the whole process by using knowledge and skills of software in order to alter information technology systems. This approach utilizes the knowledge of system analysts in order to develop the project in a manner that captures the requirement, and validity of the whole project. This approach ensures that the results of the project which could be in hardware and software form are cheap to maintain and run. It is a well-known fact that information technology systems are very complex and connect to other different systems that could be traditional hence it needs the designer to add versatility into the system (Kerzner, 2002).
After the execution of the project there next phase is the close followed by the evaluation of its success and its achievements in tackling the objectives and solving the problem that was present before the start of the project. The evaluation stage cooperates with a number of processes. The manager in charge of the project has to conduct a thorough audit of the project which can also be termed as conducting a post mortem (Booch,1996). The manager also checks on the team members by assessing their contribution towards the achievement or failure of the project. In cases where the project or parts of the projects were outsourced, the manager evaluates the input of the contractors involved and if they assisted in the project either positively or negatively. The manager finally checks on the organizational value of the project.
This is the value of the project both in terms of the business sense i.e. whether the project is able to save the company money and also strategic value, i.e. Whether the solution provided by the systems will be able to serve the organization for a long time before the thought of coming up with another one. One thing that managers should always know is that the project is a determinant in the overall evaluation of the business. As we always know that the business is dynamic and evolving in line with the demands of the market, this needs constant look at how we can come up with newer systems or upgrade the available systems. As we know that an organization automatically falls behind when it remains in a static state. Such instances are brought forth by an increase in competition and changing client preferences. The overall goal of the project is to alter the organization to a more favorable state than it was before the project (Baccarini,2007).
Project Management Processes
All the phases discussed above are followed by respective processes that ensure that the objectives of the project are met. Management processes include,
- Initiating processes: From an Informational Technology aspect, this is the process of authorization of the project before it starts (Globerson, 2002). Authorization in this case entails presenting the budget of the project and proposal to the people in authority and those in management who can accept to give the go-ahead for the project to start. People in charge of the initiation process are individuals who are not directly in command of the project but are outside members whose input is important for any activity in the project to be undertaken.
- Planning Processes: These are processes that include the drawing up of framework arrangements of thought to how the information project will be implemented in the shortest time possible and in a cost-effective manner.
- Execution Process: These are processes where the actual implementation of actions will lead to the full conclusion of the project.
- Controlling processes: These are processes that are involved in the surveillance of the execution of the project so as to mitigate any incidences that will hinder the successful completion of the project.
- Closing processes: This involves bringing the project to a close and entails scrutiny into both participants and the quality of solution brought forth by the project.
Conclusion: Projects Success
For a project to be successful, there should be a success in the project management processes and product. When we talk of product success we center on the effects of the result from the project (Redmill, 2006). His is to means that the results must be measured and verified. Even though we must match the product success and the project management process we can analyze product success differently. This is because the resultant product can be successful in terms of the outcomes of the project but the project management processes have failed. This is because out of product success can emerge factors such as added value success which is a result of the effects of the project being successful and also user experience can also be successful as users become satisfied with the results from the project (Delone, 2005). For an Information Technology project to be defined as successful, it must follow several dimensions such as Systems quality and Information quality must follow the required rules and guidelines as setting up before the start of the project.
The end-user must be in a position to use and consume the information brought forth by the system; this is known as Information use. There is also the aspect of user satisfaction, whereby the end-user of the system or the program formulated through the project is happy and can use it without any hindrances or problems. There is the aspect of individual impact, where information to the final user is measured and if found to be of use and adequate, then the product and the whole process are termed as successful. There is the effect of the final information on the productivity of the organization. All these aspects depend on whether the project will be simple, acceptable and information easily reusable.
List of References
Baccarini, D. (2007) The Logical Framework Method for Defining Project Success. London, Oxford Publishers.
Booch, G. (1996) Object solutions: managing the object-oriented project. Menlo Park. Addison, Wesley Publishers.
DeLone, W. (2005) Information System Success: The Quest for the Dependent Variable. New York, Information Systems Research.
Globerson, S. (2002). The Impact of the Project Manager on Project Management Planning Processes. New York, Project Management Journal.
Kerzner, H. (2002) Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. New York, Wiley,
Linberg, K. (2007) Software developer perceptions about software project failure: a case study.Washington, The Journal of Systems and Software.
Marchewka, JT (2003). Information technology project management: providing measurable organizational value. New York, Wiley.
Pinkerton, W. (2003) Project management: achieving project bottom-line success. New York, McGraw-Hill.
Redmill, F. (2006) Software projects: evolutionary vs. big-bang delivery, Chichester, Wiley.
Thomsett, R. (2002) Radical project management, Upper Saddle River., Prentice Hall PTR.