Project Management Tools/Methods

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Over the years, Information Technology (I.T) projects has been known to fail, that is, they are either completed with over budget or not completed within time and budget. Information Technology projects are often complex and detailed in nature and require cognitive knowledge and skills for its accomplishment. I.T projects are often difficult to estimate and manage as some projects are either cancelled or reduced in scope because of over budgeting and time overruns or failure to produce anticipated benefits (Kumar, 2001). Failure of I.T projects is often characterised by the inability to meet the customer’s requirement or change in requirements during the project. To achieve a successful project, monitoring and control process performance is important, that is, control of Information Technology projects involves the use of appropriate management frameworks/methodologies and planning tools.

In this report, we are going to look at the various ways of we can monitor and manage I.T projects, evaluating some management frameworks/methodologies and planning tools used with critical analysis on their functions, benefits as well as their weaknesses.

Project monitoring and control are steps taking to keep track of a project process to ensure its success. Project monitoring is the gathering of information to determine the current state and progress of a Project in relation to its expected state and success (McBride, 2008; Aljibouri, 2003). Despite efforts put into project planning, things do change or occur that cause our project to derail. At this point, an effective monitoring and control process is useful and required to get the project back on course. It is in the control and monitoring process that we keep track of the project process, identify deviations, and determine and implement corrective actions. Many Organisations tend to manage I.T projects in an unstructured or ad hoc manner throughout its life cycle with limited understanding of the relationship between I.T project implementation and traditional business performance metrics (Stewart, 2008).

The attention to schedule and cost are of utmost relevance in project monitoring and control as well as the scope of the project, risk and change control plus the overall performance measurement and reporting. The essential purpose of project monitoring and control is to alert the project manager to any project inter-dependencies that are becoming critical in terms of delivery date, resource allocation, cost or benefits (Lycett, 2002). The basic challenge of project management in achieving its goals it based on managing effectively its typical constraints which include time, scope, budget. The following activities are involved in monitoring and control of I.T Projects; * The adoption of appropriate management framework/methodology – reporting structure, assessing progress, communication. * Use of Planning and scheduling tools/techniques e.g. Gantt chart, PERT, CPA, WBS e.t.c * Data control – reporting progress of risk or staff activities

Project management methodologies can be said to be a set of principles or guidelines that can be defined and applied in monitoring and control of projects. Project management framework defines and determines how to initiate and run a project. These various methodologies ensure; * Clearly visible and defined management process for project execution * Defined line of reporting and decision making

* Risk management
* Staff are appropriately trained and suitable to handle and run projects * Commitment to the proposed project.
There so many various methodologies available as it all depends which suits the organisation practice. Here are a few of some well known ones below: PRINCE 2 - It is an acronym for Project IN Controlled Environment. PRINCE 2 is a...
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