Project Management and How It Relates to IS Software Quality and Performance

By Iyengar, Jagannathan | Competition Forum, January 1, 2006 | Go to article overview

Project Management and How It Relates to IS Software Quality and Performance


Iyengar, Jagannathan, Competition Forum


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Project Management is a very essential tool for migration through the cradle to grave process. Projects sometimes fail due to bad system design or manufacturing defects due to bad process design or poor quality checks and inspection. However, a huge issue in project success is time management.

INTRODUCTION

New and improved system and technology projects involve many elements which can be very complex in nature. Technology is always changing and requires constant research to stay ahead of the competition. Most often new technology requires moving into unfamiliar territory. Compatibility is a huge issue, and most new systems projects integrate into existing systems and incompatible technologies. Sometimes it may be simpler to drop old system altogether and install a totally new system. Since technology changes so rapidly, most projects have to deal with those changes in the middle of project which causes questions of staying with original plan, change direction and incorporate new changes, or scrap old project and start over. A detailed analysis will be done later in the paper to explain how knowing technology can help come to a quicker decision. Affected business units, information systems, and management all have to be accommodated for when implementing a new system. IT projects are like investing in high risk growth stocks, it's usually feast or famine. IS projects can either give huge ROI or result in huge LOSS in the millions of dollars. Technology projects are very technology dependent and have a cumulative effect on other projects. Employee understanding of the new technology is a very important issue as some employees may be set in their ways and become very reluctant to change. That can slow down a project fast.

Systems projects take away doing tasks manually and slowly. They allow for quick data transfer, easier accessibility to data for qualified individuals, and moving scattered data into one centralized place via data warehousing. Some of the trends in systems are software package tools that help automate jobs and eliminate manual work. Now that there is so much competition out there, tools can be made to help validate which vendor to use when purchasing equipment or deciding who to outsource manufacturing to. Software tools can help pull out the relevant data needed to make decisions as well as monitor productivity. Tools can help investment reps dig up relevant mutual fund, stock, or bond info. The challenge of the project is to design, test, debug, redesign, retest, debug, (constant loop) until prototype is finished from an engineering standpoint. All during the process market research, return on investment, and cost analysis work needs to be done also. Certain packages can help with these processes as well.

This paper will get into failures and successes of projects. It will also touch on the process of cradle to grave project completion. Why business and technical project management skill are needed as well as various software packages out there and a small case study analysis. Does the attention shown by top management for strategic projects reflect success? What does my project have that the failed ones don't?

STATISTICS

Project Management skills are very important in the workplace, more than most people care to realize. The ancient way of doing projects only required single and stand-alone projects with minimal benefits and limited resources. Specific profits as opposed to company-wide profits were the main emphasis. Companies in the earlier days did not realize that projects can't be built in a day and just be released anytime just to fail considerably. The new and improved way of thinking as far as Project Management goes is to have more integrated projects with shared resources. The expectations and benefits have been raised to a higher level as well as the connection to processes. The business environment wants to get the most out of all resources available which not only means buying all new resources, but realizing what's already in-house and getting the best uses out of those. …

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