Project Masters provided an eighteen month Independent Verification and Validation for a utility company to help ensure the success of a comprehensive replacement of the existing IT systems with new generation systems.
Based on conversations between the utility company Management and Project Masters, there is a need to do a quarterly project management assessment on the CIS initiative under way at the utility company. The scope of the initiative is a complete replacement of the utility company’s IT systems. The twenty-seven member IT staff is responsible for the de-installation, installation, training, networking, trouble shooting, and ongoing production support during this transitional phase. The production-critical requirements of the utility company dictate that the management of this project be thorough, focused, and accountable for deviations from scheduling and budgetary goals. An additional certified project management resource has been identified as a necessary component for the successful implementation of the IT transition project. This resource will work with the program manager to manage the project scope, monitor progress, provide a reporting system to the project stakeholders, and help to ensure the success of the project.
Project Masters provided six quarterly project management assessments beginning the week of December 12, 2005. The first step included project documentation review and program assessment including change control, risk management, the communication plan, and an examination of earned value management practices if applicable. The second step included a customer satisfaction review and check of the quality levels. There was also a review and debrief with the review sponsor and any other parties the utility company deemed appropriate. The first quarterly debrief was formalized in a written audit report provided by the project management auditor on December 30, 2005. When requested by the utility company management, Project Masters orally presented the quarterly written audit report, addressed issues, and answered questions.
Project Masters addressed the following management challenges:
- The former IT System was saddled with cost overruns, schedule delays, and poor vendor support and accountability
- No formal project close out from the last IT project
- No formal reporting methodology in reporting on the IT projects
- Differing inputs, opinions, needs from the various levels of the organization as well as from the various locations
- Communication breakdowns in sharing critical information
- A shortage of formal project management experience and competencies
Project Masters met with key the utility company personnel from all levels to monitor and evaluate the Project Management procedures. Fifteen areas of project performance were assessed:
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Project Governance
- Team Composition
- Assumptions and Constraints
- Performance Measures
- Change Management]
- Contracts Management
- Review of Lessons Learned
- Issues Management
- Risk Management
- Quality Assurance
- Scheduling and Task Plans
The utility company Project Team scored the project as “Very High” (a score of 90% or greater) in the following five areas: (1) Approach; (2) Roles and Responsibilities; (3) Contracts Management; (4) Scheduling and Task Plans; and (5) Team Composition.
The Project Team scored the project as “High” (a score between 75% and 89%) in the following six areas: (1) Acceptance; (2) Issues Management; (3) Review of Lessons Learned; (4) Project Governance; (5) Communications; and (6) Assumptions and Constraints.
Finally, the Project Team scored the project as “Moderate” (a score between 50% and 75%) on the following four areas: (1) Change Management; (2) Risk Management; (3) Quality Assurance; and (4) Performance Measures.