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Best Practices for Application Integration: A practical framework for successful solution delivery Member Content
- by Tad VanderVorste, PMP
Application integration is the process of exchanging data between two or more business/application systems. Integration between software applications presents a unique set of challenges. The author describes seven best practices that can be applied to any integration effort, large or small, to improve delivery results.

Application of Lean Thinking to IT Services Member Content
- by Pierluca Pierro, PMP
When we talk about lean thinking, we often imagine the industrial world. In this article, the author addresses optimization in IT services and identifies six steps to activating lean processes. To understand lean thinking, IT service providers are encouraged to focus on value, such as it is defined by the customer and on the relentless elimination of waste that impedes the flow of value.

The Functional Manager’s Role in IT Project Management Member Content
- by Gordon Swift, PhD, PMP
In a matrix information technology organization, the functional manager plays a key role in project management and is responsible for critical processes. Success will depend on the functional manager and the project manager cooperating, communicating, and understanding each other’s role. The author provides a case study as a guide to successful interaction.

Continuous Integration and Testing Member Content
- by Kapil Kr. Bhatia, PMP
Using continuous testing, one can immediately detect problems in code — before it’s too late and problems spread. Using a clever combination of tests, tools, and techniques you can tell right away when there’s a problem and it’s easiest to fix. The author uses a case study to illustrate the benefits of continuous integration (CI) and how it leads to better quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA).

The Fours Secrets of Successful Project Management and COTS Implementations Member Content
- by Deborah Moorhouse, PMP
Code-off-the-Shelf (COTS) based solutions are intended to be easy and inexpensive to implement but their complexity is often underestimated. The author highlights some of the lessons learned from several large scale COTS implementations in the public sector and suggests ways project managers can avoid expensive overruns and sponsor dissatisfaction.

The Prominence of Tracking in Software Project Management— Insight Member Content
- by Ambadapudi Sridhara Murthy, M.Tech, PMI-SP, PMP
Tracking information about a project plays a key role in rendering a methodical and results-oriented approach for taking the project toward success. This article outlines the combination of the set of tracking information across the stages of the software development life cycle. It also highlights how that tracked information can be effectively integrated into the organization’s process for the improvement of all other current and/or future projects.

A Balanced Approach to Systems Engineering Project Management Member Content
- by Ryan Maxwell, PMP
How do you, as a systems engineering project manager, know how to approach the decisions in process tailoring, technology, and tool selection? A balanced approach to systems engineering project management will help navigate difficult and seemingly intractable decisions.

Introduction of an IT Project Management Methodology in a Fast-Growing Company Member Content
- by Geoffray Schmitt and Solenn Salaun
This article explains the rationale behind the creation of an in-house, customized project management methodology, iMAP, at a rapidly growing pharmaceutical company. The authors also describe the priorities that were selected to start with its implementation: a solid project initiation, a clear project life cycle, a special attention to risk management, a first step in reporting standardization, and specific attention to the activities necessary for the transition to operations. They provide an overview of their approach to IT project governance and how a defined project management methodology is the key for its success.

Improving Business Agility Using the Six Sigma DMAIC Roadmap in a Data Quality Management Project Member Content
- by Usama Mohammed Shamma, PMP
According to a Gartner report, companies lose, on average, US$8.2 million annually due to issues with their data, a number that can increase when dealing with regulatory compliance and public safety issues. To meet business objectives, improve business agility, speed the time to market, reduce operating costs, as well as demands of the CIO for accurate information and actionable business insight, organizations have come to understand that they need to invoke more systemic strategies to manage the quality of data across the enterprise.

IT Project Management Using the Statement of Work Member Content
- by Shannon Gaw, PMP, MBA
The SOW is the project roadmap. A well-designed SOW can make a project a success, whereas a poorly designed SOW can result in the labeling of a project as a failure, no matter how successfully the work was completed. This article provides an introduction to the concept, a look at the various manifestations of the SOW, its place in the PMBOK® Guide, and a detailed overview of its components.

Creating Work Plans for IT Implementations Member Content
- by Shannon Gaw, PMP
In this context, the work plan is a mini-project plan or mini-statement of work (SOW); it focuses on a time-boxed component of a project to produce a deliverable or meet a milestone as opposed to the entire project effort. This article reviews the reason for the work plan artifact, its physical nature, its composition, and the processes involved in its utilization.

Key Processes Outputs in Successfully Managing a Customer Data Integration (CDI) Solution Implementation Project? Member Content
- by Usama Mohammed Shamma, PMP
Customer data integration (CDI) enables an enterprise to create and use a “single version of truth about their customers”; this single version of truth is one of the requirements needed to support fundamental transformation of an enterprise from an account-centric business to a new, effective, and agile customer-centric business—a transformation that has a profound impact on the way organizations conduct business and interact with their customers.

Improving Hardware Project Performance in a Software-Centric Information Technology Department Member Content
- by Jewel A. Mack, PMP, MA
Our Fortune 500 company is growing, allowing for growth in our IT department. I face the challenge of effectively supporting hardware projects within an IT department in which the majority of projects are software oriented. This article will provide an explanation of the current state of our organization, the identified areas of opportunity, and the proposed solutions for these opportunities. Project managers of IT hardware projects reading this article will find practical ideas they may be able to use to function more effectively within a software-centric IT department and the result will lead to improved project performance.

Project Managing Software as a Service Supplier Selection Member Content
- by Rohit A. Bhalerao, PMP
As more and more small and medium enterprises (SMEs) turn their focus toward software as a service (SaaS) model to leverage the advantages of improved productivity and business growth at lower costs, it becomes extremely important to carefully map out the methodology by which a SaaS supplier, software, and services are selected.

"Technology Trinity" for Project Managers: People, Process, and Technology Member Content
- by Brandi Narvaez, MBA, PMP
When things go wrong in a project, project and program managers should ask themselves: Did I honor the technology trinity? There are three key components that should be honored in any technology project: people, processes, and technology. There is an art to evaluating the trinity, and project managers need to become more analytical and question and validate understandings, assumptions, and changes for all three components of the technology trinity.

Effort Estimation: Significance and Design-Framework in Today's IT Business Context Member Content
- by Sarabjeet Singh Arora, MBA, PMP
Typically, effort estimates are overly optimistic, and there tends to be a good deal of over-confidence regarding their accuracy. Today, customers are more interested in knowing all of the pricing factors and pricing influencers in any service deal; effort estimation (being a direct input to service price) becomes a vital success factor in today's competitive business environment.

Business Intelligence Project Management 101: Managing BI Projects Within the PMI Process Group Member Content
- by Carole Wittemann, PMP
Too many times, business intelligence (BI) and data warehousing project managers are ill-equipped to handle their roles in guiding a project to success. Often, the person slated to lead a project is either a technician who does not know the first thing about managing a project or a project manager who does not know the first thing about BI. This paper introduces business intelligence to the pure project manager and introduces project management concepts to the BI practitioner in the context of an example project.

In Search of the Perfect Project Management Tool Member Content
- by Dmitry Stillermann
The market for project management tools, specifically those targeted at the software development industry, is in a very peculiar state nowadays. Every available solution is either lacking some rather critical features, or is cumbersome to use, or both. Basically this means that any newcomer that addresses all of the shortcomings of the existing products can easily grab a huge market share from the competitors.

IT Project Management: Ten Rules for Enhancing the Human Element Member Content
- by Kevin McGaffey and Rob Beckmann
In this article, we step back to take a look at our combined 56 years of experience in IT delivering hundreds of projects, and we assess and determine the lessons learned working in large complex IT organizations as employees, service providers, consultants, and trusted advisors to leading North American companies. We believe that there are patterns to successful performance by individuals and teams in projects, and would like to present ten rules for enhancing the "human element" of the IT team.

Challenges and Tips with Communications in IT AMS Projects Member Content
- by Guang De Wang, PMP, IBM China Global Delivery Chengdu Center
Communication plays a very important role in an Information Technology application management service project. To provide the quality of service to customers and meet the service level agreement, the project team needs to communicate every day with customers who may have different roles. To ensure the successful delivery of the project, the project manager need to master and keep the whole team informed of communication techniques for different scenarios.

Process Innovation SaaS: An Emerging Business Model Techniques Member Content
- by Chitra Rao, PMP, ALMI, ARA
This article attempts to provide insight into some key business considerations for an SaaS provider to enable a successful transformation from a traditional on-premise model to the SaaS business model, and some key considerations for an SaaS consumer to identify the likely business domains to use an SaaS solution and enable a seamless integration with the existing on-premise applications.

The Role of Lean Member Content
- by Howard Williams, PMP, and Judy Gerber
Scenario: A particular software development project is underway, but progress is slow, even with the required resources on board. Technical issues are compounded by changing requirements, and planning is complicated by development resources getting pulled into support work on existing products. Quality has been compromised. The problem described above is an example of what we view as a work process issue. This is in contrast to what we have called, in a companion paper ("IT Project Management: The Role of Governance"), a governance issue.

The Role of Governance Member Content
- by Judy Gerber and Howard Williams, PMP
Scenario: A particular software development project is described as critical by the organization that initiated it, but it is difficult to acquire the resources needed to get it done. The needed people and assets are always busy with other projects that higher-level managers insist get done first. The problem described above is an example of a lack of functional governance processes and its effect on IT project management. This paper describes the identifying concepts and features of governance, how it affects IT project management, and some practical examples of what can be done when governance is not functioning.

One Size Does Not Fit All Member Content
- by Anand Padhye, PMP, CPIM
The most widely used project management methodology is the waterfall model. In this model the progress of a project is seen flowing steadily downwards (like a waterfall) through the phases of conception, initiation, analysis, design (validation), construction, testing and maintenance. It should be apparent that this model has its origins in the manufacturing and construction industries. And that raises a question: Do all information systems projects need to follow the same model?

Design and Governance of Formal Review Gates for Systems Integration Projects Member Content
- by Jeet Sandhanwalia, PMP, IBM Global Technical Services
This article addresses the design considerations and governance of formal review gates for composite application development and infrastructure implementation, commonly referred to as "systems integration projects" in this context. Although the basic design principles and governance between software development and systems integration do not widely differ, there are technology implementation aspects that alter the governance (including a set of deliverables, team of reviewers,and timing during the project life cycle phase) of these gates.

Software Development Projects-Operations Integrated Approach Member Content
- by Channaveer Channashetti, PMP
With the passage of time, IT organizations have become an integral part of almost every function of every industry. This has led to increased budgetary allocations and provisions for supporting, enhancing, and adding new software systems in all segments, year after year. As a result, numerous opportunities have arisen to make processes more efficient and productive, yielding better quality at reduced cost--but IT must be designed and deployed effectively.

Applying Project Management in Technology Transition - A Bird's-Eye View Member Content
- by K.S. Biju, PMP
Technology transition has gained a great deal more attention in recent days. This is defined as the detailed desk-level knowledge transfer and documentation of all relevant tasks, work flows and business processes from a provider to a client or from an owner to a support organization. Extensive due-diligence is required in assessing what activities need to be transitioned and to what extent. This article is an attempt to explore the different phases and activities of a transition cycle and how some of the project management techniques can help make life easier for a transition manager.

Go Fast, But Don't Hurry Member Content
- by Raj Kaushik, PMP
Do we care to learn from our past mistakes that have resulted in failed or overrun projects? This article poses some of the decision-making questions you can ask to produce success on your project.

Practical Advice for Software Implementation Project Managers Member Content
- by Steve Reichenbach, PMP
Learn from the mistakes of an effective project manager with over 10 years of experience leading software projects whose simple three-week project went on for three months.