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Information Technology Handbook

Section 2 Introduction

Print friendly Version date November 7, 2012

IT service can be defined as a set of related functions provided by IT systems in support of one or more business areas, which in turn may be made up of software, hardware, and communications facilities, perceived by the customer as a coherent and self-contained entity. An IT service may range from access to a single application, such as a general ledger system, to a complex set of facilities including many applications, as well as office automation that might be spread across a number of hardware and software platforms.

Effective communication between IT management and their customers regarding services required is enabled by a documented definition of, and agreement on, IT services and service levels. This process also includes monitoring and timely reporting to stakeholders on service level accomplishments. This process enables alignment between IT services and the related business requirements.

A project, by definition, is a temporary activity with a starting date, specific goals and conditions, defined responsibilities, a budget, a planning, a fixed end date, and multiple parties involved. Clear and accurate definition of a project is one of the most important actions you can take to ensure the project’s success. The clearer the target the more likely you are to hit it. Defining a project is a process of selection and reduction of the ideas and perspectives of those involved into a set of clearly defined objectives, key success criteria and evaluated risks.

A project management framework will help maintain the organization’s portfolio of projects that support its IT-enabled programs by identifying, defining, evaluating, prioritizing, selecting, initiating, managing, and controlling these projects in order to ensure that the projects support the organization’s objectives. The framework will help coordinate the activities and interdependencies of multiple projects, manage the contribution of all the projects within the organization to expected outcomes, and resolve resource requirements and conflicts.

A documented definition of, and agreement on, required IT services and service levels must be established between IT management and organization customers. A framework for the management of all IT projects must be established to ensure the correct prioritization and coordination of all projects.

Definitions

The following definitions of Program, Project, Scope, Risk, Issues, Schedule, and Business Case are used throughout this section.

  1. Program: A group of related projects (and services) managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits and control not available from managing them individually.
  2. Project: A temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.
  3. Scope: The work that needs to be accomplished to deliver a product, service, or result with the specified features and functions.
  4. Risk: An uncertain event or condition that, if it occurs, has a positive or negative effect on a project’s objectives.
  5. Issues: A problem impacting the successful outcome of a project. Project issues should be tracked through resolution.
  6. Schedule: The planned dates for performing schedule activities and the planned dates for meeting the schedule milestones.
  7. Business Case: A description of a requested project or initiative that explains the goals, benefits, and cost of the request.
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