Software Quality Planning is one of the primary processes in Project Quality Management among Quality Assurance and Quality Control. It is an essential practice to deliver a defect free or non-critical bug application that meets client’s expectation. The purpose of this research was to find out quality planning failure factors in IT projects. Another aim was to determine, a proper quality planning standard framework that should be implemented in Information Technology (IT) projects. This study examined the earlier researches in quality management and project management areas to identify the failure reasons and critical quality planning dimensions that should be followed in IT projects. Research discovered that there were total 21 vital dimensions plus an additional dimension was introduced in this study. As a conclusion, it is important to have all this elements as a standard in each IT projects to overcome or reduce the number of failures.
A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. The key to this definition are (Samuel, 2007). IT project is firmly established in the language of business, yet it appears very hard to classify. IT output defined as a piece taking the shape either of software or computing infrastructure (Smyrk, 2007).
A daily routine work performed which falls under two categories operations or projects. Both operations and projects have similar characteristics like individuals carry out the activities, constrained by resources; objectives are planned, executed and controlled.
The differences between these are; operations always referred to repetitive and in progress task whereas project is a temporary venture (specific start and clear end date) to create a unique (different in some distinguishing way) from all other products or services (Choudhuri, 2005).
Overview of Project Management (PM)
PM is the process by which projects are defined, planned, organized, secured, monitored, controlled, delivered and managing resources to achieve specific goals (Alam, 2010).
It is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to scheme activities to meet project requirements. Sometimes organizations describe PM as an approach to manage ongoing operations to apply PM techniques to them (Choudhuri, 2005). PM is accomplished through the use of the following 5 processes which are initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling and closing.
A good and useful framework provided by the Project Management Institute (PMI). This context breaks down PM into nine management areas (Turbit, 2007). Below are the descriptions of the nine knowledge areas:
i. Integration Management
ii. Scope Management
iii. Time Management
iv. Cost Management
v. Quality Management
vi. Human Resource Management
vii. Communications Management
viii. Risk Management
ix. Procurement Management
In project execution or management, the project team can achieve better project result and job satisfaction by integrating all the 9 knowledge area elements in PM into daily management practice (Eric, 2009). All project managers knew the complication involved in managing a project with a particular group such as a division, an office or even across the organization (Klatch, 2005).
In fact researches constantly show that firms have trouble with IT projects to deliver on time or on budget (Lagerström et al., 2012). Moreover, several projects are cancelled before completion or implementation (Al Neimat, 2005). In a number of cases QM is one of the process researchers fail. A strong QM in a project, it would prevent or minimize few issues (Turbit. 2009).
It is significant to recognize which activities in PM are determinant to the project success to give attention on the management efforts (Marcia et al., 2009).
IT Project Failure Factors
The project team or management will always provide reasons for project failures but the most common causes for project failure are rooted in the project QM process itself and the aligning of IT with organizational cultures (Tilmann and Weinberger, 2004).
Coverdale Organization conducted out a research where the respondents identified estimation mistakes, uncertain project goals and project objectives changing in the middle of the project are key factors in project failures (Neimat, 2005). The subsequent list the main causes for the failure of complex IT projects;
i. Poor planning
Many of IT projects are planned earlier but that is not enough because it has major milestones and the work prolong throughout each milestone (Humphrey, 2005). Moreover, poor quality planning also leads to late delivery or deadline overdue.
ii. Unclear goals and objectives
Sometimes poor requirement gathering in the initiation stage of the project will lead to unclear or partially clear goals and objectives (Glaser, 2004; Lagerström et al., 2012). This becomes an issue in quality phase as system or application might not tally with client’s aspiration (Baggen et al., 2012).
iii. Objectives changing during the project
Many project managers might not be aware that a growing or complex IT project (Al Neimat, 2005) will eventually has different objectives which need to be taken care of. Software quality is difficult to maintain when the objectives keep changing in the middle therefore it is recommended to get a sign off from clients before starting the quality planning (Barney et al., 2008).
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