Project Management

Every project has a life cycle that is comprised of four phases: initiation, planning, execution and closing. Project management is the process and tools used to guide an initiative through this Project Life Cycle.

Management of a project includes coordination of the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet success criteria at the specified time. Key activities in the process include initiating the project, developing the plan to execute the project, executing the project according to the approved plan, controlling the project activities, and closing the project.

The Project Lifecycle

Chart explaining the Project Management Lifecycle

Download a copy of the Project Lifecycle Diagram.

Initiating

Involves requesting, defining, and gaining approval for a new enhancement or project. The approval allows planning work to begin.

Planning

Establishes the scope, objectives, cost, schedule, and resource needs along with the overall approach for a project.

Executing

Leading, managing, and doing the work defined in Planning. For technology projects, this is done through the following steps.

  1. Define
    Discussing and documenting what the technology solution needs to do. Also referred to as requirements gathering.
  2. Design
    Figuring out the solution's look, feel, and interaction. This includes identifying options, recommending a design, and approving a design. Functional areas and ITS staff collaborate to approve the design. It's then translated by ITS staff into technical specifications.
  3. Develop or Install/Configure
    Bringing the design to life. This may include technical setup or code writing work.
  4. Test
    Validating the technology solution created works as expected. There are several steps to this validation.
    1. Unit Test-Completed by ITS to ensure individual pieces of the solution work.
    2. Integration Test-Allows ITS to make sure the entire solution works.
    3. User Acceptance Test (UAT)-Performed by functional areas to confirm the technology meets their needs and performs as expected.
  5. Train
    Teaching functional areas how to use the technology and providing training reference materials.
  6. Deploy
    Placing technology into production and starting to use it. This is sometimes called Go Live or Implementation.
  7. Post-Deploy
    The time immediately following the project deployment where the team monitors and addresses issues and questions.

Closing

Conduct project Lessons Learned meeting and complete all project documentation. The final step is receiving sign off from the Executive Sponsor that the project is complete and meets expectations. Upon sponsor approval the project is closed and archived.

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