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The IT Project Management Answer Book

Book Description

Zero in on the answers to your IT project management questions
With constrained schedules and anxious stakeholders eager for results, the typical IT project team doesn't have the luxury of wading through lengthy tomes to find solutions. The IT Project Management Answer Book guides you to the specific answers you need to successfully conduct and complete your IT project.
Written in an easy-to-use question-and-answer format, the book covers all aspects of managing an IT project, from initial organizational issues to closeout. Following the classic project management processes, author David Pratt builds on the basics to offer valuable insights not found in other resources, including:
• Proven techniques such as the best way to manage defects
• How to create performance standards for outside contractors
• How to develop a user's manual
For more technically inclined team members, the author's plain-speak approach presents a refreshing view of the IT world. For those less technically oriented, he describes the tools and solutions for dealing with IT project challenges in an accessible, straightforward way. Let this information-packed resource lead you and your team to IT project success.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
  5. CONTENTS
  6. Preface
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. CHAPTER 1: Why Projects Succeed
    1. Success Factors
      1. Q1 Why are IT projects considered so risky?
      2. Q2 What are the key indicators of IT project success and failure?
      3. Q3 How is business value defined in IT projects?
      4. Q4 How do project cost, complexity, and risk affect how a project should be managed?
    2. Project Management Considerations
      1. Q1 Technical resources make the best IT project managers—right?
      2. Q2 What approaches are available to help fill the qualified PM void?
      3. Q3 Can anyone with project management experience manage an IT project?
      4. Q4 What skills does an IT project manager need to be successful?
      5. Q5 How do you determine the size of a project in order to scale your project management effort appropriately?
    3. Types of IT Projects
      1. Q1 What is the difference between an IT project and a business-oriented project?
      2. Q2 What is a custom software development project?
      3. Q3 What is a COTS package implementation project?
      4. Q4 What is a software package integration project?
      5. Q5 What is an infrastructure project?
      6. Q6 What is a transfer system project?
  9. CHAPTER 2: Organizing For Success
    1. Project Organization
      1. Q1 What constitutes an IT project’s leadership team?
      2. Q2 What is the Project Steering Committee?
      3. Q3 What is a Project Advisory Group?
      4. Q4 To whom should the IT project manager report?
    2. Project Teams
      1. Q1 What are the different types of resources included on an IT project team?
      2. Q2 What skill sets are needed for the typical IT project team?
      3. Q3 What are the roles and responsibilities of project team members?
      4. Q4 What roles and responsibilities do vendors fill on project teams?
      5. Q5 Where do the software developers fit into the project organization?
      6. Q6 What is the role of the business analyst on the IT project team?
      7. Q7 Who makes up the technical team for a project?
      8. Q8 What are the qualifications for business team leader for an IT project?
      9. Q9 What are the qualifications for a technical team leader for an IT project?
      10. Q10 What are the qualifications for an implementation team leader?
      11. Q11 Who is on the business team for an IT project?
      12. Q12 How do project team organizations differ based on the types of IT projects?
      13. Q13 How do you organize for custom software development projects?
      14. Q14 How do you organize for COTS and transfer system projects?
      15. Q15 How do you organize for system modernization projects?
      16. Q16 How do you organize for infrastructure upgrade projects?
      17. Q17 Is the quality assurance analyst a member of the project team?
    3. Project Management Considerations
      1. Q1 What is the role of the IT project manager?
      2. Q2 Who makes the best project manager—a technologist or a businessperson?
      3. Q3 Who handles test management?
      4. Q4 What is the role of the test manager?
      5. Q5 What is communications management?
      6. Q6 What is the role of the communications manager?
      7. Q7 What is a configuration manager?
      8. Q8 What is the role of a technical architect?
      9. Q9 What are SMEs, and what value do they provide to an IT project?
  10. CHAPTER 3: Project Initiation
    1. Project Management Considerations
      1. Q1 What tasks are carried out during the project initiation process?
      2. Q2 What skill sets are needed for an IT project team during project initiation?
      3. Q3 What is a vision statement?
      4. Q4 What role do project objectives play in an IT project?
    2. Deliverables
      1. Q1 What is a deliverable?
      2. Q2 What is a business case and why is it important?
      3. Q3 What is a feasibility study and why is it important during project initiation?
    3. The Project Charter
      1. Q1 What is a project charter?
      2. Q2 What is included in an IT project charter?
      3. Q3 What deliverables are identified in the project charter?
      4. Q4 Do you need detailed requirements before you can publish a project charter?
  11. CHAPTER 4: Project Planning
    1. Project Management Considerations
      1. Q1 When does the project planning process begin for an IT project?
      2. Q2 Who designs a new IT system—the technical team, the business team, or the users?
      3. Q3 Is project planning different for different types of IT projects?
      4. Q4 What is Agile project delivery?
      5. Q5 How do you include users in the planning phase of an IT project?
      6. Q6 What is business architecture?
      7. Q7 What is a network architecture and what role does it play in IT project planning?
      8. Q8 What is data migration and how do you plan for it?
      9. Q9 How do you relate project status to a nontechnical project sponsor?
      10. Q10 What is requirements traceability and why is it important for IT projects?
      11. Q11 What role does business analysis have in the planning process?
      12. Q12 What risks should be considered when planning an IT project?
    2. Deliverables
      1. Q1 What deliverables are typically generated during the project planning process?
      2. Q2 What level of detail do you need when identifying new system requirements?
      3. Q3 What is included in a project management plan for an IT project?
    3. Test Planning
      1. Q1 What is unit testing?
      2. Q2 What is system testing?
      3. Q3 What is integration testing?
      4. Q4 What is performance testing?
      5. Q5 What is user acceptance testing?
      6. Q6 What is regression testing?
      7. Q7 What documentation needs to be produced during and after testing?
    4. Database Design
      1. Q1 How do you organize database development during the planning phase?
      2. Q2 What is database modeling?
      3. Q3 What is a conceptual data model?
      4. Q4 What is a logical data model?
      5. Q5 What is a physical database?
  12. CHAPTER 5: Project Execution
    1. Project Management Considerations
      1. Q1 When does project planning end and project execution begin?
      2. Q2 Who leads the project execution effort?
      3. Q3 What events are commonly tracked during the project execution process?
      4. Q4 How frequently should the users be involved during execution of an IT project?
      5. Q5 What is independent verification and validation?
      6. Q6 Who should approve technical design documents?
      7. Q7 What is project control and why is it important during the execution process?
      8. Q8 How often should project team meetings be held?
      9. Q9 What types of meetings are commonly held during IT projects?
      10. Q10 What is configuration management?
      11. Q11 What is change management and why is it important to IT projects?
      12. Q12 What is a system readiness assessment?
    2. Deliverables
      1. Q1 What deliverables are developed during the execution process?
      2. Q2 What comes first—the user manuals, the user acceptance testing, or the training?
    3. Defect Management
      1. Q1 What is the best way to manage defects, or bugs, during an IT project?
      2. Q2 What is a defect log and what information does it contain?
      3. Q3 Is it okay to abbreviate testing when the schedule is tight?
  13. CHAPTER 6: Project Closeout
    1. Project Management Considerations
      1. Q1 When does project execution end and project closeout begin?
      2. Q2 What are the typical activities undertaken during project closeout?
      3. Q3 Who leads the project closeout process?
      4. Q4 What is a project archive and why is it important?
    2. Deliverables
      1. Q1 How do you document successful completion of an IT project?
      2. Q2 How do you confirm that the full scope has been delivered at project closeout?
  14. CHAPTER 7: Project Monitoring and Control
    1. Q1 What tools are used to monitor and control an IT project?
    2. Q2 What is included in an IT project status report and why is it important?
    3. Q3 How can a project manager manage a technical team when she lacks technical skills?
    4. Q4 What is a code review?
    5. Q5 What is an architectural test?
    6. Q6 What is the best way to manage stakeholder expectations during an IT project?
    7. Q7 How much control is too much control over a project team?
    8. Q8 What is earned value analysis?
  15. CHAPTER 8: Scope Management
    1. Q1 How do you define the scope of an IT project?
    2. Q2 How do you manage scope without squelching the project team’s initiative?
    3. Q3 What is scope optimization and why is it important to an IT project?
    4. Q4 What deliverables are identified in a project’s scope statement?
    5. Q5 What is a use case and how does it relate to project scope?
    6. Q6 Why is scope creep so common for IT projects?
    7. Q7 What causes late-stage change requests that cost so much and slow projects down?
    8. Q8 Who should approve change requests for an IT project?
  16. CHAPTER 9: Time Management
    1. Q1 What is the best way to develop a schedule for an IT project?
    2. Q2 How do project schedules differ based on the type of IT project?
    3. Q3 How does requirements traceability factor into development of a project schedule?
    4. Q4 Who manages an IT project’s schedule?
    5. Q5 What common risks are associated with IT project scheduling?
  17. CHAPTER 10: Cost Management
    1. Q1 Why is cost management so difficult for IT projects?
    2. Q2 What costs are typically associated with an IT project?
    3. Q3 Who is responsible for tracking project costs for an IT project?
    4. Q4 What information is contained in an IT project’s budget/cost management plan?
    5. Q5 What risks are commonly associated with cost management for IT projects?
    6. Q6 What is the best way to manage contract resources on an IT project?
  18. CHAPTER 11: Quality Management
    1. Q1 What is quality and how do you plan for it?
    2. Q2 How do you monitor quality during an IT project?
    3. Q3 What tools are used to manage quality for an IT project?
    4. Q4 How do you assess the quality of software developed for an IT project?
    5. Q5 How do defects relate to an IT solution’s quality?
    6. Q6 What is the best way to manage defects found during an IT project?
    7. Q7 Who defines quality for an IT project—the users or the technical team?
    8. Q8 How do you convince a project sponsor to invest in quality when budgets are tight?
  19. CHAPTER 12: Human Resource Management
    1. Q1 How does human resource management relate to IT projects?
    2. Q2 Who provides the business and technical resources for an IT project?
    3. Q3 What is a fat project team versus a lean project team?
    4. Q4 How do you gain the support of nontechnical SMEs working on technical projects?
    5. Q5 How do you hold team members accountable when you don’t share the same skill sets?
  20. CHAPTER 13: Risk Management
    1. Q1 What is risk management and how does it relate to IT project management?
    2. Q2 What is included in a risk management plan for an IT project?
    3. Q3 What risks are commonly faced by IT projects?
    4. Q4 Who is the best person to manage risks for an IT project?
    5. Q5 What tools are used to track and manage IT project risks?
    6. Q6 How is risk management used to calculate contingency requirements for an IT project?
  21. CHAPTER 14: Procurement Management
    1. Q1 What is procurement management planning and why is it so important for IT projects?
    2. Q2 Which comes first—the request for proposal or the procurement management plan?
    3. Q3 Why do IT projects have so many contractors, who come and go, on the project team?
    4. Q4 Is it okay for an outside contractor to manage an IT project for an organization?
    5. Q5 How do you verify that your contractors have the skills they say they have?
    6. Q6 What performance standards should be defined as part of a contract for IT services?
  22. Bibliography
  23. Index