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Project Management: Best Practices for IT Professionals

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Project Management: Best Practices for IT Professionals

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  • Copyright 2001
  • Edition: 1st
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  • ISBN-10: 0-13-021914-2
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-021914-5

Project management leadership is today's #1 business skill. Talented, knowledgeable project managers command the best assignments and compensation: they are the future leaders of business. But expert project managers aren't born that way: they've learned specific, proven techniques and strategies for achieving outstanding results. In Project Management, Richard Murch shares those techniques and strategies. Whether you're managing your first project, or you're an experienced project manager facing tough, new challenges, Project Management offers expert solutions. Start by mastering the fundamentals of project management, including planning, reporting, team building, and team leadership. Understand the entire project lifecycle: planning, analysis, design, construction, testing, rollout, and beyond. Learn practical ways to respond to incessant changes in market conditions, resources, requirements and schedules; and learn how to manage risks and problems more effectively. Master today's latest rapid software development methodologies and techniques; and discover how to handle the unique challenges of IT and knowledge management projects. Finally, leverage the latest Internet and intranet-based project management tools and resources.

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Table of Contents

I. INTRODUCTION TO PROJECT MANAGEMENT.

1. Evolution of Project Management.

Introduction. Industrial Revolution. Key People in Early Project Management. Other Significant Events. Conclusions.

II. PRINCIPLES OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT.

2. Basic Skills for Project Managers`.

Introduction. What Does a Project Manager Do? Necessary Skills. Personal Skills. Technical Skills. Management Skills. Coping Skills. Manage One Project-or Many? Project Management Skills Development. Keys to a Successful Skills Management Endeavor. Conclusions.

3. Project Planning and Reporting.

Introduction. Project Planning Deliverables. Project Standards. How Much Detail? Project Status -An Example. Customer Satisfaction/Follow-On Potential. Conclusions.

4. Project Teams.

Shortages in Information Technology Staff. Need for Retention. The Cost of Information Technology Staff Replacement- An Analysis. Retention-Meeting Needs. Conclusions.

III. THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT LIFECYCLE.

5. Project Lifecycle Overview.

Introduction. Purpose. Background. Goals. Overview. Lifecycle Process Management. Stakeholders. Audience. Roles and Responsibilities. Revision Process. New Releases. Communication. Section Layout and Structure. Phase Checklists. CRUD-Deliverables Matrix.

6. Project Planning Phase.

Purpose. Objectives. Activities. Initiate Project and Organize. Project Definition and Planning. Management Review and Approval. Roles. Inputs. Information Plan. Outputs. Business Case. Conceptual Design. Project Plan. Milestones. Project Plan Sign-Off. Tools.

7. Analysis and Design Phases.

Analysis Phase. Purpose. Objectives. Activities. End User Requirements. Roles. Inputs. Conceptual Design. Current System Description. Enterprise Model. Information Plan. Outputs. Business Process Prototype. Requirements Specification. Quality Requirements. Milestones. Architecture Analysis Assessment Complete (Optional). Requirements Sign-Off. Tools. Design Phase. Purpose. Objectives. Activities. Quality Verification and Validation (QV&V). Roles. Inputs. Corporate Standards. Business Process Prototype. Requirements Specification. Outputs. Design Document. Milestones. Architecture Design Assessment Complete. Design Sign-Off. Lifecycle Assessment Complete. Tools.

8. Construction Phase.

Purpose. Objectives. Activities. Detailed Design. Programming. Roles. Inputs. Design Document. Outputs. Code. Programming Work Units. Test Database. Unit/String Test Results. Milestones. Code Review Complete. String Test Sign-Off. Tools.

9. Test Planning and Preparation.

Purpose. Objectives. Activities. Design Testing Approach. Plan Test. Create Test Model. Roles. Inputs. The Corporation IT Standards Environment. Conversion Plan. Data Conversion Processes. Design Document. Requirements Specification. Outputs. Automated and Manual Test Procedures. Test Model. Test Plan. Milestones. Test Plan Sign-Off. Testing Phase. Purpose. Objectives. Activities. Roles. Inputs. Outputs. Milestones. Tools. Preparation Phase. Purpose. Objectives. Activities. Roles. Inputs. Outputs. Milestones.

10. Roll-out Planning and Implementation Phase.

Purpose. Objectives. Activities. Design Data Conversion Processes. Complete Rollout and Conversion Plans. Develop Conversion Procedures. Prepare Site. Create Conversion Files. Roles. Inputs. Design Document. Current System Descriptions. Outputs. Conversion Plan. Converted Data. Data Conversion Processes. Rollout Plan. Milestones. Conversion Readiness Sign-Off. Rollout. Purpose. Objectives. Activities. Roles. Inputs. Outputs. Milestones.

IV. PROJECT MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES.

11. Project Management Methodologies.

Introduction. What Is a Methodology, and Why Use One? Methodology Structures. Why Use a Methodology? Author's Prediction. What Are the Products? A Case in Point. Conclusions. Suggested Readings.

12. Managing Rapid Application Development.

Introduction. RAD Concepts. Objectives and Benefits of RAD. Objectives. Benefits. The RAD Lifecycle. RAD Project Management Factors. Shorter Duration. Empowered End Users. Use of Existing Architectures and Technology. Proven Methodology. A Highly Motivated Team. Application Complexity. The Internet. The Roles of the RAD Team Members. The RAD Facilitator. The Management Sponsor. Information Specialists. The Scribe. Specialists. Observers. Conclusions. Suggested Readings.

13. Managing Risks.

Introduction. What Can Happen with No Risk Management. Information Technology Risk Management Objectives. Types of Risk in Project Management. The Risk Management Process. Risk Management Plan. Identifying the Risks. Risk Watch List. Assess and Monitor Risks. Contingency. Enterprise Risk Profile. Conclusions. Suggested Readings.

14. Managing Problems.

Introduction. Who Uses Problem Solving? The Problem Solving Model. Understand the Problem. Define the Root Causes. Determine the Solutions. Decide and Plan. Implement and Evaluate. A Matrix Guide. Other Problem Management Techniques. Conclusions. Suggested Readings.

15. Other Techniques.

Introduction. Software Quality Assurance. Configuration Management. Requirements Management. SWOT Analysis. Release Management. Software Subcontract Management. Quality Reviews. Crisis Management. Suggested Readings.

V. SPECIAL TOPICS IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT.

16. Knowledge Management.

Introduction. Why Is KM Necessary? Sources of Knowledge Capital. The Potential for Project Management-KM for PM. Conclusions. Suggested Readings.

17. Project Management and the Internet.

Introduction. Personal Computers, Growth and the Internet. Implications for Project Management. The Virtual Office. An Internet Project Management Model. Communication. Recruitment. Training. Conclusions.

Appendix A: Software Engineering Institute.

Introduction. Mission and Charter. Products and Services. Author's Recommendation. Conclusion.

Appendix B: Project Management Institute.

Introduction. Certification. International Awards. Seminars and Education. Recruitment. Membership Offerings. Recommendation. More Information.

Appendix C: Additional Project Management Resources.

Center for International and Program Management. Guide to Project Management Web Sites. International Journal of Project Management. The International Research Network. Project Management Institute of Canada. The Program/Project Management Initiative. The Project Manager's Reference Site. The Project Management Forum. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 233 The International Project Management Help Desk. Association for Project Management. ProjectNet. Professional and Standards Organizations.

Appendix D: A Sample Crisis Plan.

Introduction.

Index.

Preface

Preface

Project management leadership has become a highly sought-after skill. An increasingly competitive global marketplace demands that businesses get new products, services, and business development completed quickly, on time, and within budget.

From small companies to web-based businesses to giant global financial institutions, project managers are fueling much of the successful development of exciting new business enterprises. They do this by delivering projects that have consistent value and help increase profits.

Talented and knowledgeable project managers will command the best assignments, salaries, other compensation and bonuses. They are the future business leaders, entrepreneurs, and global citizens, proving their value to any organization competing in today's fast-paced marketplace.

Regardless of how much in demand they are, good project managers are not born, but rather created through a combination of experience, time, talent, and training. Although excellent organizational skills are a prerequisite for the project manager, other key attributes may not be naturally occurring and need to be developed. Unfortunately, most of this development time occurs on the job, so few individuals who are promoted to the role of project manager ever feel fully ready to take on the challenge offered to them.

When faced with a first project, many project managers are worried that they don't yet know what they should know. Historically, project management, particularly in the Information Technology (IT) arena, has had a reputation for always being late and over budget. Even under the best of circumstances, project management is not easy; the project manager is continually faced with changing conditions, technology, resources, requirements, and schedules. Technology only serves to complicate matters further because today's computing environments tend to become obsolete with ever-increasing speed. Thus, a good project manager must not only be proficient at managing, but he or she must retain that proficiency as the technology changes. This light-speed adaptability is not an option, but rather an absolute requirement of the job. Clearly, the job of project manager is not for the faint-of-heart. Good preparation and knowledge about what the job entails is hugely valuable and key to surviving a first project.

The purpose of this book is to provide the new project manager with an accessible resource that presents the key topics and subject areas that he or she is likely to encounter. The book's broad coverage should be especially useful to a busy project manager who will not have time initially to research all of these topics in-depth but requires an immediate working knowledge of the overall functions and behaviors of an IT project. As the project manager becomes more comfortable with the basics, the book continues to be a valuable tool because it includes a wealth of additional resources such as books, papers, and web sites for additional learning as needed.

The hardest part of any project is knowing where to begin. It is hoped that this book will be a great jumping-off point to a successful career of well-managed endeavors for many a project manager.

Who Should Read this Book

This book is intended for the novice project manager responsible for IT projects, regardless of size or complexity. Because of the broad nature of its coverage, it can be used as an introduction to key topics on the entire project lifecycle for someone previously unfamiliar with the nature of IT projects. For moderately experienced individuals, it can become a convenient reference manual to help reinforce the basic understanding of IT project management. Additionally, the sections on specialized topics will be useful to project managers seeking to increase their learning and to grow their experience base into niche areas such as Knowledge Management or Risk and Crisis Management.

Organization of this Book

This book is organized into five parts that broadly categorize the information contained in it. These parts and their subjects are:

Part One: Introduction to Project Management provides a brief overview of this book and some historical background on Project Management and its overall evolution.

Part Two: Principles of Project Management covers ground-floor information such as basic skills, elements of project planning and reporting, and the makeup and issues surrounding good project teams.

Part Three: The Project Management Lifecycle categorizes the project by phase, explains each phase's purpose and describes in finer detail the activities, deliverables, and resources for and intentions of each phase.

Part Four: Project Management Techniques provides information on a number of techniques and topics facing Project Managers today, such as the types and use of methodologies, managing risks and problems, and specializations such as Software Quality Assurance, Configuration Management, and Crisis Management.

Part Five: Special Topics in Project Management concludes the main portion of this book with some discussion of hot topics such as Knowledge Management and the impact of the Internet on Project Management.

Finally, there are numerous additional sources of information available to the Project Manager included in several Appendices.

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