Over the past few months, the Information Technology Services (ITS) Project Process team has been working to enhance ITS frameworks for managing enterprise scale and smaller scale projects. The refreshed project management process documentation is now available on a campus community wiki . Many thanks to John Lovelace, Program Director, ASMP 2.0 and Linda Buckley, ITS Senior Project Manager for spearheading this important initiative, and everyone else on the team who contributed their experiences and knowledge.
When you review the information on the wiki, you will see that it goes beyond providing updated templates and spreadsheets. More importantly, the new framework encourages project teams to understand how projects should work, what good questions to ask, and how to pass along relevant experiences and hard-earned lessons learned to the next project team. For example, stage containment is a key concept to reduce risk – do not start the next stage of work until successfully achieving the goals of the current stage. It’s no fun doing lots of clean-up and rework if you don’t verify project stage completion before moving on to the next stage!
There are two sets of tools available on the wiki, one for the Project Template Enterprise and one for the Project Template Lite . (Hint–save the templates to your computer to print.) Take time to review both templates to glean a comprehensive view of whats necessary when planning and managing large or smaller projects. For both enterprise-wide scale projects, or lite scale projects, the instructions in sample templates provide guidelines, samples, and resources. Project managers are encouraged to adapt these sample templates to meet unique conditions, as they know what best fits the requirements of specific initiatives.
The series of questions developed for Lite projects are particularly useful. Having them collected in one place is outstanding. Organized by the Initiation, Planning, Execution, and Closeout stages of a project, the questions are impressive in thoroughness and detail. They give common-sense guidance and ensure thoroughness in all stages of the project process. Here are some examples:
- What is the problem this project is trying to solve? What is not in scope?
- Have you included customer/vendor input in your project planning?
- Give details on the current status and progress of the project? Dates? Cost? Staff Availability?
- Do any customer facing support pages need to be reviewed/revised?
Using the updated project processes and tools will help ITS improve the quality and timely delivery of projects and build trust. These renewed project management frameworks help set and meet expectations and establish a consistent project approach on which ITS and the campus can rely. Use these frameworks and you will build a working understanding of what it takes to successfully plan and manage your projects = large or small.
These frameworks have been shared with project management colleagues at Texas A&M University and Boston College. Cool!