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IT Projects and Project Management Templates

June 9 2008

IT Projects – Project Management Templates

We’re often asked “which steps do I take, to manage an IT project?” Yes, IT projects are different than other types, as they require a lot more analysis and design upfront, before the project begins. So we thought we’d step you through the classical life cycle for an IT project here in this newsletter, by describing…

The 5 phases of IT Projects

According to Google, “IT and Software” projects are now the most common type of project undertaken within the field of Project Management. So what are the phases in a project life cycle, that involves IT and Software? They are available in a set of project managemnt templates and we’ve set them out for you below…

Phase 1: Analysis

The first step for an IT project involves analyzing your requirements for a solution. To do this, you need to analyze your business environment, processes, systems, people and organizational structure, to help you set out exactly what it is that the new IT solution must deliver. Typically, companies write a “Requirements Specification” which sets out their business requirements formally, so that at the end of the project, they have a formal stake in the ground, against which the solution can be measured.

Phase 2: Design

When you know what it is that you want, the next step is to design a solution using your project management templates for meeting those needs. In the design phase, you will design all of the components of the solution, including the; hardware, software, user interface, security and integration with other systems. The Project Manager will often get a “prototype” built, so that the customer can see roughly what the solution will look and feel like, before the development phase begins.

Phase 3: Develop

The longest and most time consuming phase is always the development of the system. This involves writing software code, constructing hardware, building the database, writing the user interface and fitting together each of the components into a complete solution for the customer. It’s during this phase that most delays are experienced, and they are typically due to insufficient analysis and design being completed.

Phase 4: Test

When the solution has been built, it’s time to test that it performs as expected. A smart tester will have already agreed with the customer what it is that should be tested and what the outcome should be. If this is done, then testing is more of a formality and there should be “no surprises” during the testing process. There are various types of testing, including system / load / performance / security / user interface testing.

Phase 5: Implement

After comprehensive testing, you’re ready to “Go Live”. You do this by installing the hardware at the customers site, installing the sotware, and migrating the data over from the existing system to the new system. Some final “checks and balances” are performed to ensure that the data is accurate and the system is performing as expected, and then you’re finished. You will know when to do this by allowing your project management templates to guide you.

Note: While the phases in an IT project may be different than other projects, the way you manage them will be the same, even the project management templates you use. For this reason, you can follow the MPMM Project Management Methodology to manage IT and all other projects, to achieve success. Or you could try our lastest release Online Project Management.