The project environment within the Information Technology department is dynamic and fast-paced. Operating within the mission and business activities of the Community College of Rhode Island, IT plays a supporting role in ensuring that ubiquitous, reliable technology is available for all college constituents. This project management website contains definitions, guidelines, and templates for the various activities undertaken to deliver timely IT projects.
Our methodology provides:
- A common language.
- More effective and efficient project management.
- Monitoring of progress against pre-determined metrics.
- An ability to think through the entire project before starting.
- A set of best practices over time.
- Standardized reporting.
The framework establishes common ground for all projects within IT. With the glossary of project management terms, it will also ensure common terminology between the different areas of the college. The long-term intent is to build a project management repository to document best practices, lessons learned, and examples of various documents that may be developed during any project.
Project Development Methodology provides a systematic approach to guiding a project through its life cycle, from inception to post-implementation review. This methodology will provide the essential framework to project development regarding planning, organization, resource allocation, risk management, and acceptance.
The foundation of a sound project development methodology is to provide a mechanism for:
- Filtering projects for acceptance, in support of the mission and strategic goals of the Community College of Rhode Island,
- Managing resources relative to current and planned projects,
- Ensuring successful completion and adoption of accepted projects,
- Providing timely management reporting and status updates for projects in-flight.
The objective of Project Management Methodology is to ensure that a standardized process is used throughout the project lifecycle in order to avoid steps or processes that waste time and resources or squander productivity while managing risks to the project's planned outcome and successful deployment. As a result, the project will be completed with fewer defects, greater acceptability, shorter delivery times, and better value than projects undertaken without a clearly defined strategy for development and deployment.
Key elements in Project Development Methodology include:
- Outline of standard phases essential to any project
- Definition of expected outcomes and significant landmarks
- Definition of necessary project roles
- Outline of constraints and assumptions
- Summary of necessary assets in terms of personnel, equipment and fiscal resources
- Project schedule of expected milestone delivery/completion dates
- Assessment of major risks identified to date
While the project development methodology provides the definition of the project life cycle, the decision authority lies with the Project Sponsor and the IT Project Manager.
A project is a unique venture with a beginning and an end, undertaken by people to meet established goals within defined constraints of time, resources, and quality.
A project typically performs one of these functions:
- Develop a new system, service or object
- Make significant improvements to a system, service or object Improve internal processes or introduce new ones
- Build or significantly enhance infrastructure
- Research new technology for a specific purpose
- Scope and plan extremely large efforts
- Application of major patches and upgrades to software
Some examples of work that are not projects:
- Daily Production Support Activities
- System administration
- System operations
- Break/fix activities
- Customer Support
- Other operational activities that follow a defined process
- Very small system change requests
Project Development would typically comprise assessing the impact, cost, benefit and risk of the proposed project, developing a business case, obtaining approval, managing and coordinating project implementation, monitoring and reporting on project status, reviewing outcomes and providing a final project review/wrap-up.
The project development procedures include:
- Development of a project charter with associated financial, procurement, resource, and acceptance planning
- Analysis of the driving and restraining forces providing motivation for or constraints to the project
- Approval for the project by the appropriate sponsors
- Prioritization of the project by the collective advisory group structure
- Administration of the project through the use of checklists, project plans, budget monitoring, etc.
- Management of the project through regular meetings of project participants and stakeholders
- Acceptance of the completed product or outcome in its final form by the Project Sponsor/Owner
- Review and final report of the project
This written policy for project development defines all roles, responsibilities, and procedures related to project development, approved by the advisory group structure and in accordance with the CIO.
Policies, procedures, and standards should be reviewed periodically (at least annually) by IT management to ensure suitability and completeness.
Templates/documentation standards which have been developed shall be considered a part of this standard of practice and will be used for all IT project initiatives. Further explanation of each of the templates is contained in the Documentation section below.
Roles and responsibilities affecting project development are defined, designated to qualified personnel, communicated to the organization, and enforced throughout the project development process.