Appendix A. Executive Checklist for Monitoring Development Projects

Here's a crash course for business executives in what they need to know to sponsor information technology (IT) system development projects. Business executives who sponsor system development projects need a way to assess them as they move through the Define, Design, and Build sequence. These questions and the answers provided can be used to assess any IT development project, and they will reveal quite clearly whether things are going well.[73]

The questions listed here will enable an executive to assess development projects from three perspectives that cover all the important aspects of system development. Those three perspectives are:

  1. Goodness of system design

  2. Progress made developing the system

  3. Competence and confidence of people on the project


In the first two to six weeks of the project—the Define phase—ask yourself and the system builder in charge of the project these questions:

  1. What is the business goal of the project? In two sentences or less, state the action the company is going to take and the desired result of that action. This is the goal. It is the target, the destination the project is supposed to reach. Figure out what it is, or stop the project.

  2. Which performance criteria is the system supposed to meet? State requirements that the system will meet in these areas:[74]

    1. Business operations

    2. Customer expectations

    3. Financial performance

    4. Company learning and improvement

      These are the specific ...

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