Why Implement Very Large IT Projects

Why Implement Very Large IT Projects

Matthew Guah (Erasmus School of Economics, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-546-7.ch003
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The basis upon which the objectives and policies for managing a VLITP are formulated is the need to achieve the project objectives on time and under budget. However, benefits for investing in the underpinning activities may not be sufficient to ensure long-term viability for the host organization. This chapter gives a detailed explanation of why very large IT projects are implemented costing the host organization billions of dollars. It also breaks down the management process of VLITPs, giving clarity to procedure and policies.
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Project Conception

Before beginning a VLITP the following goals should be achieve as part of the initial decision to go ahead with the planning stages:

  • Obtain top management support for the estimation process often based on an experiential-analogy approach, in order to obtain better adherence of estimated efforts against the actual ones.

  • Ensure the necessary skills are available to in order to satisfy the needs of specific aspects of the VLITP, which will in turn improve the quality ranking in the eyes of customers.

  • The introduction of standardized and objective techniques, supporting sub-projects by size as the main input for the subsequent effort towards the project estimation process.

  • The introduction of a relationship, across different phases of the project, between different techniques.

  • The setting up of projects’ historical database and ensuring that shared and access are made available to people making initial preparations for the projects.

A VLITP is a collection of logical stages that maps the life of a project from the beginning to the end (see Figure 1). This logic is used to define, build and deliver the final outcome of the VLITP. Each stage should provide one or more deliverables, which are needed to move on to the next stage of the project. Deliverables—usually tangible and verifiable outcomes of work that serve to define the work and resources that are needed for each stage—are means of the host organizations evaluating the progress of the project and determining the need to take action to correct errors or mistakes (Cleland, 1990). Figure 1 also demonstrates how VLITPs are broken into various stages to make the project more manageable and reduce the risks that are involved with the project. It also provides a better insight on the risks that are involved during the project. Each stage should start when the previous stage ends. Overlapping stages quite often lead to higher risk and should only be done when the risks are acceptable for all the stakeholders involved in the project. At the end of each stage there should be a review of the essential deliverables for that stage.

Figure 1.

Generic project life cycle


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