Evaluation of an IT project is a tool that, in the perspective of the project implementation, is to contribute to obtaining higher quality products and results of a given project. The purpose of such evaluation is to support the successful implementation of the IT project.
Due to the diverse nature of activities carried out in an IT project, evaluation work may have different intensity over time. Project evaluation should focus on two areas: i.e. on:
- ongoing assessment of progress in the implementation of the IT project and their compliance with the assumptions (evaluation of the results of individual stages in the project implementation - the so-called "milestones") and
- final evaluation, understood as an assessment of the usefulness and quality of the project from the company's perspective after the implementation of a given IT technology.
The evaluation of each IT project (in the implementation phase) should be carried out periodically and correspond to, inter alia, to the following questions:
- Is the action implemented in accordance with the substantive assumptions and the implementation schedule?
- If there was a deviation from the assumptions, what were the reasons for this? What should be taken / what measures have been taken? To what extent have the remedial measures taken been effective?
- Is there a risk that the assumptions will not be achieved by the end of the project? What remedial measures can be taken to prevent a task not being completed or not fully completed?
- Do the effects of the project and the products developed as a result fully meet the needs of the company?
- What recommendations should be formulated to improve the implementation of individual IT project products?
In addition to the above-mentioned general questions, detailed evaluation questions should also be formulated with regard to periodic and final evaluations (e.g. in terms of assessing the degree of preparation of the company's staff for implementation, the assumed period of production stabilization, evaluation of the quality of services provided by the technology provider, etc.) .
An additional, important element of the evaluation of an IT project should be the analysis and assessment of whether the achieved results of the project contribute to the implementation of the technology development strategy in the company (and more broadly, the strategy of the entire business). For this purpose, dedicated indicators for the project may be helpful, i.e. e.g. the degree of coverage with automatic tests, the degree of implementation of acceptance tests, the number of critical errors, the number of trained employees, etc.
An important element of the implementation of an IT project is the need to anticipate problems and prevent errors that may appear during the implementation of a new technology in the company and to react when it is possible to influence their shape and scope. Thus, an integral element of evaluation is the preparation of project evaluation tools, the aim of which is to reduce the risk associated with incorrect implementation of individual tasks in the project. In this case, the fact of carrying out the assessment (time) is often not related to a specific interval or moment in the calendar system, but is determined by the moment when the task or its part is started.
A good and standardized tool workshop supports the evaluation processes of IT projects. At INNOKREA we use many different tools to evaluate projects. Best market practice is, for example, the use of tools to manage current tasks (e.g. JIRA Software programming), knowledge management in an IT project (e.g. Confluence), not forgetting about project scheduling (e.g. MS Project, GanttProject), and ending with risk sheets (e.g. in MS Word).
But tools are only one side of the coin. IT projects can be implemented in various ways - different project management methodologies are helpful for this. But we will write about it in one of the next articles.