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Development of Project Management Plan

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Published: 6th Dec 2019

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Tagged: Project Management


Having seen in the previous chapter about the

Project management is a carefully planned and organized effort to accomplish a specific (and usually) one-time effort, for example, implementing a new computer system. Project management includes developing a project plan, which includes defining project goals and objectives, specifying tasks or how goals will be achieved, what resources are need, and associating budgets and timelines for completion. It also includes implementing the project plan, along with careful controls to stay on the “critical path”, that is, to ensure the plan is being managed according to plan. Project management usually follows major phases (with various titles for these phases), including feasibility study, project planning, implementation, evaluation and support/maintenance.

Comninos and Frigenti (2002 p.72) defines Project management as “ The application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements.”

Further Haynes (1995 pp. 623) defines project management as “ Project management concentrates on the project . A project is an undertaking that has a beginning and an end and is carried out to meet established goals within cost , schedule and quality objectives . Project management brings together and optimizes the resources necessary to complete the project successfully . These resources include the skills , talents and co-operative effort of a team of people , facilities , tools and equipment ; information systems and techniques and money

Duncan (1995 pp. 742) has a similar view “Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements

Harrison ((1988 pp.62) states these definition as “The application of modern management techniques and systems to the execution of a project from start to finish, to achieve predetermined objectives of scope, quality, time and cost, to the equal satisfaction of those involved

Cleland and Gareis (1993 pp.58) states that “Project management is the ability to define, schedule and assign project activities; record project issues; monitor progress and report changes in activity accomplishment and issue resolution; and maintain and control changes to designs, plans and issue lists

Similarly Morris (1997 pp. 221) defines as “Planning, monitoring and control of all aspects of a project and the motivation of all those involved in it to achieve the project objectives on time and to the specified cost, quality and performance”

Ciborra (2002 pp. 525) defines Information System (IS) as “…the system of persons, data records and activities that process the data and information in a given organization, including manual processes or automated processes. Usually the term is used erroneously as a synonym for computer-based information systems, which is only the Information technologies component of an Information System. The computer-based information systems are the field of study for Information technologies (IT)”

Project management is concerned with managing the entity called ‘People’. There is no single universal definition of a software project , although some definitions do have similar structure. “ Projects consume a variety of resources , Projects have a specific start and end point (or life cycle), Projects have a owner (i.e. consumer ), Projects have a specific budget , Project have a clear method , Projects have finite objectives. “A unique undertaking with a concise life cycle , start and end dates , a finite budget , resource allocation and defined outcome or objective (Gary 2001 p.25)

2.1 Preview of software industry in India

The software industry is one of the fastest growing industries and highest earners of foreign exchange in the Indian economy. With help from the Indian Government including tax benefits and the development of infrastructure links, the software sector has grown over 56% annually since 1995. Software exports currently reach about 95 countries and account for 10.5% of India’s total exports.There is, therefore, significant interaction on the global level between IT companies and other countries and companies, which might account for the lead Infosys has taken amongst its peers in the field of CSR (Narayana Murthy CEO Infosys , 2006 15/02/07)

The India Software Industry has brought about a tremendous success for the emerging economy. The software industry is the main component of the Information technology in India. India’s pool of young aged manpower is the key behind this success story. Presently there are more than 500 software firms in the country which shows the monumental advancement that the India Software Industry has experienced (IIT,2002 p.4)

2.2 Infosys and its relation to software project management

Founded in 1981 in Bangalore by Narayana Murthy and six colleagues, Infosys is positioned to integrate the needs of vendors and service providers, using existing solutions or relying on new product development. The company does the necessary integration, software development, feature enhancements testing, release and third level support. It provides solutions to the financial sector – the biggest chunk of its business- as well as to 460 other clients across a broad spectrum of other industries. (www.infosys.com 14/02/08)

In terms of project management, software project work is split into two components: onsite and offshore, according to where it can be best done, at the lowest cost, and with the lowest level of acceptable risk, thereby de-coupling capability development and delivery.

Although Infosys was not spared by the dotcom crash in 2001, thanks in part to the loyalty built up among employees the business bounced back, and by 2006 its market capitalization was US$18 billion. For Murthy, leading by example is what counts. This translates into three core values: respect for the individual, data-based decision making, and embracing constant change by forcing people to share their innovations. Infosys has established a systematic pattern of succession planning whereby board members remain in the vanguard but are underpinned by a three-tier leadership structure for high-potential managers. Younger employees are viewed as “the eyes and the ears of the company”, bringing to the forefront contemporary issues that might otherwise be overlooked (Manfred , Vries, Agrawal and Florent-Treacy 2006 p.121)

Since incorporation, Infosys annual revenue has rapidly increased and it reached 1 trillion in 2006. Unlike many other Indian IT companies Infosys has concentrated on building software applications and this has contributed to its global success Infosys Technologies employs nearly 17,000 people worldwide, almost 10,000 of whom are software professionals. 116 new clients in the financial year (FY) 2002 added to the already prestigious list that includes Airbus, Cisco, Nordstrom and Boeing. Retail banking services account for around 4% of total revenue. The company vision is to be the best globally, commercially and ethically. As such, Infosys has developed a C-Life principle of core values that it aims to honour in all aspects of its business conduct . C – LIFE represents Customer delight , Lead by example , Integrity and transparency , Fairness and Excellence (www.infy.com 15/06/07)

2.3 Project Management Processes (Infosys based approach)

Turner J and Rodney (2005 p..43) states that ‘ A project management process is the management process of planning and controlling the performance or execution of a project ‘

Although all projects are different and have unique features m there are elements which are common to most . A process model needs a set of features which

  • Are adaptable to a wide range of applications
  • Provide a complete and adequate definition of any project to which they are applied
  • Are easy to assimilate , with the key tasks and points of interest highlighted
  • Are suitable to act as a memorandum and checklist to ensure that everything is covered
  • Do not impose any unnecessary constraints on the use of tools , techniques and methods during the projects

A process model can be helpful to a project manager in planning the project but obviously cannot be followed blindly and must be tailored to meet the requirements of the project . Not all the elements of the process model will be appropriate , but the model can be used as a checklist to ensure that nothing important is missed from the project . The process model is also used to help define what is required of the project manager at each stage in the project and to define the inputs and outputs of each stage . (Van Vliet , 2004 p.52)

Infosys executes hundreds of projects each year. Full responsibility for executing a project rests with the project manager, who must make sure that the project team delivers high-quality software to the customer on time and within cost. To help the project manager fulfill this responsibility, support from the organization is necessary. (Mahajan and Ives , 2006 p.231) This section provides a brief background Infosys support for managing software projects. For a project team to successfully execute a project, it must perform hundreds of tasks, many of them interdependent. Effectively managing this process is extremely important for success. (Harvey 2003 p.52)At Infosys, the set of activities executed by a project manager is specified in the project management process. It is fairly standard, having three main stages:

  • Software project planning
  • Software project execution
  • Software project closure

2.3.1 Software Project Planning

The key to a successful software project is in the planning. Creating a project plan is the first thing one should do when undertaking any kind of project. Often project planning is ignored in favor of getting on with the work. However, many people fail to realize the value of a project plan in saving time, money and many problems. A project is successful when the needs of the stakeholders have been met. A stakeholder is anybody directly or indirectly impacted by the project. (Lackman 1987 p.57)

As a first step it is important to identify the stakeholders of software project. It is not always easy to identify the stakeholders of a project, particularly those impacted indirectly. (Lewis J 1995) Examples of stakeholders are:

  • The project sponsor
  • The customer who receives the deliverables
  • The users of the project outputs
  • The project manager and project team

Once understanding who the stakeholders are, the next step is to establish their needs. The best way to do this is by conducting stakeholder interviews. Considerable time can be utilized during the interviews to draw out the true needs that create real benefits. Often stakeholders will talk about needs that aren’t relevant and don’t deliver benefits. These can be recorded and set as a low priority. ( Berlick 1992 p.72)

The next step once after all the interviews done and have a comprehensive list of needs it is now to prioritize them. From the prioritized list its important to create a set of goals that can be easily measured. A technique for doing this is to review them against the SMART (specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic and time-based ) principle. This way it will be easy to know when a goal has been achieved. Once having established a clear set of goals they should be recorded in the project plan. It can be useful to also include the needs and expectations of the end users- stakeholders. (Thomsett 1989 p.51)

At Infosys , in the project planning stage, as revealed by Marsh (1998 p.17) , the project manager reviews contractual commitments and creates a plan to meet them. Creating a project plan involves defining a life-cycle process to be followed, estimating the effort and schedule, preparing a detailed schedule of tasks, and so on. It also includes planning for quality and configuration management as well as risk management. In this phase, the major activities of the project manager are as follows:

According to McManus (1997 p.69) , the project manager performs startup and administrative tasks and creates the project plan and schedule. He is also responsible for defining the objectives of the project . The suitable standard process for the project execution is identified . Also the standard process to meet project requirements are tailer . Also a process for managing changes in requirements is designed . The estimation of effort involved is undertaken . Also the plan for human resources and team organization is determined . The project milestones are defined and schedules created accordingly. Also the quality of objectives and a quality plan to achieve them are determined . A defect prevention plan in designed. The risks are identified and plans are made to mitigate them. A measurement plan for the project is defined .A training plan for the project is designed . The project-tracking procedures are analyzed for effective execution . Also a review of the project plan and schedule are performed . Authorization from senior management is obtained . The configuration management plan and defined and reviewed . Also orientation of the project team to the project management plan is executed

In addition to the project manager, this phase involves the customer, an SEPG representative, and the business manager for the project. The entry criterion is that the contract or project authorization is available. The exit criterion is that the project plan has been documented and group reviewed (Morgon 1986 p.19)

2.3.2 Software Project Execution

According to ,Harvey ( 2003 p.167) ,the purpose of Project Execution and Control is to develop the product or service that the project was commissioned to deliver. Typically, this is the longest phase of the project management lifecycle, where most resources are applied. Project Execution and Control utilizes all the plans, schedules, procedures and templates that were prepared and anticipated during prior phases. Unanticipated events and situations will inevitably be encountered, and the Project Manager and Project Team will be taxed to capacity to deal with them while minimizing impact on the project’s CSSQ.

Project Execution and Control Kick-off is where the project manager conducts a meeting to formally begin the project execution and control phase, orient new project team members, and review the documentation and current status of the project. The purpose of Project Execution and Control Kickoff is to formally acknowledge the beginning of project execution and control and facilitate the transition from project planning. Similar to project planning kick-off, project execution and control kickoff ensures that the project is still on track and focused on the original business need. Many new team members will be introduced to the project at this point, and must be thoroughly oriented and prepared to begin work. Most importantly, current project status is reviewed and all prior deliverables are re-examined, giving all new team members a common reference point. (Rodney 1999 p.123)

Manage CSSQ is where the project manager must manage changes to the project scope and project schedule, implement quality assurance and quality control processes according to the quality standards, and control and manage costs as established in the project budget. (SEI 1996 p.4)The purpose of Manage CSSQ is to manage changes to project scope , control the project schedule and manage schedule changes , implement quality assurance and quality control , processes according to the quality standards revised during project planning control and manage costs established in the project

Monitor and Control Risks, where the project manager and project team utilize the risk management plan prepared in previous phases, and develop and apply new response and resolution strategies to unexpected eventualities.Risks are potential future events that can adversely affect a project’s Cost, Schedule, Scope or Quality (CSSQ). In prior phases, the project manager defined these events as accurately as possible, determined when they would impact the project, and developed a risk management plan. As the impact dates draw closer, it is important to continue re-evaluating probability, impact, and timing of risks, as well as to identify additional risk factors and events. When the risk event actually occurs, the risk (which is by definition a future, potential event) becomes an issue (which is by definition a current, definite condition) and issue monitoring and control takes over. The purpose of monitor and control risks is to deploy the risk management plans prepared in prior phases to anticipate project challenges, and to develop and apply new response and resolution strategies to unexpected eventualities. (Humphrey 1989 p.92)

Manage Project Execution, where the Project Manager must manage every aspect of the Project Plan to ensure that all the work of the project is being performed correctly and on time.Project Execution is typically the part of the lifecycle of a project when the majority of the actual work to produce the product is performed and the majority of the project budget is expended. The purpose of manage project execution is to manage every aspect of the project plan as work is being done to make certain the project is a success. This process is performed concurrently with the manage CSSQ and monitor and control risks processes. The tasks in this process are performed concurrently and repeatedly as various aspects of the product of the project are constructed, tested, and accepted. (Dion 1994 p.172)

Gain Project Acceptance, where the Project Manager, customer decision-makers and project sponsor acknowledge that all deliverables produced during project execution and control have been completed, tested, accepted and approved, and that the product or service of the project has been successfully transitioned to the performing organization.The purpose of Gain Project Acceptance is to formally acknowledge that all deliverables produced during project execution and control have been completed, tested, accepted, and approved by the project’s Customers and the Project Sponsor, and that the product or service the project developed was successfully transitioned from the Project Team to the Performing Organization. Formal acceptance and approval also signify that the project is essentially over, and is ready for Project Closeout. (Duran 1988 p.49)

At Infosys , the second phase, as in the words of Finney ( 1999 p.193) , project execution, involves executing the project plan, tracking the status of the project, and making corrections whenever project performance strays from the path laid down in the project plan. In other words, it involves tracking and controlling the implementation of the project process. This phase is the longest in the project management process, incorporating periodic tasks such as monitoring project status and quality and taking any needed corrective steps.

In this phase, as said by ( Harvey 2003 p.62) , the project manager executes the project as per the project plan. , tracks the project status., reviews the project status with senior management. , monitor compliance with the defined project process. , analyze defects and perform defect prevention activities, monitor performance at the program level and conduct milestone reviews and replan if necessary. Other members of the team also participate in this stage. The entry criterion is that the project plan is complete and approved, and the exit criterion is that all work products delivered are accepted by the customer

2.3.3 Software Project Closure

The Project closure report is produced at the end of the Project, and provides the Project Board with a review of the overall Project and an assessment of how successfully the Project has met its objectives. This report will be presented at the final Project Board meeting, and must be signed off by the Project Board as part of the process of formally closing the Project. (Watts 1987 p.122)

As said by Sanders and Curran (1994 p.623) , a carefully structured project closure phase should ensure that the project is brought to a controlled end. The project manager should prepare the end project report, which details the main findings and outcome of the project and represents a formal review of the projects degree of success. The project manager should organize the project closure meeting and draw up a list of who should attend. This meeting is concerned with reviewing the project and ensuring the completeness of all of the major project deliverables. It is the final formal control point – apart from the post implementation review; and should be attended by the project owner and the overall project manager. The basic question facing the attendees is: ‘Did the project deliver its intended end-product within the time and budgetary limits set?’

According to Thomsett (1989 p.62) , The last stage of the project management process, project closure, involves a systematic wind-up of the project after customer acceptance. The main goal here is to learn from the experience so that the process can be improved. Post-project data analysis constitutes the main activity; metrics are analyzed, process assets (materials, such as templates and guidelines, used to aid in managing the process itself) are collected for future use, and lessons are recorded. Because learning from the project is the main goal, this is a group activity that involves the project manager, the SEPG, and other members of the team. The entry criterion is that the customer has accepted the work products. The exit criterion is that a post project meeting has been conducted. The main outputs of this phase are the project closure report and the collected process assets.

2.4 Capability Maturity Model

CMM is a development methodology that’s designed to help projects make use of reusable processes . There are some pain involved in making the switch , but the benefits to development staff and the organization make it worthwhile The CMM describes a continuum of characteristics based on how well your company or organization follows common and repeatable processes to get your work done. CMMs have been developed for software acquisition, people, and software (Paulk 1993 p.342)

Although the SEI continues to enhance and expand the scope and breadth of various CMM models, the primary focus for most companies continues to be software development. Perhaps the biggest reason for looking at software development is that the process uses a fair amount of creativity, which can lead to unpredictable results. However, much (but not all) of the software development process can be standardized using a common set of processes. Common processes can be set up for the project management side Moving up the CMM levels allows an organization to standardize its software development processes in areas that can be successfully repeated from project to project Organizations that use the CMM for software development describe their level of standardization against CMM benchmarks using a scale of 1 to 5. The low end of the scale describes companies that aren’t using repeatable processes; much of their work is chaotic and ad hoc. The high end describes companies that use defined and repeatable processes, collect metrics to help them continuously improve their processes, and look for creative ways to do things better on an ongoing basis.(Watts 1987 p.79)

Many companies are seeing that they can drive business value by implementing good, reusable processes throughout their organizations. The CMM provides a framework that companies can use to measure themselves on a standard 1 to 5 scale. Most companies today are at level 1 and would love to get as high as level 2. Most managers and organizations realise that they should have common and repeatable processes. However, pain will definitely be involved (Gilb 1998 p.122)

Infosys has been assessed at level 5 (the highest level) of the Capability Maturity Model (CMM). By extracting project management processes from the set of processes at Infosys, this book also illustrates how projects are managed in a high-maturity organization. Through this illustration, I hope to bring the benefits of the CMM to project managers who have not studied it because of lack of time, because they regard it as being for “process folks” or because they have found it difficult to relate the CMM to project management practices. (www.infosys.com 02.07.07)

2.5 KPA’s and its importance in Project Management

Each KPA specifies goals that the processes of the organization must meet to satisfy that KPA. In addition, each KPA specifies a group of activities, called key practices, that collectively satisfy the goals of that KPA. In many senses, the goals for each KPA capture its essence. They specify the objectives that the CMM has set for the processes relating to the KPA. To illustrate the KPAs associated with project management, we briefly discuss here the goals of these KPAs. These goals are taken from the CMM,with some minor changes in the wording of some goals. ( Cooper and Woolgar , 1994 p.589)

2.5.1 Goals of KPA’s at Level 2 Requirement Management – RM

Requirements management is all about balance, communication, and adjustment along the way. To prevent one class of requirements from over-riding another, constant communication among members of the development team is critical. For example, in software development for internal applications, the business has such strong needs that it may ignore user requirements, or believe that in creating use cases, the user requirements are being taken care of. (Bevan 1992 p.165) Software Project Planning – SPP

The purpose of Software Project Planning is to establish reasonable plans for performing the software engineering and for managing the software project. Software Project Planning involves developing estimates for the work to be performed, establishing the necessary commitments, and defining the plan to perform the work (Barker 1992 p.522) Software Project Tracking and Oversight – SPTO

The purpose of Software Project Tracking and Oversight is to provide adequate visibility into actual progress so that management can take effective actions when the software project’s performance deviates significantly from the software plans. Software Project Tracking and Oversight involves tracking and reviewing the software accomplishments and results against documented estimates, commitments, and plans, and adjusting these plans based on the actual accomplishments and results (Budlong and Peterson 1996 p.523) Software Subcontract Management – SSM

The purpose of Software Subcontract Management is to select qualified software subcontractors and manage them effectively. Software Subcontract Management involves selecting a software subcontractor, establishing commitments with the subcontractor, and tracking and reviewing the subcontractor’s performance and results. These practices cover the management of a software (only) subcontract, as well as the management of the software component of a subcontract that includes software, hardware, and possibly other system components (ISO 9000-3 p.5) Software Quality Assurance – SQA

Software Quality Assurance (SQA) is defined as a planned and systematic approach to the evaluation of the quality of and adherence to software product standards, processes, and procedures. SQA includes the process of assuring that standards and procedures are established and are followed throughout the software acquisition life cycle. Compliance with agreed-upon standards and procedures is evaluated through process monitoring, product evaluation, and audits. Software development and control processes should include quality assurance approval points, where an SQA evaluation of the product may be done in relation to the applicable standards. (Kontonya and Sommerville , 1998 p.212) Software Configuration Management – SCM

In software engineering, software configuration management (SCM) is the task of tracking and controlling changes in the software. Configuration management practices include revision control and the establishment of baselines (Keller et al 1990 p.521 )

2.5.2 Goals of KPA’s at Level 3 Integrated Software Management – ISM

The purpose of Integrated Software Management is to integrate the software engineering and management activities into a coherent, defined software process that is tailored from the organization’s standard software process and related process assets, which are described in Organization Process Definition. Integrated Software Management involves developing the project’s defined software process and managing the software project using this defined software process. The project’s defined software process is tailored from the organization’s standard software process to address the specific characteristics of the project (Saiedian Hossein and Kuzara 1995 p.321) Intergroup Coordination – IC

Intergroup Coordination involves the software engineering group’s participation with other project engineering groups to address system-level requirements, objectives, and issues. Representatives of the project’s engineering groups participate in establishing the system-level requirements, objectives, and plans by working with the customer and end users, as appropriate. These requirements, objectives, and plans become the basis for all engineering activities (TickIT Guide p.21) Peer Reviews – PR

In software development, peer review refers to a type of software review in which a work product (normally some form of document) is examined by its author and one or more colleagues, in order to evaluate its technical content and quality When performed as part of each Software development process activity, peer reviews identify problems and fix them early in the lifecycle. That is to say, a peer review that identifies a requirements problem during the Requirements analysis activity is cheaper and easier to fix than during the Software architecture or Software testing activities ( Gentleman 1996 p.92)

2.5.3 Goals for KPA’s at Level 4 Quantitative Process Management – QPM

Quantitative Process Management involves establishing goals for the performance of the project’s defined software process, which is described in the Integrated Software Management key process area, taking measurements of the process performance, analyzing these measurements, and making adjustments to maintain process performance within acceptable limits. When the process performance is stabilized within acceptable limits, the project’s defined software process, the associated measurements, and the acceptable limits for the measurements are established as a baseline and used to control process performance quantitatively (Daly-jones and Thomas 1997 p.142) Software Quality Management – SQM

Its here were the project’s software quality management activities are planned . Measurable goals for software product quality and their priorities are defined . Actual progress toward achieving the quality goals for the software products is quantified and managed (Broad

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Project Management involves leading and directing a team towards a common goal, ensuring that all aspects of a project are completed successfully and efficiently. Project Management can include the use of various processes and techniques, using knowledge and experience to guide the team towards the end goal.

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