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ARCHIVED - An Enhanced Framework for the Management of Information Technology Projects

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3. The Enhanced Framework

3.1. Direction

The enhanced framework for the management of information technology projects is founded on the following broad directions:

  • all components of project management will be addressed;
  • the correct balance will be struck between corporate objectives and departmental empowerment and accountability;
  • departments will be involved in its development and be committed to its implementation;
  • the enhanced framework will be flexible and dynamic to allow optimum application in different situations and to permit evolution of solutions;
  • tried and true solutions from other organizations will be adopted as much as possible; and
  • departments will deploy ideas as soon as appropriate (rather than waiting until the development of enhanced framework is complete).

3.2. Findings of the Treasury Board Secretariat Review

The enhanced framework will reflect the following conclusions of the Treasury Board Secretariat's review.

3.2.1. Planning

  • initial project definitions are inadequate;
  • senior management's understanding, involvement and support are lacking;
  • client focus and involvement are insufficient; and
  • Treasury Board Secretariat's submission review process is incomplete.

3.2.2. Implementation

  • project management discipline is inconsistent;
  • the project manager's experience often does not reflect the project's size and risk; and
  • changes are not rigorously managed.

3.2.3. Monitoring

  • regular "sanity" checks are not performed; and
  • project performance and progress is poorly measured and reported.

3.2.4. Procurement

  • the current procurement approach is too inflexible and not conducive to co-operation; and
  • private sector consultants lack knowledge of government organizations, responsibilities and policies.

3.2.5. Culture and Attitudes

  • the present culture discourages open discussion of problems and their resolution; and
  • while project failures are well advertised, successful projects are generally not.

3.3. Government Response

The government has responded to the above findings as follows:

  • the Treasury Board Secretariat has established a Project Management Office to develop and implement an enhanced framework for the management of information technology projects in government;
  • an Implementation Team comprising information technology project managers meets regularly to provide advice and review proposals and documents from the Project Management Office;
  • an Interdepartmental Committee consisting of assistant deputy ministers responsible for information technology projects meets regularly to provide general direction to the Project Management Office; and
  • the Project Management Office has consulted with departments, other governments and the private sector to identify successful practices that could be adapted for use in the federal government.

3.4. The Framework

The enhanced framework for the management of information technology projects is described in seven key areas or "pillars" (see Figure 1).

  • Governance: an appropriate management framework that balances the government's corporate requirements with departmental empowerment needs.
  • Review: the establishment of effective mechanisms for monitoring the status and assessing the performance of projects.
  • Facilitation: the creation and maintenance of a set of best practices, processes and guides that will support and assist departments.
  • Professional development: building a cadre of information technology project managers within government who are trained in the application of the enhanced framework and designated common methodologies and tools.
  • Pathfinder projects: exploiting opportunities to use and assess new ideas and solutions in an operational situation.
  • Communications: initiating and supporting a communication program on the enhanced framework across government.
  • Management of Change: introducing and acceptance of changes in attitudes and cultures.

The 7 pillars of the enhanced framework for the management of information technology projects