IT Employment

General discussion


software project management questions

By morphine ·
Please help me... i cant find the answers.

i have 3 questions here:

1. 3 examples of activities that are projects & 3 example of activities that are not projects?

2. how is project management different from general management?

3. why do u think so many IT Projects are unsuccesfull?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

A few more examples

by Henry Eh... In reply to software project manageme ...

The responses submitted so far are good, here are a few more:

1. Activities make up projects. The PMBOK definition as in early responses is the best answer - a temporary endevor that creates a unique product or service - so there is closure to the project.

An IT example of something that is not a project is a regularly run report for management or a billing system. They are usually run every month.

However, activities involved in the development, testing and implementation of a new report or billing system is a project.

2. Earlier responses are good with regard to the differences between PM and General Management, however, many skills in GM are required by PMs (example communication, time management, etc.)

3. Project creep is one reason IT projects fail, however, poor communicaiton may be another important factor. While working on a few construction sites recently, I noticed that most construction workers do their work alone. They seem to get things done quicker alone - even though the work could be done more easily (according to inexperienced construction workers like myself) with two people. For example, a drywaller often works alone to put up a huge sheet of drywall alone (moving it, holding it in place and screwing it into place) that using 2 people. My thinking is that it is more difficult to communcate what they want to do - they are much quicker doing it on their own than involving someone else. This is not to say that they do not like to talk with someone - they find they can jus t do it quicker alone. The same principle may exist with IT projects. Programmers and Analyst can do things quicker on their own without having to communicate things with someone else and they do not do as good a job as with working with someone else. How often do you see them working together? Not too often. This is one example of how lack of communication causes IT projects to fail.


Collapse -

IT Project Management

by Haris In reply to software project manageme ...

Software Technology is a new science. Its processes and techniques have not yet matured to a level to make precise estimates. For example, consider estimating the size of the IT project at the early planning stage. There are inherent difficulties in estimating, monitoring and controlling untangible things such as IT.

Many worthwhile projects missed out on grants because there wasn't enough funding available!

Many worthwhile projects failed or were cancelled because they were ahead of their time! Consider the phenomenal growth in web services before early 2000.

Some applications included budgets that didn't provide enough information or were inaccurate. Sometimes, the requested amount for funding did not appear to have any relationship to the budget.

Following are some of the most prominent reports:

The OASIG Study (1995)
This study has been undertaken under the auspices of OASIG, a Special Interest Group in the UK concerned with the Organizational Aspects of Information Technology. Key Findings:
The IT project success rate quoted revolves around 20-30% based on its most optimistic interviews. Bottom line, at best, 7 out of 10 IT projects ?fail? in some respect.

The Chaos Report (1995)
The Chaos Report is the first survey made by the Standish Group. This report is the landmark study of IT project failure. It is cited by everybody writing a paper or making a presentation were a reference is made of IT project failure. Key Findings:
The Standish Group research shows a staggering 31.1% of projects will be canceled before they ever get completed. Further results indicate 52.7% of projects will cost over 189% of their original estimates. The cost of these failures and overruns are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The lost opportunity costs are not measurable, but could easily be in the trillions of dollars in the United States alone.

Collapse -

Studies in this area

by j.lupo In reply to IT Project Management

If you are looking for more studies about the issues of project success and failure, look for a series of academic articles by Jiang, Klein. These Dr's teamed up with other researchers and have done extensive research in IT project management regarding success and failure variables.

There articles range from 1995 to 2002, if my memory servers correctly. I am working on my doctorate in this area and have been building an extensive literature review on the issue of IT project success and failure related to collaboration efforts at various organizational levels.

Haris, thanks for these 2 key studies. I had been searching for them and not able to find them. Don't suppose you could tell me where I might get a copy? Thanks so much.

Collapse -

Ans for qn 1, qn2 and qn3

by salihasheriff In reply to software project manageme ...

Question 1:

Project Activity should have the below:-

1) Activity sequencing - interactivity dependencies
2) Activity duration estimating - work periods that will be required to complete each acitivity.
3) Must have Work Breakdown Structure(WBS) and needs lot of network logic.

Non-project Activities are:-

1) Random sequenced.
2) No duration estimating
3) No need to have WBS and network logic

Question 2:

Project Management should have the below:-

1) project plan
2) project phases
3) Management techniques such as Integeration, cost, time, quality and etc.,

General Management project Activity:-

1) No need of any specific plan, can handle without a plan
2) Does have irregular phases
3) No Management conecpt or techniques are involved

Question 3:

Reasons for IT project failure:-

1) Major reason is not following the IT project Management technqiues
2) Project Managers and Project team's unawarness about the IT management, 0nly they are aware of development work and their goal is to develop the software.


The Project Manager and the team should need education about project management,certification and apply the techniques on the project to get rid off failure in the projects.

Collapse -

re: "ans 3"

by In reply to Ans for qn 1, qn2 and qn3

1) if your answer means proper management of scope and communication then I agree.
2) Certainly knowing the techniques and tools of project management are helpful but if you are saying that only project managers with the appropriate piece of paper should be employed then I strongly disagree.
There is no point being trained in and tied to a particular methodology if the company you want to work for uses a completely different one. Consultants need to be flexible and understand and have experience of running projects. A track record of success is by far the best benchmark.
How many projects are run by the big consultancies because they are trained in the art which then go belly-up or massively over budget? Public sector projects in the UK usually insist on Prince qualifications - and most of them are failures if measured against scope, budget, or timescales.
Solution: sure, get training. Continually swap ideas with other project managers, it is as valuable to understand why a project failed as why one succeeded. 'Apply the techniques' is too vague to be helpful. 'Work the plan' is probably a better phrase, by updating your plan and seeing the effect of amendments and time differences you can tell whether the project will be successful, i.e. whether it is on time, in budget, in scope, and meets the needs of the users.

Related Discussions

Related Forums