Graduate Book Review 8: Maximizing Benefits from IT Project Management: From requirements to value delivery

Book Information

Book Title: Maximizing Benefits from IT Project Management: From requirements to value delivery, 1st Edition

Author:  José López Soriano

Publisher:  Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

Book Review

By Master student Ran Tao

Introduction to the Book

With a large number of IT projects failing due to late delivery, coming in over budget, or just being cancelled altogether, it is clear that traditional project management methodologies are not providing an effective framework for today’s IT projects. It is evident that a new Return-on-Investment (ROI) oriented approach is required that focuses on the ROI of a project from its very inception.
This book provides a comprehensive guideline for determining an accurate ROI before the project has progressed to the point where it’s over budget and over-run. It applies an iterative approach to the entire project management life cycle that re-visits the ROI, re-assesses the value delivered, defines the project’s scope, and allows the project to be planned as successive iterations based on the value delivered.

This book details a systematic and simplified approach for effectively and efficiently selecting and evaluating IT projects for your organization. Filled with equations, tables, and figures that facilitate understanding, it explains how to evaluate the subsequent success of a project so that it is simpler to manage, more efficient, and yields the ROI estimated from the outset. Using the novel approach outlined in the book, you will be able to deliver value throughout the project’s life cycle and make sure your projects are delivered on time, on budget, and within the constraints of the resources available.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Generally, this book follows a main thread from the requirements of IT project management to the value delivery. More explicitly, the problems faced by IT project management and the solutions to these problems are analyzed in this book. The basic framework of this book is shown in the following figure.

In detail, Chapters 1-3 introduce the general background of IT project management today under the impact of knowledge management evolution and information systems development. Chapters 4-9 comprehensively talk about the planning, analysis, design, building/testing, and system implementation parts of the information system development life cycle. Chapters 10-14 mainly focus on how to manage problems related to information systems and project management. Chapters 15-21 discuss the issues of creating value for IT projects and how to manage the value related cases. Finally, Chapters 22-26 present how to enhance benefit from different IT project concepts.

Highlights: What I liked!

This book contains almost all the related issues stemming from the area of IT project management. It aims to answer the most general and most important question: how do I maximize my project’s benefits? It not only examines the facets of Information Technology work, but also considers the appropriateness and use of IT project management methods and information system development lifecycle steps.

Based on the author’s personal career experience as a programmer, as well as a manager and principal of a business unit (a seemingly dream career path for many students studying IT) most of the cases mentioned in this book can be related directly to real life. The technical practices surrounding the introduction of computer systems, the creation of associated programs and applications, and the development and deployment of business solutions are all factors considered in this book.

Shortfalls: What was Missing!

Considering the logical relation between each chapter, classifying the chapters into three or four sections might assist the readers in grasping the book’s framework right off the bat.

Who might benefit from the Book

The manager or engineer working in the IT industry with five or more years of work experience might benefit from reading this book. This book may even make marked difference on their work performance. Also this book could be a good introductory text for IT students studying project management.

Conclusion

This book precisely examines a systematic and simplified approach to devising and implementing the best practices needed for selecting and evaluating IT projects within organizations. The objective is to ensure the IT projects meet their established goals.
In addition, this book also indicates how to manage our approach to using the project management life cycle, keeping in mind important processes for issues such as evaluating alternatives, specifying and managing project scope, dealing properly with project scope and technical changes, and defining what is included and what is excluded in each project in order to reconcile its forecast and final results.

Produced in cooperation between Taylor & Francis Group, LLC, PM World Inc. and The Project Management Center for Excellence at the University of Maryland, USA

PM World Today is a global project management eJournal – published monthly at http://www.pmworldtoday.net

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