Book Title
Business Driven Information Systems 5th Edition

978-0073402987 Chapter 9 Section 9.2 Project Management

April 4, 2019
No one would think of building an office complex by turning loose 100
different construction teams to build 100 different rooms, with no single
blueprint or agreed-upon vision of the completed structure. Yet this is
precisely the situation in which many large organizations #nd themselves
when managing information technology projects. Organizations routinely
over-schedule their resources (human and otherwise), develop redundant
projects, and damage profitability by investing in nonstrategic efforts that do
not contribute to the organization’s bottom line. Project management offers a
strategic framework for coordinating the numerous activities associated with
organizational projects.
Business leaders face a rapidly moving and unforgiving global marketplace
that will force them to use every possible tool to sustain competitiveness. A
good project manager understands not only the fundamentals of project
management, but also how to effectively deal with change management and
risk management. This chapter explores project management, change
management, risk management, and outsourcing in detail.
Learning Outcome 9.4: Explain project management and identify the
primary reasons projects fail.
A project is a temporary or short-term endeavor undertaken to create a
unique product, service, or result, such as developing a custom ecommerce
site or merging databases. Project management is the application of
knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet project
requirements. A project manager is an individual who is an expert in project
planning and management, de#nes and develops the project plan, and tracks
the plan to ensure the project is completed on time and on budget.
The triple constraints are scope, resources, and time. These three
components are interdependent, and if you change one the others must
change. The three primary activities performed by a project manager include
choosing strategic projects, setting the project scope, and managing
resources and maintaining the project plan.
Project stakeholders are individuals and organizations actively involved in the
project or whose interests might be affected as a result of project execution
or project completion. While all stakeholders are important, one stands out
as having the most impact on the success or failure of a project. That person
is the executive sponsor or the person or group who provides the financial
resources for the project. Techniques for choosing strategic projects include
focusing on organizational goals, categorizing projects, or performing a
financial analysis.
Learning Outcome 9.5: Identify the primary project planning
A PERT (Program Evaluation and Review Technique) chart is a graphical
network model that depicts a project’s tasks and the relationships between
those tasks. A dependency is a logical relationship that exists between the
project tasks, or between a project task and a milestone.
A Gantt chart is a simple bar chart that depicts project tasks against a
calendar. In a Gantt chart, tasks are listed vertically and the project’s time
frame is listed horizontally. A Gantt chart works well for representing the
project schedule. It also shows actual progress of tasks against the planned
duration. The three primary areas a project manager must focus on
managing to ensure success are managing people, communications, and
Learning Outcome 9.6: Explain the three di,erent types of
outsourcing along with their benefit and challenges.
Onshore outsourcing—engaging another company within the same
country for services.
Nearshore outsourcing—contracting an outsourcing arrangement with a
company in a nearby country.
Offshore outsourcing—using organizations from developing countries to
write code and develop systems.
The many bene#ts associated with outsourcing include increased quality and
efficiency of a process, service, or function; reduction of operating expenses
and exposure to risks involved with large capital investments; and access to
outsourcing service provider’s expertise, economies of scale, best practices,
and advanced technologies. Outsourcing comes with several challenges
including length of contracts, losing competitive advantages, and risking a
breach of con#dential information.
Project Advice
It is #ne to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of
Good judgment is usually the result of experience. And experience is
frequently the result of bad judgment. But to learn from the experience of
others requires those who have the experience to share the knowledge with
those who follow.
Developing a Project Plan
Break your students into groups and ask them to develop a project plan
(Gantt chart) for building a small piece of software that tracks student grades
for a single course. If they do not have Microsoft Project, have them use
Excel or the project features in Visio. Be sure that their project plans list all
phases in the SDLC and that they represent an incremental development
methodology, not a waterfall methodology. Be sure the tasks under each
phase are discussed in detail.
Burger King Outsourcing
Excellent video to demonstrate the negative side of outsourcing!! Very
Dealing with difficult People
This is a fantastic site. It offers numerous videos and specific details on the
best way to use the videos to get your point across - without making anyone
cross. I've used some of these when dealing with difficult students and it
worked perfect.
Funny videos can be more than just a bit of fun. Funny videos can sometimes
be used in the workplace, and in team meetings or workshops, to set a
relaxed atmosphere/get people's attention, make memorable/useful points,
or diffuse tense situations.
Funny videos are especially useful when you have some difficult people to
deal with, who are unaware of the impact they are having on everyone else.
Humor, used appropriately, can bring the issue into their awareness in an
acceptable way, and be more effective than confronting the behavior
Outsourcing Gone Wrong
Story 1: "The Customer is Never Right"
We supplied the contract house with everything they needed to get the job
done. The first thing they did was tell us how our tools and equipment were
out-dated, and besides we were using them incorrectly. (Due to legacy issues
and budget restrictions, constant hardware and software upgrades are not a
way of life here.) The next thing they did was re-format all of the code on the
project, including code outside the scope of their portion, to meet their own
formatting preferences. Any request for information was like pulling teeth.
They made me and everyone on my team feel like we were imposing
anytime we asked them about the project (usually technical questions.)
The most appalling thing is that towards the end of the project, they debated
us on how a portion of our system worked!!! It was very insulting to have
them infer that they understood our system better than we did. They have
been blacklisted from our entire corporation.
Story 2: "The Underbid"
The contract house gave us a very competitive #xed-bid on a project. This
raised some concerns, but not enough to rule them out - money talks, and
we were trying to spend as little as possible. In retrospect, going with them
was a big mistake, but hindsight is always 20-20, right? As they got further
into the project, the scope of the project "grew". Why? Because they did not
give the project's complexity any credit when they bid. We were not adding
features or functionality - they were just beginning to realize the scope of the
It was clear their sales force had over-committed their engineering staff in a
terrible way. Their engineers resented us and their own management, and it
showed in their dealings with us. Not even halfway through the project, they
admitted they had underbid - now they needed more money to complete the
project. (Ironic, since one of the primary factors in choosing them was the
attractive price tag.) The project was completed by our own staff in-house
once we decided we'd cut our losses and sever our relationship.
I don't know if we would outsource again. I feel like we bought software
development services from a used-car salesman.
Story 3: "Bigger Isn't Always Better"
You would think that a multi-billion dollar company that charges very high
hourly rates for its staff would be the best firm to hire for a high-stakes
project, right? So did we. As it turns out, the amount of "red tape" we had to
cut through just to get anything done was ridiculous. The protocols we had to
follow to initiate any action on their part were very time consuming.
Getting anyone on the phone was difficult. Getting a technical person on the
phone was a miracle. The "calls-per-contact ratio" (as we began to call it)
was extremely high. Email would go unanswered, or worse, it would be
answered by more than one person, often with conHicting information. We
also experienced a lot of frustration splitting hairs about what was and was
not covered in the contract. It seemed like they were not interested in
demonstrating "good faith" or working with us towards a solution.
The engineers implied several times that their managers told them to do the
minimum required to fulfill the contract. What they considered to be the
minimum required certainly differed from our expectations.
Outsourcing Issues
There are many issues and obstacles to outsourcing such as time zone
differences and accents. Break your students into groups and ask them to
research the Internet to #nd examples of companies that have experiences
issues with outsourcing. Ask your students to present their finding to the
class and offer a small prize to the team that #nds the most outrageous
There is also a great video by Thomas Friedman on his famous book The
World is Flat. The video can be found at www.mit.com. The video lasts
around 40 minutes.
The Outsourcing Debate
Print and cut out the below companies. Assign the companies to your
students. Each company has an argument for or against outsourcing. Have
your student’s debate for or against outsourcing. Team size can vary.
Company: Zeno: An international telecommunication company
Content Management Systems including DMS, DAM and WCM
Argument: For outsourcing
Company: Zeno: An international telecommunication company
Content Management Systems including DMS, DAM and WCM
Argument: Against outsourcing
Company: Fields: An international clothing manufacturer
WorkHow Management Systems
Argument: For outsourcing
Company: Fields: An international clothing manufacturer
WorkHow Management Systems
Argument: Against outsourcing
Company: Wanders: An international software development company
Groupware Systems
Argument: For outsourcing
Company: Wanders: An international software development company
Groupware Systems
Argument: Against outsourcing
Company: Excel2: An international #lm producing company
Peer-to-peer (P2P) Systems
Argument: For outsourcing
Company: Excel2: An international #lm producing company
Peer-to-peer (P2P) Systems
Argument: Against outsourcing
Company: Intelect: An international automobile manufacturer
Knowledge Management Systems
Argument: For outsourcing
Company: Intelect: An international automobile manufacturer
Knowledge Management Systems
Argument: Against outsourcing
Top Emerging Outsourcing Cities
This is an excellent example to show during class as it explains how the
recession is impacting outsourcing and the top countries.
To turn this into a classroom activity or Blackboard Discussion question ask
your students the following:
What impact will outsourcing have on your career path?
What can you do to compete in an outsourced industry or Hat world?
As a business leader what concerns do you have about outsourcing to these
countries and what can you do to alleviate these concerns?
Project Management Library
Review samples of the course and reference material which our students use
in our personal 1-to-1 training. These articles are for supplemental reading
and the video samples come from our class lectures and the live, real-time
meeting simulations, where our students work with their role-playing
instructor to practice making project presentations and answering
executive's questions.
Learn Project Management in 15 Minutes
Learning SCRUM in 10 Minutes
Ask your students to watch the following:
Why would a company want to use SCRUM to develop software?
Why would you as a student bene#t from learning about SCRUM?
The IT Manager’s Essential Guide to Outsourcing
If you cover outsourcing - this site is a must!
Rich, vibrant and complex, India is an ever-growing international presence.
The world’s largest democracy continues as the leading IT outsourcing
destination. In fact, revenue from the Indian IT industry has grown tenfold in
the last decade, according to the National Association of Software and
Service Companies. And this year the total IT sector is expected to grow 28
percent over last year, to more than $47.8 billion in annual revenue. Taking a
wider view, India is predicted to have the world’s #fth largest economy within
a decade, according to a report by Goldman Sachs.
In other words, it pays to learn about India. This special report of both
brand-new and still-relevant articles will help you better understand this
rising power and develop strategies for profitable collaboration.
The core chapter material is covered in detail in the PowerPoint slides. Each
slide contains detailed teaching notes including exercises, class activities,
questions, and examples. Please review the PowerPoint slides for detailed
notes on how to teach and enhance the core chapter material.