Information Systems

College of Business Administration
University of Missouri - St. Louis

Project Management Issues

What is Project Failure?
project does not meet user's minimum requirements
project is implemented too late to be useful
project exceeds development or operational budget by an unacceptable amount

Why does failure happen?
purely political reasons
unexpected, external influences change specifications
lack of clear, understandable specifications
poor documentation
poor communication
overambitious objectives
low quality, poor performance
never-ending development
high costs and cost overruns
perpetual maintenance

To avoid failure....
elicit clear specifications from the user
spend the time to get practical, achievable performance and quality criteria
ensure you all understand the specifications
document those specifications
involve the user in all aspects of the process
documentation should be good, comprehensive, accurate and understandable
schedule regular reviews and walk-throughs of deliverables and status reports
provide reliable measures of costs and benefits

Manage the project....
divide the project into manageable chunks
determine the stages of the projects at which clear, measurable end-stage deliverables can occur
precede each of those deliverables with measurable monitorable tasks

What is a measurable deliverable?
Ex 1: To provide a set of components, documentation and code that will together be the final delivered product.
Ex 2: To provide a means to measure progress and the quality (conformance to specifications) of the developing product.
Ex 3: To provide a set of starting conditions for the next stage's activities.

What is a Walk-through?
A regularly scheduled review of all deliverables and progress.

What might be reviewed at each stage?
Your deliverables. These might include items such as shown in these two examples.

Requirements Definition:
scope of the new system
analysis of the current system
new system requirements
list of tangible and intangible benefits
requirements definition document, including a prototype, if produced

System Specification:
definition of the type of system
system schematic and system data dictionary
updated cost/benefit analysis
system specification document.

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