How to Properly Initiate Your IT Projects
Today we are going to continue our series on IT methodologies and we're going to look a little bit closer at the project management methodology, specifically, initiating projects. Initiating projects is the first process group that projects will go through before it goes into planning, executing, monitoring and control, and closing. Initiating is really the beginning. It's the start. It’s actually a head of planning. It is an authorization to go ahead with the project.
What is a Project Charter?
The key structural element here is the project charter. The project charter gives the project manager authorization to go ahead and make use of the organization's resources to start planning and executing that project. Some of the things that you'd expect to find on that project charter are a lot of high-level descriptions of the project. High-level descriptions of, first and foremost, what are the objectives? What is it that they were trying to achieve with this IT project? Those IT objectives should be very quantifiable if that's possible. Is there an opportunity to reduce costs? Well, reduce costs by how much? An opportunity to increase efficiency, perhaps the number of days it takes for our invoices to get paid. Well, how much of an increase are we expecting? The more we can quantify what those objectives are, the more easily we can measure if this IT project was successful or not when the project is completed. Some other high-level things that you would expect to see in the project charter are perhaps some of the people involved. Who's going to be the project manager? There might even be some assignments to team members who could be involved with that project. Another section is the risks. What are the high-level risks involved with this project? All the areas of uncertainty fall under the topic of risk. What could go wrong? Also what could go right? What could be a potential positive result of this project that is uncertain and may or may not happen? Of course every project charter has to include the budgetary information. How much is this thing expected to cost? What are the estimated costs? What are the funding requirements? When do we need this money? How long is this project going to take? You've heard that expression; people want things to be "fast, cheap and good." Those sort of equate to time, cost and scope. Those of the three main things that we consider in project management.
The Importance of Project Initiation to your Calgary Business
Initiating your project properly is really the key element to success for having a successful IT project in your small or medium-sized business. If you don't take the time to write-down and state what those objectives are going to be, identify who team members are going to be. Who are those key stakeholders that are going to be involved? What risks are involved with this project? How long is it going to take? What is it going to do? How much is it going to cost? If you don't have an idea of what those things are before you start, your project is doomed to fail. Somebody's expectations aren't going to be met because they haven't been documented, you don't understand what they are. If that's the case, how can you possibly meet them? As a small or medium-sized business owner in Calgary, make sure that your projects are properly initiated, that know what projects are running, what they are, what they are there for and what they're going to produce and what benefits have been receive when those projects are complete. This has been Jonathan Nituch with Fortress Technology Planners, a Calgary IT project company. We will speak to you tomorrow.