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Hi, this is Peter Mosinskis. I work for the Division of Technology & Communication, and I'd like to give you a brief update on the new project management practices that our Division is implementing as of December 2010.
Why is this new project management process important?
Like every campus organization, Technology & Communication has limited capacity, so we need to be able to be strategic about our decision making about what projects we can undertake.
T&C touches all aspects of University life and function; we want to be able to communicate more effectively about what we're doing and what we're planning to do.
We are a service organization, after all! We want our clients to be happy, and we want to create consistent outcomes for all of our project-related activities.
Our goals for creating and adopting these project management practices are:
To enables us to make better strategic decisions about projects we undertake
To reduce uncertainty and help make sure projects get done correctly, on schedule and within budget
To enable us to learn from the successes and failures of the work we undertake, for current and future projects
To stay flexible enough to adapt to different project types and sizes, and gather just the right amount of information at the right time, so that we don't significantly burden T&C staff or our clients
To accomplish these goals, we're undertaking a number of strategies for the 2010-2011 academic year
Developing project management business practice, related forms and communication methods
Setting metrics which we will use to benchmark our project performance, and gathering the necessary data
Performing a self-assessment using metrics, and documenting successes and challenges of our strategies; the output of which is an annual report
Here's a quick, high-level overview of the 4 phases in our project process:
Intake: we gather initial information about what you need and when you need it
Planning: we define the scope and timeline of what will be done in detail
Execution & Monitoring: work is completed according to the scope and timeline defined during planning
Closure & Hand-off: project is closed, project evaluations are completed,
This presentation will focus on the first phase in the process, which is also the most important phase: project intake
In this project phase, we primarily do 3 things:
gather and define information about the project request at a high-level
provide preliminary approval to proceed with the next project phase
Archive and publish the project data
Before we can talk about how we take a project in, let me clarify how T&C will define a project:
A project is a temporary undertaking to provide a new product, feature or service.
It must have a clearly defined start and end
The outcomes of the project must be measurable
The opposite of a project is operations, which are ongoing, and typically have the same repetitive outcomes.
The project intake process begins with a new request.
Requests for projects to T&C come in a number of different ways, and we're not changing this in any significant way.
You can still request a new T&C project in any of the following ways"
Informally: hallway conversations still work!
Semi-formally: call a staff member or T&C manager on the phone, or send them an email; or
Formal: email the T&C Help Desk OR filled out Project Request Form
An T&C manager will be assigned to your request by the Vice President for Technology & Communication. This is the person who will ultimately be responsible for the success of the project.
The manager will be selected based on nature of the majority of work to be completed during the project. For example, if the majority of the work in the project has to do with web applications, the Director of Academic Technology Services will be assigned to your project, etc.
A project lead will also be assigned; the project lead typically will be selected by the T&C manager. The lead will perform the day-to-day project management responsibility required for your project. This may be the same person as the T&C manager, or it may be delegated to a staff member.
The third step in the project intake phase is to gather data.
The T&C manager or Project Lead will meet with the requestor (and other stakeholders as necessary) to gather the preliminary information about the project, and answer the questions:
What needs to be done?
Why is it important?
When does it need to be completed?
Who needs to be involved?
Who will be affected?
Based on this data, the Project Lead will categorize the project request will be categorized into one of 3 project classes.
The classes are based on the estimated T&C staff time required to complete the project, and will be based on experience and previous project data.
Class 1 is for small simple projects up to 30 hours.
Class 2 is for medium-sized projects between 30 and 100 hours
Class 3 projects are for extra-large complex projects over 100 hours
The primary output of Step 3 is a document called the "project charter."
It's a 2 page document.
Page 1 gathers basic information about the project.
Page 2 provides analysis of impact, costs and risks of the project, to enable strategic decision making. It will also permit the project Class to be revised according to this analysis.
Page 2 also contains approval information.
It's important to know that the T&C Manager assigned to your request is ultimately responsible for this project charter.
Once the project charter is completed and approved by the client in writing, it will be approved as follows:
Class 1 projects only require the approval of the T&C manager assigned to the project
Class 2 & 3 projects require the approval of the Vice President for Technology & Communication
Other campus governance will also review specific projects, at the discretion of the Vice President for Technology & Communication.
At this time, this governance includes:
The T&C Project Review Board, consisting of members of the T&C management team, who review all new projects on a weekly basis
The IT Policy and Planning Committee (also known as the ITPPC), who will review projects as designated by the Vice President for Technology & Communication
Once the project charter has received all necessary approvals in writing, it will be sent to the Project Management Office in T&C.
The Project Management Office will do two things:
Add the charter to the Project Repository as an active project. The repository is currently located in SharePoint.
Add key project milestones listed in the Charter to the Project Calendar (also in Sharepoint)
A publicly available view of the project repository and project calendar will be available within the next 6 months.
After Step 5 is completed, the Project Intake process is complete.
To summarize, the results of the project intake process are:
A completed project charter document
An initial commitment by both T&C & the client to proceed with the project based on the charter
The approval to proceed to the Phase 2 of the project process, called "Project Planning"
The complete project process is still in development, but I'd like to give you a quick overview of what you can expect during the next project phase (called "project planning").
During the Planning phase, the Project Lead will work with you to develop more detailed scope of work, list of task assignments, and a more detailed project timeline.
Class 2 & 3 projects may require additional documentation (such as risk assessments, cost analysis, and a communication plan).
For Class 1 projects, no further approval will be necessary to begin executing the project tasks.
For Class 2 & 3 projects, review and approval from the Vice President for Technology & Communication will be necessary prior to project execution.
So where are we now?
T&C is already making a significant investment of resources to make this happen:
We've created a new business practice for our project intake phase, and others are under development
We've created both paper and electronic forms and document templates to support these processes
There are available on the public-facing web site we've created in support of those projects, at www.csuci.edu/tc/projects
As T&C Project Supervisor, I've been assigned the responsibility of developing, implementing and measuring the success of project management processes in T&C.
We still have a lot to do over the next 12 months:
finish defining the business practices and criteria for the Project Planning, Execution and Close phases.
building common templates to facilitate those practices
Leveraging some collaboration tools to make working together on projects more seamless. Specifically, we're working on putting SharePoint into production.
Determining what metrics we will use to measure the success of our projects and our project process.
We will use our project metrics to do two things:
To gauge volume, to help us with capacity planning and
To create an inventory, which we will use as a benchmark for future analysis and self-assessment
The kinds of metrics we plan to look at during year 1 of this new program include:
The number of projects started
The number of projects completed
The number of projects completed on time
The number of Class 1/2/3 projects
Total work hours per project and
The number of projects in support of T&C strategic plan
You can get more information about what we're doing on the T&C Projects web site at
This page has our web-based Project Request Form, our business practices for project management, and related resources about T&C project management.
We are working on making the project repository and calendar publicly available in late spring 2011.
Thanks for your interest in our project process. If you have any questions about this presentation or about our project processes, please contact Peter Mosinskis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 805-437-8587.
News and updates will be available on the T&C Projects web site at www.csuci.edu/tc/projects