When undertaking business intelligence and information management projects, the project management methodology employed by CDP will vary depending on the clients approach. Some clients will insist on using their corporate a methodology, others will leave it to CDP to provide. Either way it is necessary to provide formal discipline to the management of such projects; and it is important that the distinctive things about business intelligence & information management projects are incorporated.
The key aspect of a business intelligence /information management project that is different to many IT projects is the iterative approach that needs to be incorporated into project management. This means that the plan may change more frequently than expected as learning takes place as the project progresses. It can be frustrating for a project manager when frequent change requests have to be made.
There are four main situations where CDP is involved in the project management of business intelligence /information management projects as follows:
CDP are the project managers and undertake that role on behalf of an organisation. This is beneficial to organisations that have no prior experience of business intelligence /information management projects but wish to have project managers who know from experience what makes such a project successful and can identify quickly when changes need to be made.
CDP provide expertise as part of a project team, but the project is managed by the client. In this situation CDP provides advice to the project manager on project matters such as risks, issues, assumptions and what to expect from a successful business intelligence /information management project.
Both CDP and the client provide their own project managers. This is an attempt to ensure that both the client and CDP’s perspectives on the project are in sync and the possibility of dispute on what represents a successful deliverable are dealt with early. This involves a great deal of communication between the two project managers, but it is educational for the clients and enables them to conduct future projects with confidence.
CDP is a participant in a project and has no formal project management role, but provides advice to the project manager on matters specific to business intelligence /information management.
To ensure that CDP can work within an organisation’s project methodology, and not just its own, CDP have a number of staff members certified as PRINCE2 Practitioners. PRINCE2 (Projects in Controlled Environments) is a process-based project management methodology used extensively in New Zealand and internationally. It offers best practice guidance on project management with the following key features:
- Focus on business justification
- Defined organisation structure for the project management team
- Product-based planning approach
- Emphasis on dividing the project into manageable and controllable stages
- Flexibility that can be applied at a level appropriate to the project.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROCESS
Depending on the scale of a project, and what the client is most comfortable with, CDP will use either the PRINCE2 approach or the following process. It consists of five components as follows:
Analysis – Determining the business issues and assets.
Design – Design a solution that resolves the business issues identified during the Analysis phase.
Build – Develop and test the solution.
Deploy – Implement the solution into the organisation to be used by the business users.
Operate – Maintain the implemented solution to ensure it meets the business needs on a daily basis.
CDP’s methodology revolves around the creation of a project management toolkit, which encompasses the gathering together and integration of key project planning components, including:
- Work breakdown structures
- Test plan
- Staffing plan
- Communications plan
- Risk response plan
- Project Controls
With these components, the project plan can provide the baseline against which progress is measured and changes are controlled. Application of our project management toolkit covers areas such as:
- Activity Goals
- Review And Progress Reporting
- Change Control
- Risk Control – Issues & Observation Log
- Resource Coordination
- Phase Sign Off
- Project Processes