Project management is the discipline of planning, organising, securing and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives.

Project Management FAQ’s

What is a Project?

A project has the following characteristics:

  • Defined start and finish dates, costs and quality parameters
  • Deliverables/Products to meet specific business objectives supported by a business case
  • A set of managed activities to create the deliverables/products
  • Project's organisation structure, with defined responsibilities, to manage the project

In effect, it is a temporary endeavour with a set of coordinated and managed activities, with well-defined starting and finishing points, undertaken by individuals (or teams) to meet specific objectives within defined time, cost and quality parameters.

What is Project Management?

The discipline of planning, organising, securing and managing resources to bring about the successful completion of specific project goals and objectives. It consists of:

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Project's organisational structure
  • Processes

Together, these ensure that the people involved know what they are doing, when they are doing it, it sets out clear lines of communication and reporting and supports the management of expectations, time, cost quality and risk.

Why use Project Management?

Experience has shown that projects are inherently at risk - through overrunning on time and cost and/or failing to deliver a successful outcome. Such failures are almost invariably caused by:

  • Poor project definition by the project's owner, perhaps because of insufficient consultation with stakeholders or their failure to be specific about requirements and desired outcome
  • Lack of ownership and personal accountability by senior management
  • Inadequately skilled and experienced project personnel
  • Inadequate reporting arrangements and decision-making
  • Inconsistent understanding of required project activities, roles and responsibilities

Project management helps to reduce and manage risk. It puts in place a temporary organisation where lines of accountability and the responsibilities of individuals are clearly defined. Its processes are clearly documented and repeatable so that those involved in the project can learn from the experiences of others.

The principles of project management are equally valuable for smaller and/or less complex projects. The nature of your project will determine the project management approach you need, which should be adapted as required.

Critical Success Factors?

Successful projects have:

  • A well-defined scope and agreed understanding of the intended outcome
  • Active management of risks, issues and timely decision-making supported by clear and short lines of reporting
  • Ongoing commitment and support from senior management
  • A senior individual with personal accountability and overall responsibility for the successful outcome of the project
  • An appropriately trained and experienced project team and in particular a project manager whose capabilities match the complexity of the project
  • Defined and visibly managed processes that are appropriate or the scale and complexity of the project.

IT Project Management Framework (ITPMF)

It is designed to:

  • Improve the alignment between the College’s business needs and Business Technology Projects – i.e. we deliver what is needed
  • Ensure that projects are initiated in a way that increases the likelihood they will be delivered as planned
  • Improve the way in which projects are monitored and controlled as they progress
  • Increase the visibility of projects and our processes to the College community
  • Enable better planning and use of College finances and human resources
  • The ITPMF assumes a base level of project management knowledge. It is NOT "how to be a Project Manager"

The IT Project Management Framework shows the stages of the project and within each stage the process steps to be considered.

IT Detailed Project Lifecycle

IT High-level Project Lifecycle

Benefits of IT Project Management Framework (ITPMF)

The ITPMF enables a consistent way of delivering technology projects. Specifically, the benefits of the ITPMF include:

  • Consistent and standard methodology within IT Services
  • Adaptable outside of IT Services
  • Clearly defined roles
  • Consistent clear templates, guidelines and checklists
  • Increased project controls
  • Provides a basis for continuous improvement
  • Greater degree of certainty for project success

IT Project Planning

Projects are classified as:

  • Innovation
  • Service Improvement
  • Small
  • Medium
  • Large

The Project Manager will determine the projects classification, using the table below as a guide

Definition / Criteria


Service Improvement





Staff time only

Staff time only

< 25k + staff time

< 50k + staff time

>50k + staff time


Time boxed

< 80hrs effort

< 3 Mths

< 9 Mths

> 9 Mths

Team size



< 5

< 10

> 10

Business risk / criticality




Medium or Mandatory

High or Mandatory

IT Project Templates

The following templates, are intended as a guide to the types of information required to support the successful delivery of a project and their use and rigour will depend on the project and needs of the sponsors and stakeholders.

IT Project Business Case

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