How to ensure the competence of the PMA on an IT project?

    We have a project for the development and implementation of a new IT system! And you need a PM ...
    What happened? Where do without it. And the market seems to be saturated with all kinds of project managers.
    - Choose! Everybody has a wonderful rich experience. There are PMs with experience in implementing projects in Construction and Defense. There are PMs with experience in implementing medical projects. There is even in the aircraft industry! What else do you need !? The level of responsibility and demandingness in these industries is the complete dumping of the head.
    - Does he know IT?
    - Why do you need it?! He has excellent knowledge of project management methodology ... this is the main thing!

    And this also happened ...

    Let's figure out whether knowledge in the field of IT is needed for a project manager who must come and organize the development and implementation of an information system.

    So, first you need to develop an information system!

    - Come on, PM, what are you going to do first?
    - Determine the need and goals!
    - Good. And then?
    - Draw a project plan for the development!
    - It is logical. And from what stages is the development? It is necessary to determine the top-level tasks for the composition!
    - Why do I need it? I will ask someone!
    - And who in IT owns this information?
    - Someone who? A programmer ... probably ...
    Most recently, I encountered a similar story. On the one hand, everything seems to be smooth. Indeed, the programmer knows which stages the development usually consists of. But let's make a correction. Already not to miss at all, let's go to the Architect! He must know for sure.
    - Hi, architect. What is the development of? Need a task in the plan.
    - It is necessary to take the TK and grind on it functionality!
    - And all ?! So simple?
    - Well, still test.
    - What if the TK in the process changes?
    - I do not know. My job is to work according to the TZ
    . They asked. Received 2 points: TZ and Development.
    - What are we going to do, PM?
    - So everything is clear! TK ask and give the Architect. Let appreciate. It will say the term. It will determine the points of readiness, and we will monitor it at these points. And periodically show the user the result.
    So, approximately, occurs when the PM is not in the know.

    And what would we ask him when they took to work? And if you go very far, then What is the life cycle of the Information System from its birth to death. Although the systems do not die. They are "morally" obsolete.

    I will never forget the "fun" story with the channel air conditioning system that happened in our production. Found, then the system. Good, powerful. The whole plant and the adjacent administrative buildings had to cool. Well bought. For, something about 200K American rubles. Put. Put into operation. After several months of work, the system has turned down. Why? Yes, because no system will survive without the support and regular technical support!

    But the information system is no different. Also, like other systems, requires commissioning. Also, the others are infrastructures. And, at times, implementation errors that occurred on a project to introduce the financial system cost much more than a kondeya breakdown.

    So how can a PM that has come to an IT project from an Aviation or Construction industry draw a plan that should contain all these steps?

    Get advice from an Architect? Who sees his task in a fragmentary way and doesn’t imagine what is “before” and what is “after”? Alas. Such a project is doomed.

    Therefore, understanding the PM, of which tasks the project consists of, which tasks are related, and which can be done in parallel - it is important for the IT project.

    And now how can we understand how much PM corresponds to the expected result? To do this, there are a number of uncomplicated questions to which we must receive distinct answers.

    Question 1: What are the stages of the formation of a technical task for development?


    • From the formation of the functional requirements of the customer
    • Formation of the task for the infrastructure, which, in turn, is the result of the development of a contract on fault tolerance and backup
    • And from the map of the interaction of the future system with other systems.

    In fact, we get 3 tasks at the exit: functional and technical, infrastructure TOR, infrastructure development TOR. They are check points for control.

    Question 2: What are the stages of development?


    • From the distribution of tasks by developers
    • From the formation of the acceptance plan
    • From complex testing (piloting)
    • From creating a migration plan, and developing this plan

    Question 3: What are the stages of commissioning?


    • Stress Testing
    • Formation of teaching materials
    • User training
    • Filling all NSIs (Regulatory Reference Information + User Access)
    • Data migration
    • Reconciliation of balances
    • Start operating operations (piloting)
    • Hot-assist during the first launch

    Question 4: What does the system transfer scheme for support look like after commissioning?


    At a minimum, the system has 3 levels of support:

    1. Infrastructure support and server load monitoring
    2. Functional support and monitoring of threads, in case something went wrong in the system.
    3. Methodological support that answers questions, why it works this way and not otherwise, and also collects evolutions needs

    And each of these stages should have its own SLA. That's also a little word that is not always clear to people outside IT.

    If the PM candidate does not name all the stages, it does not matter. Could forget something or be worried. As the plan develops, he will somehow collide with them. Much worse if he doesn’t imagine it absolutely. The situation will be complicated if he starts projecting his previous experience from other business areas to IT. In this case, the team will begin conflicts and the "loss" of developers. The blessing the technician can find for himself always and there, where competent management of the IT project will be his comfort zone.

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