Information System

Information Systems
Project Management
IS Project Quality Management
Miguel Nunes
Aims of this Session
To introduce basic concepts of quality
assurance and management;
To discuss methods, activities and factors
involved in quality management;
To discuss quality assurance at the different
stages of IS project management.
Information System
An Information System can be defined technically as a set
of interrelated components that collect, process, store
and retrieve, and distribute information to support
decision making, co-ordination and control in an
An information system is an organisational and
management solution, based on information and
communication technology, to a challenge posed by the
Information System
A system that assembles, stores, processes and delivers
information relevant to an organisation (or socio-technical
environment), in such a way that the information is
accessible and useful to those who wish to use it as
required by their activity practices, including managers,
staff, customers, suppliers, other business partners and
An IS is therefore an human-activity system which may or
may not involve the use of IT based systems.
Types of IS
Project Resources
Any IS project has at least 4 stages:
Types of IS Project
A resource is any item or person required for the execution
of the project (from clips to key technical personnel).
In general resources can be categorised as follows:
Labour (also known as Human Resources);
Budgetary resources.
Types of IS Project
These team members may take one or more of the following
types of roles:
 Support:
 Management:
 Technical:
Project Manager;
Quality Manager;
Risk Manager;
Configuration and
Integration Manager;
Analysts and Designers;
Graphics Designer;
Database Administrator;
Implementation Officer;
Project Champion;
Training Officer:
 Organising:
And more ……….
Steering Committee;
User Group;
Risk Management
Joint Application
Development Team.
Types of IS Project
Human Resources is very expensive (typically 80%
of budget of the project) and the more specialised
the resources are the more scarce and expensive
they become.
Human resource allocation depends on:
Management Style of Project Manager.
Type and nature of the project;
IS Methodology Selected;
Constraints and Budget of the Project.
Types of IS Project
Time is a resource that is very scarce
and limits the use of other resources.
Time allocation in the plan depends on
IS methodology, effort estimation,
quality standards used, risk
management and the use of human
IS Development
“ a coherent collection of concepts, beliefs, values and
principles supported by resources to help a problemsolving group to perceive, generate, assess and carryout in a non-random way changes to the information
(Avison and Wood-Harper, 1990)
1. Set of methods for tackling the different problems involved.
2. Sound theoretical basis in order to understand why and when to
use the methods.
IS Development
A collection of procedures, techniques, tools and
documentation aids that help developers in their efforts to
understand users, their socio-technical environment, their
work practices and their information needs.
IS Methodologies consist of phases whish will guide the
systems developers in what to do and their choice of
techniques that might be appropriate at each stage. Each
phase may contain subphases.
These phases (or stages, or main activities) form the IS
Project and help manage, control and evaluate the project.
IS Development
There are 3 main types of methodologies in use
 Structured Approaches (e.g. SSDAM);
 Agile Methodologies:
Prototyping approaches (e.g. RAD or DSDM);
Incremental approaches (e.g. XP or SCRUM);
 Object Oriented Approaches (e.g. UML).
Allocation of time and human resources should be is based
on Process Based Estimation ... supported by DTL and
WBS and expressed in terms of Gantt and CPM charts.
Process decomposition sets of:
 Stages into activities
 Activities into tasks.
Consideration of past experience and data from past
projects through:
 expert judgement; or
 analogy.
Consideration of “especial factors” (individual skill,
support tools, communication and co-ordination
Estimation of effort required for each individual task.
Information Systems
Project Planning
Time allocation in the plan depends on the IS methodology selected,
effort estimation, quality standards used, risk management and the use
of human resources.
Question answered:
 What IS Methodology to use?
 Who will do the work?
 When will the work be done?
 How long will each of the stages, activities and tasks last?
Questions remaining:
 What type of quality do we need for our work and
 What risks are we willing to run?
Project Quality
IS Project quality refers to the quality of the
project as whole, including all the products
and processes related to achieving these
such as, analysis, management, scheduling,
human resources, as well as, ‘system
quality’, that refers to technical
considerations such as, software, hardware,
environment in which it operates, etc.
Quality Concepts
The totality of features and characteristics of a
product or service that bear on its ability to
satisfy stated or implied needs.
Two types of Quality Assurance:
 Validation
Are we building the right product? (external)
 Verification
Are we building the product right? (internal)
Quality Concepts
Two types of Quality:
Quality of Conformance: the degree to which a
project conforms to its specification as agreed
with its originator (validation).
Quality of the Process: the suitability of the
specification, design, development and
installation process to fulfil its agreed purpose
or function including both internal and
external needs (verification).
Quality of
• Project team and originator understand and
agree what is needed;
• Deliverables are formally reviewed and
remediation measures are taken in case of
failure to meet standards and requirements;
• Project team supplies suitable IS system;
• Originator formally acknowledges reception
and suitability of IS.
Quality of
The jargon:
A defect is anything that is wrong with a product,
whether an omission, imperfection, ambiguity or
A fault or bug is the cause or potential cause of a
A failure is either a breakdown of some sort or the
production of wrong or otherwise unsatisfactory
Finally, an error is a human action or mistake that
results in an IS fault.
Quality of the
Project team agrees on a monitoring strategy and a
project plan;
Project progress is monitored accordingly and
remediation actions are taken whenever necessary;
Deliverables are formally reviewed and remediation
measures are taken in case of failure of the work
processes to meet internal and professional
Process is evaluated and reviewed at the end of the
project against plan, organisational requirements and
aims, as well as suitability to support similar porjects
in the future.
Quality of the Process
The jargon:
Plan, schedule, stages, activities, tasks,
communication, integration of efforts,
motivation, support tools, methodology,
techniques ...
That is aspects linked with the process and the
achievement of final and intermediate products,
rather tan the quality of the products themselves.
Quality Assurance
• Evaluate the results of the different stages
throughout the whole project;
• Confirm that these results have been appropriately
reached by the scheduled date;
• Confirm that the work is done at internal, external
and professional standards;
• Ensure the existence of appropriate communications
between the different parts involved and especially
between IT/IS Specialists and Customers.
Quality Assurance
Quality assurance is based on two main concepts:
A milestone is a point in time at wich a stage of the project is
considered to be completed and this is accepted by both the
project team and the originator for external ones or just the team
for internal ones:
• They provide control points at which we can evaluate progress and
adjust project plans;
• They can be used to illustrate progress to the originator;
• There may be intermediates sign-offs, stage payments or
renegotiations linked to the achievement of milestones.
A deliverable finalised products that emerge from different phases
of the project (e.g. Documents, Reports, Specifications, Code,
Quality Assurance
Milestone as well as type and nature of
deliverables depend on the IS Methdology
selected !!!!
Are milestones the same for SSADM, RAD, XP
and UML?
Are deliverables the same?
Quality Assurance
Quality of Conformance: checks every
deliverable associated with each milestone
against agreed requirements, necessary
functionality and contracted objectives as well
as external and professional standards
Quality of the Process: checks the suitability of
the processes associated with achieving a
specific milestone against their agreed purpose
or function including both internal and external
standards and needs (verification).
Why Quality Assurance?
Cost of
Ahh …
but this is a
bit boring ….
This module’s question:
“We know why projects fail,
we know how to prevent their
failure -- so why do they still
fail?“ Cobb (1995)
Old question!???
Project Management
What has happened ?
What is happening ?
What is going to happen ?
What needs to be done ?
How are we going to do it ?
When are we doing it ?
Who is going to do it ?
What is the quality of our work
(product) ?
What are the risks involved ?
Planning and Organising
(What and How)
( When and Who)
Scheduling and Monitoring
(awareness of progression, remediation
action, quality assurance)
Planning and Organising
Planning and Organising
(What and How)
Understanding requirements;
Selecting a methodology;
Estimating Effort;
Determining deliverables and milestones;
Determining verification and validation
Finished ?
To Sum up ...
If Time allocation in the
plan depends on IS
methodology, effort
estimation, quality
standards used, risk
management and the use
of human resources.
Then we still have one
question to answer.
To Sum up ...
Your Turn now !!!!
Group 1 - UML
Group 2 - XP
For Tomorrow:
Group 3 - RAD
Group 4 - SSADM
Produce a table identifying ALL the milestones
(internal and external), associated deliverables and
review mechanisms that your methodology needs for
the specific IS Project for the case study and
represent the milestones in your Gant Chart.