Guide to IT Project Management

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1 Guide to IT Project Management Guidelines to be used in conjunction with the ECU Project Management Policy Guideline Owner: Chief Information Officer Keywords: Project Management, Project Delivery, Project Governance, Program Management, Project Portfolio Management Intent Organisational Scope Definitions Guidelines Content Accountabilities and Responsibilities Related Documents Contact Information Approval History 1 INTENT The intent of the ECU IT Project Management Guidelines is to provide supporting information on the application of Project Management for technology related projects across the University. The guidelines outline how the project management, its framework, related processes and controls should be applied to deliver a project through its stages to achieve a successful outcome and contribute to the University s strategic objectives. 2 ORGANISATIONAL SCOPE All ECU staff, contractors and all other members of the University Community involved in the initiation and/or delivery of projects that may impact on ITSC services and resources. Business change projects should engage early with ITSC to clarify implications. Project governance and resources can then be determined with stakeholder areas. Page 1 of 10

2 3 DEFINITIONS TERM DEFINITION PMO Program Management Office ITSC Information Technology Services Centre IT Information Technology PRINCE2 Projects in Controlled Environments, a common project management methodology endorsed for technology related projects at ECU Tailoring Tailoring ensures the amount of process is appropriate for the project s size and complexity and is essential to make it work properly without overly burdensome overheads and related costs Project Board The project board is responsible for providing the overall direction and accountable for the success of the project, chaired by the project sponsor who has overall accountability for the project and its business case Project Manager The Project Manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of the project within the constraints and tolerances agreed with the Project Board and documented in the PID ITGC The IT Governance Committee is the governance body that ensures University-wide compliance to technology governance in a structure manner. It makes prioritised investment recommendations to the Strategic Asset Management Forum (SAMF) based on sound governance practices Concept Brief Business Initiative Groups (BIGs) document their ideas and high level information for strategic and architecture assessment and prioritisation for consideration by ITGC Business Case A Business Case is based on an operational or strategic need within the University. This should detail and justify the baseline information about the project such as background, purpose, benefits, objectives, success factors, risks, timescale and funding sources of the proposed project. Project Brief Outlines the business case with sufficient information to justify initiation, including quality expectations and acceptance criteria for the key deliverables. For business as usual upgrade projects, it also documents the approved business case PID The Project Initiation Document is the contract for the project between the project manager and the project board. It sets out, as a minimum: What the project is aiming to achieve; why it is important to achieve it, who will be involved in managing the process what are their responsibilities, and how and when will the project be undertaken; and answer these to a sufficient level of detail to help maintain control of the project. 4 GUIDELINES CONTENT 4.1 Project Management Principles Page 2 of 10

3 Projects will be managed consistent with recognised best practices based on the PRINCE2 project management framework, including PRINCE2 Principles, Themes and Processes. There are seven management principles that help to manage projects at ECU. These principles form the foundation of ECU s PMO Project Management Framework Continued Business Justification There is a justifiable reason to start the project, the justification remains valid throughout the life of the project and the justification is documented and approved. Justification is documented through a Concept Brief or Business Case endorsed in line with the ECU Technology Governance framework. The Business Case is confirmed, updated and reviewed continuously at all stages of the project lifecycle. Internal business as usual upgrade projects require a Project Brief to document the justification of projects, approved with ITSC in used in lieu of a Concept Brief and Business Case Learn from Experience Project teams are expected to learn from the experience of previous projects and incorporate their learning and improvements into current and future projects. Lessons are sought, recorded and acted upon throughout the life of a project, reviewed at appropriate times such as stage boundaries, and collated and included in the End Project Report with appropriate actions and owners assigned Roles and Responsibilities Projects will have defined and agreed roles and responsibilities within an organisation structure that engages the business, end users and delivery teams. Key governance roles supporting projects and decision making are defined in the ECU Technology Governance guidelines Manage by Stages Projects are planned, monitored and controlled on a stage by stage basis. These stages provide project sponsors and executives with decision points at major intervals throughout the project. Decision points are usually key milestones where the status can be assessed, and business case and plans reviewed to ensure that the project remains viable and an informed decision made whether to proceed Manage by Exception Projects will have defined tolerances to establish limits of delegated authority and any escalations beyond these. When the project or a stage is planned, these tolerances are established. These tolerances help identify when a Project Manager should escalate issues or risks to their Project Board. These tolerances allow the Project Board to manage by exception when tolerances are forecast to be exceeded. Page 3 of 10

4 4.1.6 Focus on Deliverables A successful project is output-oriented not activity-oriented. At ECU, the project deliverables should be agreed and defined prior to undertaking the activities required to produce them. The set of agreed deliverables defines the scope of the project and provides the basis for planning and control Tailor to suit the Environment Tailoring reflects the extent to which the key elements of the project management methodology should be applied, specifically against the project management approach, governance, processes and deliverables. Projects are tailored to their sizing and context as it evolves during the project. 4.2 Project Management Framework The Project Management Framework comprises a tailored project lifecycle and processes for project management practitioners to manage projects at ECU Sizing A project management approach should be tailored by considering a range of relevant factors in order to apply appropriate controls that are suitable for the project without executive burden of overheads. Project Sizing Guidelines have been developed for this purpose. Page 4 of 10

5 4.2.2 Phases and Stages Project phases are consistent with the ECU Technology Governance framework and supporting guidelines and comprise a number of stages and key deliverables as follows. Phase Stage Purpose Owner Key Deliverable Assess the business value, Concept strategic alignment Technology Brief Assess and architecture Governance Concept Brief impacts Services Plan Deliver Close Benefits Business Case Start-up Design Procure Build Test Deploy Transition Close Benefits Realisation 4.3 Governance Scope and justify the investment Plan and initiate the project Clarify requirements High level design Source best value for money solution and update business case where necessary Design and configure solution Test and accept quality of solution Deploy solution supported with training and handovers to operational teams Smooth and supported transition of solution into production service Formally close project Post implementation review and benefits realisation Project Manager PMO Business Case Project Brief and Project Initiation Document (PID) Requirements Architecture Procurement Plan and Evaluation if needed Low level designs and configuration UAT signoff, Business readiness and transition plan PAC approved Service Acceptance End Project Report Post Implementation Review (PIR) and Benefits reports Governance of technology-related projects sits within the ECU Technology Governance framework and supporting guidelines. This explains sponsorship, oversight, responsibilities, delegated authorities, performance, business value, and investment optimisation. Additionally, project sizing guidelines inform the recommended level of project sponsor and project board members, and should be confirmed in the business case endorsed by ITGC. Page 5 of 10

6 4.4 Assurance Includes PMO quality reviews, end stage reviews, stage gate reviews, project audits, monitoring, measurement and reporting. Assurance requirements are informed by the project s sizing, and project sponsors may request additional assurance activities. Project end stage reviews and health checks are conducted with the project either as an internal or peer review process reporting to the project sponsor. End Stage Reports are made available to the PMO. Stage gate reviews can be requested (typically by the Project Sponsor/Executive) for larger projects being conducted by the PMO and/or via a third party independent assurance. Project audits are conducted by RASC as part of regularly planned audits. 4.5 Reporting Project reporting is required at specified trigger events and to inform a regular monthly reporting cycle collated by the PMO for project and program senior stakeholders. These reporting processes are described in the ITSC PMO Project Highlight Report Guidelines. 4.6 Project Management Practice Areas Project management practices should draw upon recognised best practices and global standards. A summary of these are included in the appendix, see section 9. 5 ACCOUNTABILITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES In relation to these guidelines, the following positions are responsible for the following: Guidelines Owner The Guidelines Owner has overall responsibility for the content of these guidelines and its operation in ECU. PMO Manager The PMO Manager maintains and promotes the effective use of these guidelines through training and support. Staff/ Contractors Staff/ /Contractors are required to apply these guidelines and to seek clarification from the PMO in the event of uncertainty as to its application. Page 6 of 10

7 6 RELATED DOCUMENTS: 6.1 The policy and guidelines are supported by the following: IT Project Management Framework IT Project Sizing Guidelines ECU Technology Governance Framework, Policy & Guidelines Information Technology Architecture Guiding Principles and Recommendations Strategic Procurement Policies, Guidelines and Procedures Integrated Risk Management Framework Financial Management Policies, Guidelines and Procedures ITSC PMO Project Highlight Reporting Guidelines IT Product Acceptance Criteria 6.2 Other documents which are relevant to the operation of the policy and guidelines are as follows: Terms of References for Advisory Boards AAB, CAB and SAB. Terms of Reference for Project Boards. 7 CONTACT INFORMATION For queries relating to this document please contact: Guidelines Owner Chief Information Officer All Enquiries Contact: IT PMO Manager Telephone: address: The Chief Information Officer is custodian of the University s governance over technology and on behalf of the ITGC, has overall responsibility for the content of this guideline and its operation in ECU. 8 APPROVAL HISTORY Guidelines Approved by: Date Guidelines First Approved: Date last modified: Revision History: Next Revision Due: TRIM File Reference Page 7 of 10

8 9 Appendix 9.1 Project Management Practice Areas Project management practices should draw upon recognised best practices and global standards such as PRINCE2 and the Project Management Body of Knowledge that are complementary in this area Stakeholder Engagement Stakeholders are those with an interest or influence on the project s delivery and outcomes. Stakeholders should be identified and analysed early and included in communication and change management plans. Key stakeholders are initially identified in the Concept Brief and Business Case, and engagement and change management plans developed during Start-up stage and evolved during the project Planning Effective project management relies on effective planning as without a plan there is no control. At a minimum, this should result in a list of key milestones and deliverables as a baseline to measure progress against. A separate stage plan should be used to for start-up and deliver the PID, after which the project plan supporting the PID may lead to further stage plans if needed Scheduling Project scheduling is the modelling of project plans in a project scheduling tool, typically MS Project. Schedules should include identification of critical path activities and enable time management, with baseline schedules used to monitor progress, control and raise changes against. When schedule forecasts exceed the baseline schedule, agreed tolerance and interdependencies, a change is raised for the project board to consider and endorse the updated schedule and milestones. PMO also reviews schedule changes to overall program delivery and interdependencies taking the appropriate steps to manage or where necessary escalate Organisational Change Management Change management to support operational adoption and business benefits realisation should be approached consistent with Prosci Change Management practices (best practice methodology) including planned activities to influence and build Awareness, Design, Knowledge and Reinforcement of changes. This includes change leadership at relevant levels and visible change sponsorship by the project executive sponsor Quality Management Project quality management is the process of identifying and managing quality requirements and/or standards for the project and deliverables, and documenting how the project will demonstrate compliance and verify and validate deliverables. The PRINCE2 quality theme defines and implements the means by which the project will create and verify deliverables that are fit for purpose. This includes a quality plan in the PID and activities such as quality reviews and testing during delivery Cost Estimation and Budget Management Page 8 of 10

9 Project cost estimation determines how much the project will cost and how accurate is the estimate. An accurate estimate relies on clear assumptions, defined scope, realistic risk assessment, and accurate resource availability and productivity rates. Actual costs must be tracked and compared to planned costs from the approved plan and budget. Variances between planned and actual must be controlled for an escalated when exceeding agreed tolerances. Costs are estimated at several key stages including Concept Brief and Business Case, and when endorsed become the baseline to control against. Project Managers will report and control project costs against Oracle Financials GL month-end reports, including any accruals, and review and reconcile any discrepancies. Forecasts are updated at least quarterly and when exceeding the approved budget and tolerance, a change is raised for the project board and then ITGC to consider and endorse the updated budget Human Resource Management Project Human Resource Management ensures that the project has sufficient human resources, with the correct skills sets and experience, to enable the project to be successful completed. This may include sourcing or allocating additional resources, their performance management and exiting. It is important to estimate resource and raise resource requirements with their relevant team leaders as early as possible and clarify and reconfirm closer to the time. As ITSC is resourced for business as usual, projects need to estimate additional resource requirements and gaps in capabilities based on external contractor rates and backfilling where appropriate. This is estimated at a high level during Concept Brief and with increasing detail for Business Case and subsequent stages. The PMO reviews all projects for aggregate demand and collates aggregate supply from teams to inform a high-level program/portfolio capacity plan Procurement Project procurement includes the processes required to purchase or acquire deliverables, services or results needed from outside the project. Projects must comply with ECU Strategic Procurement Policy and guidelines. Projects should consider the procurement strategy during the initial Concept Brief stage, and then as part of the planning phase review and finalise the procurement strategy Risk Management Every project involves risks and every project needs a management strategy for dealing with the threats and opportunities represented by each risk. Project risk management includes processes to manage, plan, identify, analyse, respond to, and monitor and control project risks. Risks are managed as part of the integrated risk management framework. Risks should be registered and maintained in a project risk register made available to the PMO, e.g. in the Project Workbook Issues and Change Management A project issue is any relevant event that has happened, wasn t planned, and requires management action. Issues are registered in the project issues register included in the project workbook, their impacts assessed and changes proposed as part of the change process, decided by the project board or change authority. Resulting changes are recorded in the change register and effected consistent with configuration management. For example, updated documents are republished with a new version Page 9 of 10

10 and communicated to stakeholders, or production change are registered as part of the change request process in ServiceNow Architecture To ensure projects continue on the agreed architecture and solution path determined architecture reviews are performed throughout all phases of the project, Architecture reviews are aligned to key touch points at specific project stages defined in the project management framework Service Design and Production Acceptance Service design and implications are initially considered in the Concept Brief stage and reviewed and refined throughout the project as the service is designed. Production acceptance of the new or changed service is considered initially within the planning phase of the project, with required deliverables and stakeholders identified and incorporated within the project plan and schedule, enabling a smooth transition to the production service. The Production Acceptance Criteria (PAC) is a useful prompt list for the Project Manager identifying the stakeholder areas and required deliverables Post Implementation Review Post-Implementation Review assesses both how well the project has been managed and the realisation of benefits projected in the business case and developed in the benefits realisation plan. As these are achieved through other activities, postimplementation review is effectively split into two: End Project Report and Benefits Review End Project Report The End Project Report (EPR) is the Project Manager s report to the Project board documenting how well the project was managed against the Project Initiation Document (PID). It should comment on approved changes to the PID and cover any exceptions, comment on how well the customer s quality expectations have been met, highlight lessons learned, and includes any benefits that are already being realised. The EPR is produced as part of the formal project closure process in the Closure stage Benefits Review Benefits review assesses the realisation of benefits projected in the business case and as described in the benefits realisation strategy. Any deviations from expected benefits should be documented and explained in the benefits report. This is an important input for the Realise Benefits stage gate review. Page 10 of 10

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