Critical Indicators of Project Performance – Early Warning Signs

This report from the Office of the CIO at the State of Washington examines success factors by project lifecycle, showcasing some key success factors and their applicability at different stages of the project life cycle. The same indicators are seen here as in other early warning indicators, such as upper management support, for instance. There is also an interesting look at the importance of user involvement. While IT generally gets a project, works on it “behind closed doors”, and then present the completed project to the user, this paper explains why consistent user involvement is needed. By involving the user throughout the process, communication on business processes used, what each requirement they ask for entails in development, and instantly aware of any roadblocks during production. The paper also explains the importance of a responsive business requirements process: Requirements management is the process of identifying, documenting, communicating, tracking and managing project requirements, as well as changes to those requirements. Agile Responsive requirements process is the ability to do requirements management quickly and without major conflicts. This is an ongoing process and must stay in lockstep with the development process. Warning signs that can appear if the requirements process is not responsive include: a disregard of change control processes, decisions being revisited or discussed repeatedly, and participants in the change control process not knowing exactly what their role is. All of these indicators, according to the paper, can have a profound effect if not heeded early and monitored often.

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