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FAQs:  IT Project Planning and Management

FAQs & Glossaries


 
 
Q. Why bother spending time developing project plans? Technology changes so rapidly that today’s plan is tomorrow’s history.

A. Simply stated, the only justification for spending time and money on technology is that it enables organizations to do something better, faster, or cheaper. An organization's business plan tells what will be done better, faster, or cheaper. Technology project plans support these business plans, and are developed to ensure they will deliver the promised benefits of the technology when needed and within budget.

Plans are management’s tool for aligning, unifying and coordinating activities across the organization to achieve strategic goals and business objectives. IT project plans are simply one component of this complex framework.

During the planning process, IT project justifications (and project plans) tell senior and business management what IT benefits to expect, and when. During implementation, comparisons of plan vs. actual performance tell management whether IT projects are progressing and if they are likely to deliver the promised results on schedule. If there are significant changes during implementation, management can change the business plan, the technology plan, or both.

The point of planning is to know our destination and then choose the most desirable and feasible path to get there. Often, circumstances (e.g., technological changes) force us to take a different path, but that doesn’t necessarily change our destination. Plans help us keep the destination in sharp focus even as we consider different paths to get there. Without them, we risk losing our way. In business terms we risk the following: projects that are, (1) seriously late, (2) significantly over budget, and/or (3) fail to deliver the promised benefits.

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