Project Management: Mitigating Risks to Improve the Chances of Success!
Parikshit Chavan 19 Aug 2012
Abstract Project Management is increasingly important in the IT industry as more and more companies and organizations integrate technology into their structure to solve problems and work more efficiently. This paper explains the process of Project Management and the risks, specifically associated with IT projects, that threaten the effective execution and success and implementation of an IT project. It describes in detail the process and tools used in Project Risk Management as well as how to mitigate risks throughout the life of a project.
Introduction Changes in technology, competition, and demand have prompted companies and organizations to run more efficiently and effectively. Many times, this requires companies to adopt a new way of seeing and doing things within their organization and with those new perspectives and practices usually come new Information Technology tools. Implementation of these tools in structured environments is a challenge for the Chief Executive Officer, but to create and successfully execute these technology-based tools is the challenge of the Chief Information Officer. More specifically, the person responsible for overseeing the planning, development and delivery of these tools, usually titled the Project Manager Officer, has the challenge of acquiring and organizing the resources, synchronizing the efforts of various teams and ensuring the project is delivered in an acceptable state. The process this person uses is called Project Management and in the IT industry this is an ever-growing and complex process to manage. Project Management Project management as defined by PMI, “is the application of knowledge, skills and techniques to execute projects effectively and efficiently.”1 Managing projects is not easy; however, the examination of project management process has provided many tools and techniques to help in executing a project successfully. Project management does not guarantee success of a project, but, it drastically improves the chances of the success of a project as it is derived out of repeatable processes and techniques. The 2011 CHAOS study done by The Standish Group demonstrates that the success rate for projects that did not implement a project management process was only 34%. The other 66% were deemed “challenged” or failures.2 The Project Management Institute study, Researching the Value of Project Management, found that implementing a Project Management process delivers value to organizations, not only in measureable tangible forms, but also in intangible forms.3 Process Groups of Project management The life cycle of a project is divided into five process groups. Each of these process groups has different activities. Many of these activities recapitulate several times during the course of the project. These process groups are also related to each other as, an output from one of the processes can be an input for another process. In the course of the project these processes might overlap each other and repeat. These process groups are Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling and Closing. Each process includes inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs. Initiating Initiating process is the first process group. In this process the project charter is developed and the project stakeholders are identified. In this process documents are developed that authorize the project and define the projects objectives. It also develops a preliminary statement of work that documents interests, expectations and needs of each stakeholder involved in the project.
Planning In the planning process group, the project planning is started. It involves going though the outputs of the initiating process to define the scope, resources needed, quality and communication, risks and cost management of the project. The outputs of the planning process are work breakdown structure,...
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