Managing a Project

UCC's PM Methodology

IT Services takes the best elements from the main PM methodologies and combines them into a specific project lifecycle structure for managing projects within IT Services. It allows us to remain flexible in our approach while basing our processes on best practice project management principals. This PM LifeCycle is called SPICE. 

Due to the significant variance within projects (size, variance, complexity, IT-led project or business-led project) a "one size fits all" approach to project controls, administration and documentation are not viable. As a result of this assessment and feedback, in November 2019 the IT PMO added a project type classification step to the project lifecycle. This allows for the scale of the project to reflect the recommended level of project controls, administration, and documentation. 

5 Stages of SPICE

  1. Start
  2. Plan
  3. Implement
  4. Close
  5. End

UCC's Project Lifecycle: SPICE

Project Governance

Project Governance is an important factor in the success of projects. Good governance gives the project a framework which provides all relevant parties with structure, processes, decision making authority as well as tools for managing the project. This allows the project to be controlled, and what is controlled can be managed.

 

The project governance arrangements are normally confirmed in the Planning Phase and formally recorded in the PID which should outline

  • Project approach
  • Governance structure 
  • Groups roles and responsibilities
  • Project reporting and meeting frequency

 

Governance structures are normally laid out during the planning phase of the project but may also be amended and/or finalised in the implementation stage of the project.

 

We have two recommended governance structured. This is to accommodate the two main types of project governance required.

  1. Project Governance for IT Services Owned Projects
  2. Project Governance for Business Owned Projects with Technical Strand in project

 

The recommended governance structure for an IT Services owned project is:

Graphical representation of the hierarchical governance structure of IT Services Projects

The recommended governance structure for a project where IT is managing 1 or more technical strand of a business project is:

 

Graphical representation of the governance structures of projects governed by Functional Unit

 

Project Benefits

 There are two parts to benefits within the project process

 1. Project Benefit Register Process

2. Post Project Benefit Realisation Process

 

 

1. Project Benefit Register Process:

As part of the project request process, the requestor will outline the reasons why the project should be approved. To help simplify this process, we have identified the 4 category types of benefits which should be included in the project benefits. These are:

  • Financial (cost savings/cost avoidance),
  • Risk (Reduction or removal – e.g. reputational, technical, legal, GDPR etc.)
  • Operational Performance (improvement, avoidance of reduction)
  • User Experience

When submitting a project for approval or when updating a PID/SOW the project benefits should be listed in a table in the following format and each type of category of benefit should be listed if applicable.

 

 

Benefit

Benefit Type

Realisation Date expected

Sponsor/Senior Business User)

Realisation Area

Metric/KPI target to measure the success of the benefit outcome

 

Reduce cost of process ABC software renewals by 10%

 

Financial - Cost reduction

 

6 months post go-live of new software

 

Dr. G. Culley

 

IT Services

 

 

Reduction in non-pay budget for software ABC renewal of €15,000 which is a 10% reduction for that budget line items. 

 

 

  


2. Post Project Benefit Realisation Process:

This is an assessment of the project benefits put forward by the project request phase. It occurs 12 – 18 months after the project end, which allows projects to have completed a full academic cycle by the date of the review.Post Project Benefit Realisation:

As follows best practice in PM, the Sponsor is the owner of the benefits realisation, but this will be facilitated by the IT PMO.

To ensure this occurs, the IT PMO maintains a list of the project close dates, and when it is approaching the 18th months will inform the Project Sponsor of the requirement to complete this and will then schedule and facilitate the meeting.

All findings are reported back to IT Steering as part of the IT PMO update.

It is expected that over time these assessments and their findings will support the development of a more robust understanding of project benefits realisation and therefore aid project approval decision-making as well as help us identify if the correct projects were prioritised and approved. 

 

Recommended PM documents by Project Classification

The following is a guideline as to what project documentation is recommended by the IT PMO.

The project documentation recommendations vary depending on the project owner (IT owned or Business owned) and the project classification.

Please note that the project documentation recommended can be tailored to create suit individual department requirements. Within IT Services these amendments should be reviewed and agreed upon in consultation with the IT Services PMO. 

Please note AR = As Required.

 

Project Documentation Required by IT Services PM for IT Owned Projects:

Project DocumentsMediumLarge

Functional Unit Readiness Assessment

n/a

n/a

Project Proposal/SOW

Proposal

Proposal

PID/SOW includes benefits, governance, costs, risks, assumptions etc.

PID

PID

Project Plan

x

x

Stakeholder Comms Plan

(required only if there are external stakeholders)

AR

AR

RAID (Risk, Action, Issue, Decisions)

x

x

Project Status Report

x

x

Procurement Documentation

x

x

DPIA

x

x

Transition to Service Document

x

x

Project Close Document

x

x

Benefits Realisation Assessment 

x

x

Meeting Agenda

AR AR

Meeting Minutes

AR

AR

 

Project Documentation Required by IT Services Technical Lead for Business Owned Projects:

(where IT is managing the technical strand of the project only)

Project DocumentsMediumLarge

Functional Unit Readiness Assessment

AR

AR

Project Proposal

(IT will be a contributor but will not own document)

n/a

n/a

PID

(Will be a contributor via SOW but will not own document)

n/a

n/a

SOW includes technical requirements - benefits,  governance, costs, risks, assumptions etc.

x

x

Project Plan - technical stand only

x

x

Stakeholder Comms Plan

n/a

n/a

Contribute to business RAID (Risk, Action, Issue, Decisions) 

x

x

Contribute to business Status Report - technical only

x

x

Procurement Documentation- technical only

x

x

DPIA - n/a must be completed by business

n/a

n/a

Transition to Service Document

AR

AR

Project Close Document - will contribute to business lessons learned etc.

n/a

n/a

Benefits Realisation Assessment 

n/a

n/a

Meeting Agenda

AR AR

Meeting Minutes

AR

AR

 

 



Project Documentation Locations

IT Services Project Document Templates are available for download in the Project Toolkit

The location of each IT PMO Projects PMO documentation is recorded in the IT PMO Register.

 

 

Project Controls

 

 

As part of SPICE, the project manager manages two phases of project controls:

During the start and plan phase of a project, the PM is identifying the key project controls as part of the PID -  the stakeholders, the governance model, the roles and responsibilities, the risks, the assumptions, the deliverables, the benefits register, the meeting schedules, etc.

As the project progresses from planning to implementation of the project, the project manager will maintain the active project controls - project logs, project budgets if required, project status report. They will also ensure that project governance is adhered to as required for testing, UAT, etc. 

The IT PMO maintains several controls as part of the overall IT PMO:

  • Project register
  • Project pipeline
  • PMO risk register
  • Classification and prioritisation scores of projects
  • Approval of projects
  • List of agreed project documentation and storage location of these documents
  • PMO Project Assurance
  • Post project benefit realisation assessment

Project Assurance

IT Services PMO will use UCC Academy as a third party to provide assurance on an annual basis for any large, multi-annual significantly strategic IT projects. The criteria for the selection of a project for assessment are:

  • Project is sponsored by IT Services
  • Project classification is large
  • Project budget is +250k

IT Services Project Management Office

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