The Impact of Project Management in Information Systems

Topics: Project management, Management, Work breakdown structure Pages: 11 (3096 words) Published: December 11, 2011
1. Introduction

The explosion in the computing field in the last twenty years forced the organisations to be computerised for achieving most of their operations using Information Technology (IT) systems. The implementation of the systems requires a management program for the IS applications development.

Susan Brock (2003) supports that as the data into valuable corporate information has become more viable through information technologies, the application of IT based projects has risen too (Susan Brock, 2003). The organisations use Information System Projects for either updating, or either upgrading or changing the existing system in order to meet users or customers’ requirements.

It is supposed that the tools and techniques used in such IS projects will differ independently based on the projects’ requirements. The roles and responsibilities of each contributor to the projects differ as well. The organisations responded to this new challenge by putting into place project management teams that take into account the technological and organisational complexity of their Information System Projects (Vital Roy, 2006).

The management of a software development project presents many difficulties. Most Information Systems projects are considered less than successful or many are simply cancelled. Project Management has been introduced as a major factor for controlling and tracking their projects in order to avoid these project failures.

On the other hand many IS projects are successful when are completed on time, on budget, on scope and met the customers and users needs and requirements. This could happen by investigating and analysing the key elements of project management required for the successful implementation of these projects.

2. Project Management in IS projects

As it stated above, Project Management is the most important tool for managing, tracking and controlling the projects. David Dixon (1988) defined Project Management as the management tool for estimating, planning, scheduling the activities needed to achieve the expected levels of functionality, quality and performance within the specified constraints for cost, time, schedules and resources (David Dixon, 1988). These activities divided into different tasks which must be assigned to the project team and be controlled by the project manager.

Although most of the projects are successful, delivered on time and covered the appropriate requested requirements, some of the projects are considered less than successful and many are simply challenged or cancelled. According to the study of Susan Brock (2003), projects’ failures have reduced significantly considering the number of projects has almost doubled between 1994 and 2002, however almost half of the projects remain “challenged” (Susan Brock, 2003).

During the years, IT professionals researched and studied different situations and suggest some key elements and theories for the successful implementation of IS projects such as the documentation of the Project Initiation Document (PID), the important role of the project manager, the project planning, project quality, etc.

1. Organisational Framework

First of all an important section to be investigated and analysed is the organisational framework which considers the organisational structure for IS project work. The organisational framework is established at the outset and well understood by all concerned since otherwise it will be impossible to get important decisions made and to get a clear idea about the project (James Cadle and Donald Yeates, 2001). It is very important to know the customer, sponsor and project manager of each project because they are all responsible to make the most important decisions for the project.

The other various roles may be organised in different ways, depending on a number of factors including the type of the project and culture of the organisation. The other principal roles for an IS project could be the...
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