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A Case Study of IT Project Management

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Introduction

A Case Study of IT Project Management Informatics Research Centre Business School University of Reading 1. Introduction The Campus Library has decided to integrate the library operations into an Internet-based Library Management System (ILMS). This new system should be able to provide a 24/7 (24 hours a day and 7 days a week) service as a real time learning support resource. It should be able to support routine business functions as well as the management of the information of users and resources. These are also the aims of the system. The expected system has been mainly described as well as the business rules. PRINCE2, a structured project management method is involved for carrying out the ILMS project. This case study concerns the software development life cycle model, project initiation and project plan included in Starting up a Project (SU), Initiating a Project (IP) and Planning (PL), three processes in PRINCE2 (Figure 1). In other words, this case study focus on the preparation of the project. Figure 1. PRINCE2 processes (where the parts in the red box is what the case study concerns) In the next section, ILMS project will be previewed and analysed first for further discussion. Then a software development model will be chosen as the Project Approach, afterwards, the Project Initiation Document (PID) will be assembled, followed by Project Plan, a whole plan of ILMS project. Finally, a further discussion regarding PRINCE2 and Agile will take place for critically viewing the management of the project. 2. Project Overview Internet-based Library Management System (ILMS) is an Internet-base web application with large amount of data in a database, which integrates the library operations into an online system. People can use the library services and facilities remotely, which bring much more convenience. ILMS project is an IT project which is different from managing any other project people may have worked on. The IT projects have particular features worth discussion. ...read more.

Middle

Constraints: � The project manager has been given 10 percent of his time to work on the project. � Only one developer is appointed to the project. � The existing hardware and software are allowed to be used for the project. 4.4.4. Assumptions: There will be no new equipment available for the development. 4.5. Project Organisation: 4.5.1. Structure: Executive: Yinshan Tang Customer representative: Helen Denton Supplier (Developer): Peter Monroe Project Assurance: David Bell (appointed by the project manager. The project will take 5% of his time.) Project Manager: Binbin Liu 4.5.2. Roles and Responsibilities: Table 2. Roles and Responsibilities Role Name Responsibilities Executive � To monitor the continued business case / project mandate for the project. � To authorise changes to budget, scope and project dates. � To be a point of contact to escalate project risks. � To notify the project manager of any proposed changes or strategic decisions. � To have ultimate responsibility for the project; ensuring that project objectives are met. � To ensure appropriate resources are assigned and appropriately allocated to the project. � To be the prime point of contact for the project manager. � To remove blockages which are preventing the project manager from delivering the project. Customer Representative � To demonstrate the requirements. � To participate the test of the system. � To provide some advice about the development if necessary. Supplier (Developer) � To setup the development environment as well as deployment environment. � To develop the system. � To test the system. � To control versions of the application. � To report the progress and problems to project manager. � To communicate with the customer if necessary. Project Manager � Responsible to the project for delivering the project on time and within the agreed budget. � To ensure that the day-to-day project management is effective and providing adequate control and direction. � To ensure that the work undertaken by the developer is completed to the scope of the defined deliverables. ...read more.

Conclusion

� Any change that the customers/users propose is welcome. � Developer can propose technical troubles as well for seeking solutions or planning a change. Also, the communication plan and the communication style should be changed as follows. � Communication between the developer and the customer who defined the product (might be customer representatives, product managers or system consultants) should be more convenient. Organizations may need facilities for rapid communication between stakeholders. � Frequent communication is needed, at least weekly. � The stakeholder can have informal meeting for discussion about the project and the product. � In regular meetings, the working system is expected to be showed and discussed. Working software is delivered frequently. � Both the developer and the customer are encouraged to find solutions together. This is a good way to keep the coherence and eliminate the gap between the requirements and the product. Roles and responsibilities may also be changed. � Customer/client/user is an active role in Agile, also a team member in the project. � Developer is client facing. This is for linking technology with business directly. Clear and reasonable requirements can be selected, which benefits both sides. � Project manager lead teams in creating and responding to change with light touch leadership. Finally, the project plan should be adjusted to Agile methods. In Agile projects, every iteration has usually 3 or 4 timeboxes. Customer puts requirements into the timeboxes, developer implements them in the fixed delivery date. But every timeboxes has maximum capacity for requirements. Customer can not put more requirements into one timebox if it is full. So, the project manager's job here is to plan a control to the capacities of the timeboxes carefully with discussion with the developer and to detect change during the development. Last but not least, because documents will not be produced strictly during the development, a short period at the end of the project is needed for documentation. Finally, the following diagram illustrates summarily what should be replaced in PRINCE2, if Agile methods are considered as the development and management method instead of PRINCE2. Figure 7. ...read more.

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