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

Spice V1

Project Type - Classifying and Prioritising Projects in the IT PMO

As part of our Project Methodology, we have introduced a two-step process for classifying and prioritising IT PMO projects.

  1. Step One - Classify project
  2. Step Two - Prioritise project

 

Step One - Classification of IT PMO Projects:

 

First, we have identified the IT PMO project criteria matrix which allows us to introduce a project classification for projects. Project requests will then be classified as micro, small, medium, large. These classifications are used to

  • Identify the size/scope of the project
  • Classify if the project is to be monitored by the IT PMO
  • Provide a recommended level of the appropriate level of governance, project controls, and project documentation 

Please note that criteria and scores can be tailored to create individual department standards. The matrix below here is the standard used by the IT PMO.

Within IT Services this classification matrix is completed with the department manager, the project requestor and the IT PMO. This is then scored and tracked as part of the project listing by the IT PMO. The classification a project is also listed on the IT PMO dashboard, which is presented at IT Steering. 

 

 

Scoring Range for Classification of IT PMO Projects:

The scoring range for classification for the size of a project as micro, small, medium, large is: 

Scoring RangeClassification

32+

Large

24-31

Medium

16-23

Small

0-15

Micro

 

Criteria for Scoring a Project for Classification:

The criteria for scoring projects for classification of a project as micro, small, medium, large is: 

Criteria

 Criteria Score (1-4) 

1

2

3

4

Cost

No additional spend

 €0 - €25k

25k – 150k

150k +

Volume of Time/Duration 

10 days – 3 months

3-6 months

6-12 months

1 year +

Strategic

Targets

No dependency

 

Contributing to other work that is linked

Direct contribution to a strategic target

Direct contribution to more than one strategic target

Impact on

Organisation

None or very minimal

 

Some restructure of

processes and work areas for one or more Department

A significant transformation of Ways of Working for a Department

Significant Transformation of Ways of Working in Multiple Departments

Risk 

Low

Medium – Internal Dependencies?

Medium – External Dependencies?

High

Policy or

Legislation 

No link to work that is delivering policy or legislation

Some links to other work that is

delivering policy or legislation

Direct links to policy or legislation

 

Fundamental to the achievement of policy or legislation

 

Stakeholders

 

Internal and within one business unit

Internal across more than one business unit

Internal across the whole university and external stakeholders

Internal across the whole university and significant external stakeholders

Contract

Complexity

No contracts required

A single contract with a known supplier

Multiple contracts with known suppliers

Contract(s) with new supplier(s)

Technical Complexity

None or very minimal

 

Standard upgrade/roadmap changes/implementation of new non complex system

Significant upgrade/major changes/ implementation of new complex system

Complete redesign of system/ platform/ service or implementation of new complex large scale enterprise system

Track Record

 

Have done this before many times

Have done this before once or twice

Have done similar before, but not the same

Have not done anything like this before

No. Resources

1-3

3-10

10-20

20+

TOTAL

 

 

 

Step Two - Prioritising IT PMO Projects:

Once a project has been given a classification score which outlines the size/scope of the project it must be prioritised.

First, we have identified the IT PMO project criteria matrix which allows us to introduce a project prioritisation for projects. Projects will be identified as P1, P2 or P3. This will then assign in the planning, scheduling and capacity management of projects. 

 

Please note that criteria and scores can be tailored to create individual department standards. The matrix below here is the standard used by the IT PMO.

Within IT Services this classification matrix is completed with the department manager, the project requestor and the IT PMO. This is then scored and tracked as part of the project listing by the IT PMO. The prioritisation a project is also listed on the IT PMO dashboard, which is presented at IT Steering. IT Steering can request a priority be changed.

 

Scoring Range for Prioritising IT PMO Projects:

The scoring range for classification for the size of a project as P1, P2, P3 is: 

Scoring RangeClassification

7 - 8

P1

4 - 6

P2

1 -3

P3

 

 

Criteria for Scoring Prioritising IT PMO Projects:

The criteria for scoring projects as P1, P2, P3 are:

 

 

Criteria

 Criteria Score (1-4) 

1

2

3

4

Project Imperative

Department Change/Improvement

IT Strategic Change/Improvement

University Strategic Change/ Improvement

Mandatory (IT/Regulatory)

Project Delivery Requirement

Preferred project delivery target deadline to be agreed as part of the project process

Preferred project delivery target requested to support the business of the university 

Fixed project delivery deadline in place with some financial/  reputational /technical risk/cost if not achieved

Fixed project delivery deadline in place with significant financial/ reputational/ technical risk/cost if not achieved

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

 

Recommended PM documents by Project Type

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

Please note AR = As Required.

 

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

Project DocumentsMicroSmallMediumLarge

Functional Unit Readiness Assessment

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Project Proposal/SOW

SOW

SOW

Proposal

Proposal

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

SOW

SOW

PID

PID

Project Plan

n/a

x

x

x

Stakeholder Comms Plan

(required only if there are external stakeholders)

n/a

n/a

AR

AR

RAID (Risk, Action, Issue, Decisions)

n/a

x

x

x

Project Status Report

n/a

x

x

x

Procurement Documentation

x

x

x

x

DPIA

x

x

x

x

Transition to Service Document

n/a

x

x

x

Project Close Document

n/a

x

x

x

Benefits Realisation Assessment 

n/a

x

x

x

Meeting Agenda

AR

AR

AR AR

Meeting Minutes

AR

AR

AR

AR

 

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

(where IT is managing technical strand of project only)

Project DocumentsMicroSmallMediumLarge

Functional Unit Readiness Assessment

AR

AR

AR

AR

Project Proposal

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

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

PID

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

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

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

x

x

x

x

Project Plan - technical stand only

n/a

x

x

x

Stakeholder Comms Plan

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

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

n/a

x

x

x

Contribute to business Status Report - technical only

n/a

x

x

x

Procurement Documentation- technical only

x

x

x

x

DPIA - n/a must be completed by business

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Transition to Service Document

n/a

AR

AR

AR

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

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Benefits Realisation Assessment 

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

Meeting Agenda

AR

AR

AR AR

Meeting Minutes

AR

AR

AR

AR

 

 



Project Documentation Locations

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

Each IT Services department must store its core project documents in the PMO folder of their department's team site. Within this folder, each project's documentation is stored in a subfolder created using the naming convention year_projectname e.g. 2019_System A Upgrade.

 

 

IT Services Project Management Office

Top