The Secret Mix of Successful GIS Project Management

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1 2014 WAURISA Conference The Secret Mix of Successful GIS Project Management Presented By: Geoff Almvig, Skagit County GIS Don Burdick, Salish Coast Sciences, LLC

2 What Is A Project? Definition: A project is all the work we do 1 time. Every project produces an outcome and every project has a beginning and end. Project characteristics: A project must have a goal It must be initiated It needs someone to oversee and manage it. It has a completion date Project can be small or large: Project management principles are adaptable to any size project.

3 What Is Project Management? Project management : Is a set of methods, theories, and techniques that have evolved to manage the complexities of work that is unique and temporary.

4 Why Is Project Management Important? Without project management there is a high failure rate: On average, about 70% of all IT-related projects fail to meet their objectives.

5 Why Project Management Is Important? Key benefits of project management : Establishes accountability Provides better efficiency in delivering services Provides improved customer satisfaction Reduces risk Prevents scope creep Increases product quality Provides cost savings Provides better communication Hope is not a strategy

6 The Key Project Players And Their Roles Key project management players: Stakeholders (anyone impacted by the project) Business group (people who represent the business) Users (people who will use or operate whatever the project is implementing) Suppliers (people who do the work or provide input to the project) Sponsor (formal authority--ultimately responsible for the project) Project Manager (reports to sponsor--has control, responsibility, and authority of project.) Project team (key members needed to complete the project)

7 The Phases Of Project Management Project life cycle (phases): Define--project conception and initiation Plan--project planning Execute--project launch Closeout project closure

8 Phases 1, Define Conception And Initiation Phase 1 steps: Define the project need communicate realistic expectations of what the project is trying to achieve (get agreement from all concerned) Define the project vision (separate dreams & wishes) Define the project driver (underlying reason why) Prepare a project charter Statement of work (purpose, scope, deliverables) Reason for the project Objectives and constraints Directions concerning the solution Key players (stakeholders) Identify high level risk issues Project benefits Budget authority

9 Phases 1, Define Conception And Initiation Phase 1 steps continued: Is the project feasible (feasibility study) Establish the business benefits (what make the project a success) Determine (preliminary) costs Determine how costs will be recovered (model) List business risks and risk mitigation Create the business case (benefits verses costs) Obtain business approval (Request For Change) Benefit Cost

10 Phases 2, Plan Project Planning Steps to develop a project plan: Appoint project sponsor and project manager Establish a strong technical team (important!) Create product requirements (SMART) Strategic Measureable Agreed Realistic Timed Requirements Design Construct Operate Do not write vague or ambiguous requirements Example: The software shall have a simple user interface. Who determines if the user interface is "simple"? How will the developer know that they have developed a simple user interface?

11 Phases 2, Plan Project Planning Steps to develop a project plan continued..: Brainstorm key project tasks (work breakdown structure or task list) Create Gantt chart to set task schedule, dependency and resource loading Summary Task Work Package Concurent Tasks Sequenced Tasks Refine costs (labor, capital, training, consulting, maintenance, other) Set milestones (significant events) Identify risks and provide mitigation plans for each risk (risk is continuous)

12 Phases 3, Execute Project Launch Steps for executing and managing the project: Kickoff meeting (prepare the team) Begin task assignments Weekly project status meetings Team problem solving (problems will occur) Track and measure progress (Gantt tasks and work packages) Continue to monitor and manage cost (compare baseline cost estimates to actuals) Accurate documentation (control documents Gantt, logs, check lists) Active communication with stakeholders (status reports) Celebrate milestones

13 Phases 4, Closeout Project Closure Steps to close a project: Transitioning (on-going product maintenance) Formal closure with customer Review project success and failures Discuss improvements for future projects

14 Project Management Tools Basic project management tool list: Microsoft Office (documents, calculations, presentations) Microsoft Visio (Gantt charts, workflow, org. charts) Microsoft Project (specific project management tool) Microsoft SharePoint (project collaboration) Cell Storming (brainstorming)

15 Project Success And Failure Project Success Factors: 1. Agreement on the project goals (project team and stakeholders). 2. Have a plan with clear objectives, responsibilities and ways to measure project progress. 3. Constant effective communication. 4. Controlled scope. 5. Management support. 6. Identify risk Project Failure Factors: 1. Lack of commitment from management. 2. Weak business driver or fuzzy objectives. 3. We ll figure it out as we go style of planning. 4. Underestimating complexity, cost, schedule, or resources. 5. Lack of communication 6. Failure to engage stakeholders 7. Poor project leadership 8. Unrealistic budget or lack of resources.

16 Final Comments He who fails to plan, plans to fail -- Winston Churchill

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