Why are the Project Manager’s leadership characteristics so important to the successful implementation of an IT project? What are these characteristics?

Assignment – Management of IT Benefit Realisation

Written reports:

The individual assignments are to be presented in documents that shall comply with the following:

• Title

• Abstract (summary or synopsis)

• Statement of own work

• Introduction

• Descriptive part of the report (the body)

• Conclusion

• References

Effective, yet concise communication is encouraged. The reports are not expected to exceed 15 printed, A4 pages, double spacing, 12 point font size

Question 1:

The Gartner paper “Benefit Realisation: The Gift that keeps on Giving”, gives some

useful guidleines on the question, How does an organization build the skills and

capabilities that accelerate Benefit Realisation performance and make it an

“unconscious competence” of the enterprise. Critique this statement using your

experience of a systems integration project from your own organization with which

you are familiar. The student may gain some further insights by reviewing the Case

Studies in the Appendix of this Gartner paper.

(50 marks)

Question 2:

a) Why are the Project Manager’s leadership characteristics so important to the

successful implementation of an IT project? What are these characteristics?

Illustrate your answer with your own real-life experience where applicable.

(20 marks)

b) Give an example of an IT application where your organisation had to make a

Build vs. Buy decision for this application. List the reasons that your IT management debated prior to making the decision and comment on whether

you thought it was the right decision or not, and why. (30 marks)

Question 3:

Draw up a report to your fellow “C-Level” directors that outlines how you would manage

IT custom developments in your organisation to ensure that these developments realise

financial, strategic and operational benefits for your organisation. Use the “Five Pillars”

diagram (below) to structure the report for your colleagues.

NB/Hint: In your paper mention your own comments on the impact of project

management, and your organisation’s choice for software development methodology/s,

on the achievement of IT benefit realisation. (50 marks)

Question 4:

1) Risk Exposure on IT Projects is defined as the product of Impact and Likelihood.

(RE = I * L). Assessment of Risk Exposure is often performed in terms of four

dimensions:

a) SIZE,

b) TECHNOLOGY,

c) STRUCTURE and

d) COST-OF-FAILURE.

Briefly describe the primary effect that each of these four dimensions has on Risk

Exposure. (10 marks)

2) Identify the actions that could prevent each of the following risks from materialising,

or could reduce the impact if each did occur. Give reasons for your recommendations.

a) A key member of the programming team is leaving;

b) A new version of the operating system being introduced which has errors in it;

c) The company for which you are developing this financial management application is taken over by another company which uses a different application system.

d) System testing unearths more errors than were expected and the development is expected to take longer than planned;

e) The government changes taxation rules which alter the way that VAT is to be calculated in the order processing module of the financial management application. (10 marks)

3) The following statements were extracted from a project plan. For each statement:

Identify whether it is primarily a

• CONSTRAINT or

• ASSUMPTION or

• RISK,

and give a short description of how each statement is likely to have an effect on the

project plan.

a) It is essential that the introduction of the new administrative system does not detract from the Hospital’s ability to perform continuous patient administration in an effective manner.

b) The success of this project is heavily dependent on the availability of key personnel as identified in the table of stakeholders. Unavailability of these people could cause the project to be delayed.

c) The business processes and events of the Hospital will remain stable, and that the requirements set for the new system will be the same as those of the present system.

d) The project is not constrained in terms of budget, and it is possible to provide for everything required to execute of the project.

e) The technology of the target platform is new to the project team.

f) In order to support the orderly execution of system and acceptance testing, the team will have access to a dedicated development and test installation.

g) The plan has been developed with the intention of achieving desired results after 10 weeks, placing serious limitations on the options available for planning the project.

h) The new system is based on the existing system and business practices and no significant user training will be required prior to commissioning the system.

i) The project may not achieve its objectives both in terms of required functionality and schedule.

j) Due to the importance of patient treatment, the project is subject to relatively high cost of failure. (30 marks)