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Project plan examples: how to write an effective plan (2024).

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Key takeaways

  • A project plan is a vital document in project management that outlines the project’s scope, objectives, and schedule.
  • Effective project planning enhances resource management, mitigates risks, and improves project implementation and success.
  • Project plans can vary in format, such as Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, Gantt charts, and mind maps for brainstorming.

Jan. 8, 2024: Irene Casucian reviewed the information on this page for accuracy, refined the page layout, and added elements to improve the visual flow of information. She also created a downloadable project plan template.

In this article...

What is a project plan?

A project plan outlines the project’s scope, objectives, and schedule; it details what needs to be done, when, and by whom. The plan includes significant deliverables, methods to achieve them, team roles, stakeholder feedback, and milestones. This transparency makes sure everyone involved understands their role and how it contributes to the overall goal.

A project plan is the tangible output of the second phase of project management , project planning . This phase involves identifying and arranging each task necessary to cover the project’s scope, achieve deliverables, and meet the project’s goals. A comprehensive project plan developed in this phase is instrumental in tracking dependencies, staying updated on the status, and maintaining productivity throughout the project.

What are the key elements of an effective project plan?

A well-prepared project plan requires several key elements that will outline the project’s goals and define the stakeholders ‘ individual roles. Incorporating these key elements into a project plan is essential for effective project management and a higher success rate.

How do you create a project plan?

Step 1: define the project’s overall goals and objectives.

Identifying your project’s overall objectives and goals will help you measure the project’s success and keep your team aligned with the overarching mission. In this step, you should determine the desired outcome of your project that would represent its success.

By clearly understanding what the project aims to accomplish, project managers and teams can better identify the necessary tasks and establish the project scope . 

When defining your project goals, apply the SMART standards for a solid foundation. Make your objectives specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This approach guarantees a clear, focused, and actionable framework for your project.

Step 2: Establish the project’s success criteria

To measure success effectively, align your success criteria with the project’s key deliverables and outcomes, and make sure they are based on its intended result. Confirm that these criteria are quantifiable and accurately reflect the impact and value your project aims to deliver. Such alignment is essential for accurately assessing the project’s performance and its effectiveness in achieving the intended results.

Step 3: Identify project milestones, dependencies, risks, and deliverables

To identify project milestones, break the project down into key tasks and outcomes and specify significant progress points or phase completions as milestones. Consider dependencies when establishing a realistic workflow. Additionally, identify potential risks that can impact task completion and define deliverables clearly as measurable results expected from each project phase.

Step 4: Assign roles and responsibilities to the team and stakeholders

Your project’s stakeholders include any individuals or groups related to the project. To assess if someone is a stakeholder in a project, determine how much they influence, impact, or have an interest in the project’s outcome. Consider if their involvement is direct, if the project’s results affect them, or if they can influence the project’s direction or success.

Examples of stakeholder groups include:

  • Team members.
  • Departments.
  • Project sponsors.
  • Contractors.

Once you have determined your stakeholders, you can define their roles and responsibilities. This can help you structure your project team, identify members who are directly responsible for its success, and make sure they are assigned the correct tasks to carry out the project appropriately.

When assigning roles and responsibilities, utilize a RACI chart (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) to clarify the involvement of each stakeholder in the project. This provides clear communication and accountability and prevents overlaps or gaps in responsibilities.

Step 5: Create a schedule and set a timeline

Creating a schedule and timeline for each task can provide visibility into the execution process and keep each team member productive.

Consider how much time is required to complete each task necessary for your project milestones. You can even break down tasks into smaller subtasks to make them more manageable. However, be mindful of factors that can cause delays such as:

  • Resource limitations.
  • Task dependencies.
  • Unforeseen risks.

When creating a project schedule, visual tools like Gantt charts and Kanban boards help you map out task dependencies and timelines. A useful project management tool you can use for this step is Trello. Trello offers an intuitive platform for creating Kanban boards. It allows easy visualization and management of tasks through customizable columns and cards for streamlined project workflow.

Trello's interface has a user-friendly, organized layout with colorful tags and clear, readable text on each card.

Step 6: Establish an estimated project budget

To generate an estimated project budget, you must consider all of the necessary project resources, including personnel, labor, materials, and equipment. Establishing a project budget will help you make wise spending decisions throughout the project execution phase to avoid overspending. 

Step 7: Plan for communication and collaboration

A communication plan should show how information is shared among stakeholders. For instance, in a software development project, the communication plan might specify that the development team shares a beta version of the software with the client for feedback every two weeks. It’s a systematic approach to making sure that the client receives consistent updates about the project’s progress. Having a communication plan in place will also outline the channels of communication and frequency to all necessary parties. 

Leverage collaboration tools , such as Slack , that integrate with your project management software to receive real-time updates and interactions among team members and stakeholders. 

Slack's interface on both a computer screen and a mobile device demonstrates its robust integration and consistent design across platforms.

Step 8: Document the project plan

Compile all related planning information and documentation as you plan your project. Some of these vital documents include: 

  • Stakeholder analysis.
  • Feasibility study .
  • Business case.
  • Work breakdown structure .

Having these reports in one place will serve as a reference during the project’s execution.

Utilize a centralized digital platform, like Sharepoint , where stakeholders can store, update, and access all project documentation. This approach serves as a reliable reference and streamlines the management and tracking of the project’s progress.

Learn more about Sharepoint and other document management tools in our video overview:

Free project plan template download

Project plan examples.

Using an appropriate project plan format is essential to keeping stakeholders well-informed. Here are some of the widely-used project plan formats: 

1.  Spreadsheets

Using spreadsheets for project planning is beneficial due to its simplicity and widespread use, especially suitable for small-scale projects with straightforward tasks. Its customizable nature is excellent for simple initiatives like office events or basic marketing plans.

However, a significant drawback of using spreadsheets in project planning is the limited visualization options. While spreadsheets can manage data, they fail to offer comprehensive visual representations essential for a holistic view of project progress. Lastly, the risk of human error in data entry and formula setup in spreadsheets is high and can lead to critical miscalculations affecting the entire project plan.

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For more complex projects, Smartsheet is an ideal upgrade. It merges the simplicity of a spreadsheet with advanced project management features such as real-time collaboration, automated workflows , and app integration. More than just a basic spreadsheet tool, Smartsheet is particularly effective for large-scale projects like detailed marketing campaigns or cross-departmental efforts, offering comprehensive task tracking and resource management in a user-friendly format.

Smartsheet displays a sample project timeline broken into three sections with multiple tasks, subtasks, task owners, statuses, and start/end dates.

2. Slideshow presentations

Slideshow presentations for project plans provide a visually engaging method to simplify complex information. They effectively break down project components into understandable segments, using visuals, charts, and bullet points to highlight key information and timelines for team members and stakeholders.

However, the downside is that slide shows can oversimplify complex projects and potentially leave out critical nuances. They also require significant preparation time and may not be the best medium for detailed, data-heavy projects.

Microsoft PowerPoint is an excellent choice for creating slide show presentations as part of project plans. It’s user-friendly and offers many templates and design tools. That’s why it’s suitable for beginners and seasoned professionals. PowerPoint’s ability to integrate with other Microsoft Office tools, like Excel for data representation, enhances its utility in project planning.

This Microsoft PowerPoint template offers a structured project roadmap to help create a clear timeline visualization and milestone tracking for effective project planning.

3. Gantt charts

Gantt charts create a clear visual timeline of a project’s schedule and progress by displaying various project elements’ start and finish dates. This approach helps identify potential bottlenecks and overlaps and facilitates better resource allocation and time management. However, Gantt charts can become cumbersome for complex projects with numerous tasks and dependencies.

Gantt charts are particularly effective in construction projects, event planning, and software development, where timelines and task dependencies are critical.

TeamGantt is an effective PM tool that creates clear visual timelines for project schedules and progress tracking. By allowing users to input various project elements, including tasks, milestones, and dependencies, and then assigning start and finish dates to each, TeamGantt generates an intuitive Gantt chart.

This chart visually represents the project timeline, displaying how different tasks and phases overlap and interconnect over the project duration. The color-coded bars and easy-to-read format make it simple to understand the sequencing of tasks and the project’s overall progress at a glance.

TeamGantt's project plan template helps provide a detailed view of tasks, durations, dependencies, and progress. It provides an intuitive visual tool for thorough project scheduling and management.

4.     Mind maps

Mind maps differ from other project visualization methods by showing a radial, non-linear format ideal for brainstorming and capturing the holistic view of a project. They emphasize the creative mapping of ideas and relationships. They promote the free flow of ideas and easy visualization of relationships between different aspects of a project. Mind maps can also help identify key components, dependencies, and potential challenges at the early stages of a project.

Moreover, using a mind map before presenting a Gantt chart can help ease the transition from creative brainstorming to detailed scheduling, resource allocation, and progress tracking.

Lucidchart is an excellent software solution for creating mind maps that can be converted into detailed reports. Its intuitive, drag-and-drop interface is ideal for conceptualizing project plans.

Lucidchart also stands out because it integrates with various tools like Google Workspace and Microsoft Office. This integration can facilitate the transition from a visual mind map to a comprehensive written report.

Lucidchart's mindmap template displays a main idea with branching thoughts and connections to help facilitate brainstorming, idea organization, and creative project planning.

Components of project planning

Work breakdown schedule development.

Using a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) in project planning offers distinct advantages and some drawbacks. The primary benefit of a WBS is its ability to break down a complex project into manageable components. It is then easier to allocate resources, assign responsibilities, and track progress. This hierarchical project decomposition guarantees that every part of the project is apparent.

However, the main disadvantage lies in its potential rigidity; a WBS can become overly prescriptive, limiting flexibility and adaptability to changes or unforeseen challenges. Additionally, creating a comprehensive WBS can be time-consuming, and if not done meticulously, it may lead to gaps or overlaps in project planning.

monday.com includes a work breakdown feature to help teams organize complex projects into manageable tasks. Each task is separated into more minor subtasks assigned to the appropriate individuals. The chart also displays additional information, such as the deliverables, end dates, and schedules based on interdependencies.

monday.com's work breakdown feature has a color-coded, detailed task list with columns for task names, deadlines, priorities, and responsible team members.

Project and documentation management 

Project and documentation management in project planning has its own advantages and disadvantages. With this process, you can make sure that all project-related documents are organized, up-to-date, and easily accessible. This approach is essential for maintaining consistency and clarity throughout the project lifecycle. Yet, the downside includes the possibility of information overload, where team members might get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of documents.

Agile teams use Jira for planning and managing their projects. Here, you can see some of the information regarding risks and dependencies compiled within Jira. This method of organizing this information can be helpful, as the platform can act as a single source of truth to keep team members updated on the status of specific tasks. It also makes it easy for teams to communicate with external stakeholders about factors impacting the project.

Jira can display a list of project dependencies in an organized, structured format to help facilitate efficient tracking and management of interdependent tasks in a project.

Benefits of creating a project plan

Effective project planning is the cornerstone of successful project execution. It involves several key aspects contributing to a project’s smooth functioning and success. Some of these benefits include:

Remember, an effective project plan is not just a document; it’s a strategic tool that integrates various critical elements to secure the project’s success.

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The Best Template for IT Project Planning

  • Michaela Rollings
  • January 26, 2024

Just getting started on your project management journey ? Hive has you covered. As a project management and collaboration tool, we’ve seen many, many simple projects come and go through Hive. Hive’s project management software breaks projects down by tasks and subtasks, which helps teams stay aligned on timing and communicate changes.

We’ve boiled down the insights and feedback we’ve received, throughout the thousands of projects that have been created and finished in Hive, to create an IT project plan template built for IT teams of all sizes and workflows.

information technology project plan

What should be included in an IT project plan?

IT project plans are crucial tools for successful project management in the field of Information Technology. They provide a roadmap for the project, outlining the objectives, deliverables, timeline, resources, and strategies needed to achieve project goals.

The importance of an IT project plan template cannot be understated. Firstly, they provide clarity and structure to the project. By clearly defining the objectives, deliverables, and key tasks, the project plan ensures that everyone involved understands what needs to be done and how it will be accomplished. This not only increases efficiency but also prevents scope creep and miscommunication.

Secondly, IT project plans help in resource allocation and management. By identifying the required resources, such as human capital, equipment, and software, project managers can allocate the necessary resources to ensure smooth project execution. This leads to better resource utilization and cost-efficiency.

Identifying Risks & Challenges

Moreover, project plans help in identifying potential risks and challenges in advance. By conducting a thorough analysis of potential risks and creating contingency plans, project managers can minimize the impact of unexpected events. This proactive approach reduces downtime and enhances the project’s overall resilience.

Hive IT project plan template

Click on the image above to try Hive now.

Additionally, project plans facilitate effective communication among team members, stakeholders, and clients. Clear communication channels and regular reporting allow for better collaboration, increased transparency, and faster problem-solving.

Lastly, project plans aid in project evaluation and control. By tracking the progress of tasks, milestones, and deliverables against the predetermined timeline, managers can identify any deviations and take corrective measures to keep the project on track. This improves accountability and enables effective project monitoring.

Why use an IT project plan template?

IT project plan templates are essential tools for project managers and IT professionals to efficiently plan and execute IT projects. An IT project plan template provides a structured framework that outlines various aspects of the project, including goals, objectives, tasks, timelines, resources, and milestones.

Is a project plan the solution to any of your organizational difficulties? Not quite. But project management templates and project planning templates are a step in the right direction.

IT project plan template

They help streamline the project planning process by providing pre-defined formats that can be customized based on the specific project planning requirements . These templates also ensure consistency and alignment across project teams, facilitating effective communication and collaboration.

Furthermore, an IT project template saves time, as they eliminate the need to start from scratch and manually create project plans. They serve as a roadmap, guiding the team throughout the project lifecycle, resulting in improved productivity and successful project outcomes.

How to use this IT project plan template in Hive

Use this IT project plan template to understand some of the basic functionality in Hive, how projects can be laid out, how technical planning and collaboration can take place in Hive and align with the overall project planning process.

Even if you’ve never worked with a project management tool before, this is the first step to get you set up in Hive correctly. There are other options that you can use like a project plan template by Clickup, but Hive makes accessing templates much easier.

Creating a Hive account

If you don’t have an existing Hive account, click on the button above to get started using this template. If you’re already in Hive, click on the blue “?” in the upper right corner of your workspace. Just click on “Template Library” to navigate to our pre-saved project template list.

information technology project plan

This IT project plan template provides a comprehensive framework to plan, execute, and monitor IT projects effectively. It includes statuses, labels and priority markers to identify the most important tasks , timelines and deliverables. With clear planning and a structured approach, this template helps project managers deliver IT projects on time, within budget, and with the desired outcomes.

information technology project plan

For IT projects specifically, tasks and next steps can change in the blink of an eye . That’s why it’s important to track, monitor, and collaborate in real-time with a project management tool like Hive. Team members in your workspace as well as external collaborators can use your IT project plan to understand how projects, tasks, or updates are pacing.

For successful IT project planning, this template provides a formal and structured approach. It incorporates priority markers to identify crucial tasks, timelines, and deliverables. With clear planning, project managers can ensure on-time delivery, budget adherence, and desired outcomes.

Additionally, tracking, monitoring, and real-time collaboration are essential through a project management tool like Hive, especially for IT projects that undergo rapid task and next step changes. Hive offers nuanced features, analytics, and enhanced productivity to keep IT teams accountable and efficient amidst dynamic circumstances.

IT Project Plan set up

We’ve set this IT project plan template up to start in Kanban, or status, view, which will help teammates or collaborators can see exactly which tech items are in the works. Labels have also been applied to denote type of task and project. Priority status (the little triangles in the bottom left), can tell people at-a-glance which tasks are the most important to tackle first, which is really helpful with resourcing.

Keep in mind, all elements of this IT project plan template are customizable, and can be optimized to your specific tech workflow.

This IT project plan template is designed to help you:

  • Organize the flow of request in your IT department
  • Collaborate easily around existing initiatives and tech projects
  • Give teammates and organization members visibility into progress on their items
  • Ensure objectives and goals are met

How we built this template

We’ve laid out each task as an individual action card in this IT project plan template, which is ideal for tracking tech-heavy items, as there is often substantial back-and-forth about the task. It’s easy to slide the tasks along the Kanban view board, which will change the status of them will automatically – which is why we chose it as the default status for this template

To add a new task, just put your task name into the “Create new action” prompt at the top of each status bucket.

information technology project plan

This IT project plan template includes:

  • Actions and subactions
  • Priority levels
  • Tech task-based actions

Once you kick off a project from this template, you’ll be able to edit all of the tasks, subtasks, due dates, and assignees to fit your specific workflow. If it’s easier, you can just use the template as inspiration or a starting point, and create a separate project based on the part of the template that works for you. You can also add in other Hive Apps to help enhance your project.

Why should you use Hive Templates?

Project templates are an invaluable tool for any organization or individual engaged in regular project work. These pre-designed frameworks provide a standardized structure, layout, and set of processes to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, and close out projects . They offer numerous benefits that significantly contribute to project success and efficiency.

Project Consistency

Firstly, project templates establish consistency and uniformity across projects. They ensure that all projects within a follow a similar structure and adhere to established best practices. This standardization facilitates improved communication, collaboration, and coordination among team members, enabling seamless knowledge sharing and reducing the learning curve for new project participants.

Time Savings

Secondly, project templates save time and effort. Instead of starting from scratch every time, these templates provide a pre-defined framework that can be customized according to the specific project requirements. This eliminates the need for reinventing the wheel and allows project managers to focus on strategic decision-making and critical tasks rather than spending excessive time on repetitive administrative tasks.

information technology project plan

Improved Planning & Control

Moreover, project templates enhance project planning and control . They outline key project deliverables, milestones, timelines, and dependencies, ensuring a systematic and comprehensive approach to project management. With clearly defined project objectives and a predetermined project plan, project templates assist in keeping projects on track, mitigating risks, and monitoring progress effectively.

Scalability & Structure

Project templates, like this IT project plan template, promote scalability. Organizations can design project templates to accommodate varying project sizes , complexities, and industries. This enables consistent project management practices across different teams and departments, fostering efficient resource allocation , skill sharing, and knowledge transfer.

Ensuring Project success

In conclusion, project templates are essential tools that provide a structured framework to plan, execute, and oversee projects. Their significance lies in establishing consistency, saving time, enhancing control, and enabling scalability. Incorporating project templates into project management processes can contribute significantly to achieving project success and improving overall organizational performance.

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information technology project plan

To access this IT project plan template, visit the blue “?” in the upper right corner of your workspace. Click “Template Library” and choose your desired template from the drop down.

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information technology project plan

How to Successfully Plan an IT Project

By Kate Eby | February 23, 2022

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In order to circumvent the common pitfalls of IT projects, you need strong project planning. We’ve compiled tips from top experts on how to plan your IT project to ensure project success. 

Included on this page, you’ll find essential steps for planning an IT project and how planning is different from that of a non-IT project . Find templates and examples of a good IT project management plan and a working agreement sample for your project management team.

What Is IT Project Planning?

Information technology project planning , or IT project planning , is the effort a team makes at the beginning of a project to ensure that work proceeds well. These steps also help ensure the project meets its deadline and overall goals.

Planning is the second phase of an IT project, after project initiation and before project execution. Learn more about the initiation and execution phase s and IT project management . To learn about prioritizing these projects, visit our comprehensive IT project prioritization guide .

How to Plan an IT Project

Planning an IT project requires taking key early steps. These include helping team members and stakeholders understand the overall objective of the project. Plus, clarifying how the team will define and monitor the work.

IT Project Planning Steps

Experts recommend a number of steps to effectively plan for an IT project. Start with convening a kickoff meeting of project team members and stakeholders to discuss the broad outlines and objectives for the project. 

Here are 13 important steps in planning an IT project:

Step 1: Convene a Kickoff Meeting

A kickoff meeting is vital. It’s an opportunity to get team members, clients, and other important stakeholders together to discuss objectives for the project and set expectations. Meeting participants may also discuss possible risks.

Shai Shandil

“What we tend to do in this meeting is ask all stakeholders to be present,” says Shai Shandil, Founder of softsolutions consulting, which provides consulting and training services to help companies with technology projects.

Shandil says that in past years, he would recommend people come to the meeting even if they had to fly to get there. These days, that requirement is probably relaxed. But everyone should attend either in person or via video because the meeting is vital for bringing everyone to a common understanding of the project and its goals. “We’re trying to get to a place where we have a standard understanding of what's deliverable,” Shandil says.

To learn more about planning a kickoff meeting, read our comprehensive guide to project kickoffs and download free project kickoff templates .

Step 2: Ensure You Have Leadership Buy-In and Engagement

Company leadership must show it is invested in the project and considers the work important. Leaders also must be engaged in the project. They should attend update sessions and provide their input.

Leadership buy-in “is the mini step,” Shandil says. “I talk about deep engagement of leadership, and it has to be comparable to the budget they’re willing to put in. If they’re putting in five bucks, then sure — if I make a mistake here, it’s OK. But if they’re putting in millions and it’s 80 percent of the total budget, then you're starting to think, ‘I can't have you come in once a quarter or once a month, and look at some reports. That's not enough. I need you to be in there with us to give guidance because you bring the vision.’”

Shandil says that doesn’t mean leadership is in every Scrum meeting or other project meeting. “But what we do want is for them to turn up every two weeks and look at the things that we're pushing out,” he says. “Whatever the cadence — if it’s two weeks, four weeks, or three weeks — the idea is: ‘Come and touch base with us and look at the product.’ They actually look at it — not some proxy to the product, not a PowerPoint deck, but the actual product. We need you to then be able to go to the board, the customer, or the market and say, ‘Hey, this is what we're doing.’”

Step 3: Create a Project Charter that Includes Objectives

Creating a project charter before starting work on a  project is essential. The charter provides details on scope, resources, and timelines. Possibly most important, it sets out the project’s primary objectives. Make sure you and your team are certain that those assumed objectives are the right objectives. 

information technology project plan

“One of the most critical aspects of planning an IT project is clearly understanding the objectives of the project,” says Alan Zucker, Founding Principal of Project Management Essentials , who has more than two decades of experience managing projects in Fortune 100 companies. “ Objectives are the ‘what do we want’ and ‘why do we want it.’ Scope is the ‘how are we going to deliver it.’ Understanding objectives is important because there may be multiple solutions to solving the problem and we want to understand the problem before deciding how to solve it.

“Start with the why .’ Start with the objective. Ask questions. What will meeting that objective allow us to do? What do we hope to achieve?”

Step 4: Establish Proof of Principle

An important part of understanding and setting objectives is to fully understand the product your IT project is set to develop. You must be certain the product is technically possible and worthwhile.

“Make sure there is clarity around what you want to deliver,” says Zucker. “A proof of principle — that’s going to be invaluable.”

Patrick Sim

“Do a proof of concept [for the product],” says Patrick Sim, Co-founder of RobustTechHouse , which develops IT projects for clients, and FacilityBot, which uses technology to help manage facilities and manufacturing plants. “And do it first. If you can’t make it, then forget it.” 

If you can’t technically make the product, or you’ll have trouble selling it for the price you need to cover costs, then you need to know that at the beginning, Sim explains. And you may need to end the project. “Move on to something else,” he says.

Step 5: Establish a Budget (But Understand It May Need to Change)

You’ll want to establish a broad budget for the project. But create a structure and processes that allow the budget to change when necessary. That’s particularly important for IT projects because products often evolve as they develop.

Experts also point out that a key feature of IT projects (and products) is the budget increases as the project succeeds. 

“One key issue is that successful IT projects are well utilized and often require ongoing new features and improvements,” Sim says. “Additional costs will continue to be incurred — particularly for successful IT projects. Every successful product you see out there … they're always adding features, right? Therefore, the budget has to increase. This is part of the buy-in that management has to understand.”

Step 6: Establish Project Scope

Once you set your objective and the tentative budget, it’s time to establish the exact scope of the project. You will set the parameters of what the project will produce or complete and what it won’t do.

“Once we have an understanding of what is wanted and why, we can begin to ask questions about scope,” shares Zucker. “We can start looking at high-level project scope. What’s in scope? And, often as important, what is out of scope?”

You can download a template to help you detail the scope for an IT project .

Step 7: Create a Project Management Plan

Once you determine the objectives, budget, and scope, you can complete a project management plan. This plan provides an overall structure for how to accomplish the work.

“The project management plan should be customized or tailored to the specific project,” says Zucker. “It is the project manager’s guide for executing the project.”

View and download free project management templates to help you create a project management plan.

Step 8: Articulate Team Member Responsibilities from the Start

The project management plan will include basic information on who is responsible for which tasks and deadlines. It’s vital that each team member understands, at the onset, the tasks for which they are responsible.

Step 9: Decide on the Best Methodology for Your Project

Early in the planning process, you’ll want to decide which project management methodology to use. That likely will be Agile or a modified version of it. Some IT projects still use more traditional methods.

Zucker advises asking “what kind of project are we executing and what type of methodology is going to fit well with this project.” For many IT projects, that means Agile or some version of it, which allows for the continual changes and adaptations that are part of an IT project.

Zucker adds that “the decision on whether this project is going to be Agile or traditional may be made for you” because many organizations have a preference for the methodology they use to manage projects. 

For a small minority of IT projects, traditional project management — including the Waterfall methodology — might be best, Shandil shares. “Those tend to be the verticals that have less change and are highly regulated,” he explains. “Banking is an example of that. I worked with a company that was basically selling companies online. With stock market regulations ... all those things barely ever change. For them, they were a niche and doing incredibly well. And we said, ‘You guys should just keep doing Waterfall; it works really well.’”

Step 10: Plan to Hold Recurring Regular Strategic Meetings

You need to conduct regular check-in meetings with everyone in the project, including clients and stakeholders. Experts recommend holding those meetings at least once per quarter, or as frequently as monthly for smaller teams.

Step 11: Establish Product Specifications

First, set your objectives and ensure that the product your project is working on is viable. Then, list the specifications for your product in significant detail.

“The most important thing is the specifications,” says Sim, from RobustTechHouse. “What is the project? What is going to be produced? You'll be surprised that many clients — I would say 60-70 percent — don’t actually have that.”

Clients who might be less technology savvy or have less technology experience often set specifications at an extremely high and general level. They need to be more specific on what the product will do, how it will do it, and the metrics on how it will do it, Sim states. “Without a detailed requirements document, budgeting — for both time and cost — becomes very difficult,” he says.

Meanwhile, larger organizations have a different problem: many people with different opinions on the product and what it should do. “Sometimes, the big organizations have all this bureaucracy, and many people have different opinions on what should be done,” Sim adds. “They cannot reach any sort of consensus on ‘OK, this is the product that we want to build.’ So (it’s important) to actually get to the stage of good specifications.”

Step 12: Understand and Address Technical and Other Risks

The project team needs to quickly understand the highest risks to the project’s (or product’s) success. Those may be technical or other kinds of risks. The team will want to understand and address them to avoid failure.

Technical risks — the technology won’t work correctly because of technical limitations or problems — are especially important in IT projects. Experts suggest teams identify and work on those possible risks early to avoid wasting money on a project that is destined to have problems.

“Spot the technical risks early and test whether (the product) can be achieved,” Sim suggests. “Additional staff can be added along the way. More important is to identify the key technical risks — any particular area in which the tech team has not much experience — and build that component first.”

Shandil agrees. “You take the riskiest thing that's the most important to the customer and do it first,” he explains. “Let's say we’re building an accounting system. Part of the risk is holding a customer’s sensitive data. Then we would build that part of the accounting system first, push it out, and make sure it works. You've managed the risk by bringing it often and early and making sure that all those assumptions you made around privacy laws, etc., across the whole organization or country — those are getting dealt with early. You don't get to the end of a project and have unknown, non-tangible problems.”

Step 13: Get User Feedback Early and Often

When your team is building a new IT product, it is crucial to check on how it’s working (or not) as early as possible. That means getting user feedback as you build the product.

Experts recommend creating the minimum viable product . That means getting the new product into the hands of users as quickly as possible, even when only one or two basic features are working. With their feedback on that early version, the users will then help you develop the product further.

“Go to market early and get real user feedback,” Sim adds. “Too many projects get stuck in budgeting and feature-over-engineering hell and never start.”

Shandil says many companies will pay prospective users to try out the new product in order to get their reactions. With a new accounting system, for example, “your strategy might be to talk to accountants and say: ‘Look, we’re pushing this product out. Could you come and have a player run — paying $20 an hour or whatever — just to have a play and give me your specific thoughts on how this would work in a cloud environment?’ We call it user interviews. But basically, it’s a feedback loop that allows you to mitigate risk quickly, cheaply, and easily.”

Traditional Project Management Components That Are Different in Agile for IT Projects

Planning for more traditional project management, such as using Waterfall methodology, includes a number of steps and documents. These efforts are less common or applied differently when IT projects use the Agile methodology.

For example, teams often use a work breakdown structure (WBS) in traditional project management. The detailed diagram shows all tasks that a team needs to check off to complete a project. Learn more about how to get started with a work breakdown structure .  

Agile projects don’t use work breakdown structures. But an Agile product backlog or product roadmap often serves similar purposes.

Traditional project management also may include steps and documents to: 

  • Adopt risk management planning
  • Handle communications planning for team members, clients, and stakeholders
  • Implement change management planning
  • Perform budget planning
  • Plan for needed resources and staffing
  • Schedule all project activities

When teams use Agile to plan and execute their IT projects, they take many of the same steps as above, though differently and often less formally. Instead, these steps are sometimes part of sprints and iterations.

Here are more details on understanding how Agile works — and whether your team is appropriately using Agile or is just saying it’s using Agile.

IT Project Plan Example

Agile Project Plan Example

Download IT Agile Project Plan Example — Microsoft Excel

This example Agile project plan template comes already completed to help you understand how to plan your IT project. The example template includes entries for specific Agile sprints, along with features within those sprints. You’ll also find sections for team members who are responsible for each item, planned start and finish dates, and current status.

Agile Project Plan Template

Agile Project Plan Template

Download Agile Project Plan Template — Microsoft Excel

You can customize this Agile project plan template to plan and monitor your Agile IT project for your own purposes. The template includes sections where you can add tasks, responsibilities for the tasks, start and end dates, and status. The duration for each task will be automatically calculated. This template also features a Gantt chart (a visual representation of your project timeline), which will automatically adjust when you add your own data to the table.

How Planning Is Different for IT Project vs. Non-IT Projects

IT projects are notable for how much adjustment and change happens from the beginning of the project to the end. Many non-IT projects have much less change. Thus, planning for many IT projects requires different approaches.

Here are two primary differences:

  • IT Projects Are Much Less Likely to Use Traditional Project Management Methods: Traditional project methods such as Waterfall are solid options for some construction projects. Significant changes in plans are less likely in such projects. But software development and other information technology projects encounter significant changes throughout, making them more likely to use Agile or modified Agile methodologies.
  • Budgets Are More Likely to Change: Budgets in IT projects can change when unforeseen hurdles or problems require adjustments. But budgets can also change with project success. That can happen when a new IT product (developed over the course of a project) becomes successful and loved by customers. “A difference between non-IT and IT is when you finish an IT project it's actually the start of something,” Shandil says. “When you finish any other project, it's the end of something.” When construction crews finish a building, the construction budget is also done. But when software developers finish software and customers love it, those customers continually suggest changes to improve it. That means the budget for successful software and IT grows when it’s successful. “If you spent $2 million on software, you're going to spend $8 million before you retire or sunset it,” Shandil explains.

Tips for IT Project Planning

Experts recommend forming and maintaining project teams. You should also determine planning documents that are necessary and those that aren’t, as well as how to show work and progress.

Here are some top expert tips for IT project planning:

  • Maintain Ongoing Project Teams: Some organizations may create a custom team for each specific project. But Zucker says there are advantages to maintaining ongoing teams of mostly the same members — called persistent teams — working on project after project. Team members get to know each other and what everyone does best, making project work move more efficiently. “Persistent teams can be used in either environment: Agile or traditional,” Zucker says.
  • Ensure Your Goal Is the Right Goal: Too often, company or project leaders announce a goal for a project and immediately begin planning to achieve it. But they don’t always analyze whether that goal is the right goal or if accomplishing it will achieve what they want for the organization. “I’ve seen that whole thing played out a lot of times,” Zucker shares. “They spend 15 seconds on what I want to achieve, then immediately drill down into details on how to implement the thing. Let’s make sure that’s what we want to do.”
  • Make Sure You Define Final Success in the Right Way: Success in IT projects isn’t about the number of features you’ve added to a piece of software or a digital system, Shandil advises. It’s about customer happiness. “The best outcome is happy customers, so we would usually be thinking: How many features have you pushed out this month? Instead, we should be thinking: How many happy customers? Did we make them happy with those features that we pushed out this month?” he suggests asking.
  • Don’t Focus Too Much on Detailed Written Documents: Agile methodology is less focused on requiring formal written documents than more traditional methodologies. But even in Agile, some documentation on the basic project management plan and scope is important. What you don’t want, however, is to waste time writing documentation that immediately becomes obsolete and inhibits project progress. “The trade-off is that it makes you less nimble, because it takes time to write these things. A lot of times you're projecting into the future. You may not even know exactly what your product is. Decide on what documentation is really necessary and then edit. This is also a skill — deciding what is absolutely necessary and what is not necessary,” Sims advises.
  • Don’t Focus Too Much on Upfront Planning: This tip is related to limited documentation. Don’t spend too much time doing detailed planning before your work starts. You’ll want to set some basic objectives and structure, of course. But then get to work. “Plan now to plan later,” Shandil says. “And in the meantime, learn a bit more.” That means your team can work on the product or project for a limited time — during a week-long sprint in Agile, for example. “Team members will learn more during that week of work, then they might make quick plans for the next week of work. And you just iterate on that,” Shandil says. “The key difference for us is you have to deliver something, because otherwise you're not learning anything.”
  • Understand and Use the Concept of Minimal Viable Product: A minimum viable product is a concept that encourages developers to get a basic version of a new product into the hands of users as quickly as possible. That means it’s not the finished product, but it works at a basic level and can give a user an idea of the concept. That early user feedback can then help you add other features and further develop the product. “The best feedback is from actual users,” Sim states.
  • Establish a Working Agreement on Work Culture: At the start of a project, Shandil encourages clients to agree on a working agreement , which sets out basic rules and principles around how people will work together. “This is really getting people to act more like a team and less like a bunch of individual contributors,” he says. “So we actually came up with a rulebook for the team.” Rules might include, for example, silence is agreement. “That way, people understand they should contribute to discussions, and if they don’t, they can’t say later that they didn’t agree,” explains Shandil.    
  • Make Sure Everyone Can Easily See, Monitor, and Track Progress on a Project: Every team member, client, or stakeholder should be able to easily see a project’s status and progress. Team members can see how much work remains and people external to the project understand the work that is happening. That can help build political, financial, and other support for this project, and future ones. Shandil remembers an instance of working at an Australian healthcare organization that was bought out. The CEO of the purchasing company visited the offices and saw a large whiteboard with projects written on it in the IT department. “She looks at this board and says, ‘Wow, you guys do a lot of work. I don't think my guys down in Sydney do this much work.’ We knew that was not true. It's just that they didn't make it visible. That idea is really key for us, because she could walk past the knowledge workers and a bunch of stuff is happening in our heads. She has no idea, right? Bringing that to the table and getting people who don't necessarily have a technical background to actually buy into that process — that’s huge.”
  • Think About How You’ll Address Cybersecurity: Cybersecurity is important for all IT projects. For some IT projects, it may be the most important component to consider early in the process. That means cybersecurity should be among the early risks that a team evaluates and plans for. Sim says he’s seen projects where team leaders assessed what it would take to ensure the necessary cybersecurity for the product. And that cybersecurity budget ended up being five times the assumed budget for the entire project. “You know, that (project) doesn’t make sense anymore, right?” he says. “It’s better to find that out very early in the work, as opposed to later.”

The Failure Rate for IT Projects

The failure rate for IT projects is fairly high. Since 1994, the Standish Group has issued its CHAOS reports on IT project success. In its 2015 report, it found that 36 percent of IT projects were successfully completed in 2015 . Another 46 percent were “challenged,” meaning the project was completed and operational but was over budget, completed past the deadline, or offered fewer features than originally planned. Another 19 percent of projects failed completely and were cancelled.

The Project Management Institute’s “Pulse of the Profession” 2021 report found some improvement in IT project success from previous years. Still, the numbers showed plenty of room for more improvement. The report found that 64 percent of IT projects were completed within budget and 59 percent were completed on time. The report found that 33 percent of IT projects failed and lost their budget.

Why IT Projects Fail

Experts say IT projects fail for many reasons. Reasons include unclear objectives, poor communication among project team leaders and stakeholders, and insufficient user feedback early in the process.

Here are details on specific issues causing problems:

  • Project Leaders and Team Members Out of Sync with Each Other and with Stakeholders: In failing projects, project leaders and team members don’t communicate often enough with clients and stakeholders. When they communicate, they do so poorly, and each side has a different idea of project goals and objectives.
  • Confused Accountability: Team leaders and team members can also be confused about who is responsible for what tasks and overall roles in the project.
  • Unclear Requirements: A major factor in failed IT projects is the lack of clarity around product requirements at the center of the project when you begin.
  • Too Much Segmenting of Work and Bad Handoffs: Good project teams include members from various company departments who can work together and make sure they and their larger teams don’t work in silos. Those silos can cause big issues involving tasks when moving a project between departments. “The old way of doing it is almost like the Cold War dead drop,” says Shandil. “Someone goes to a park bench, puts something under it, and then walks away. Then someone comes and picks it up. We know that doesn't work.” Team members from different departments need to work together in cross-functional teams, Shandil advises. “That idea of having a dedicated cross-functional team means no handoffs.”
  • Taking Too Long to Perform Preliminary Planning and Work on Product: Companies often take too long to plan and perform preliminary work on the product at its center. They should conduct some preliminary planning and work but get a version of the product into the hands of users as soon as possible. The long planning and development come with another danger: the market will have surpassed the product they were planning to build. “If you take one year to launch anything, that's in itself too long,” Sim states. “And technology might surpass whatever you're trying to do.”

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The Smartsheet platform makes it easy to plan, capture, manage, and report on work from anywhere, helping your team be more effective and get more done. Report on key metrics and get real-time visibility into work as it happens with roll-up reports, dashboards, and automated workflows built to keep your team connected and informed. 

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  • Project management |

What is IT project management?

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IT project management is the process of managing, planning, and developing information technology projects. Project managers can use software to move through the five phases of the IT project management life cycle and accomplish complex tasks more effectively.

IT project managers are adaptable and resourceful leaders. Carrying complex projects over the finish line isn’t an easy task, but the right leader does it time and time again. 

Having the right IT management software can be the key to project success. Our guide outlines what IT project management is and provides tips for managing IT projects.  

IT project management is the process of managing, planning, and developing information technology projects. IT projects exist within a variety of industries, including software development, information security, information systems, communications, hardware, network, databases, and mobile apps.

IT project developers deliver a product or service, while managers handle IT project management. Managers are in charge of communicating expectations and keeping projects on track and on budget to ensure the IT projects run smoothly.

What are the 5 phases of IT projects?

As an IT project manager, you can accomplish complex tasks more effectively using the five phases of IT project management. Each phase has different milestones that drive the project life cycle forward. Whether you’re managing sprints for an Agile project or process rollouts—map out your next project using the five phases below.

[inline illustration] Phases of IT project management (infographic)

1. Initiation

During the initiation phase , determine the need for the project and create a project proposal. The project must also be viable for the team and the company at large. During this phase, make sure to also confirm the project is worth the allotted time and resources before moving forward.

2. Planning

The planning phase is a collaborative effort between you as the IT project manager and your team. Planning for the project involves setting budgets, identifying risks, and creating clear goals for what you hope to accomplish. 

A roadmap template can help you plan goals that you can then refer to throughout the project life cycle. 

3. Execution

The execution phase is when the team sets deliverables for the project. IT project managers play a crucial role by delegating tasks to hit milestones and keeping communication open among all team members. 

Use team collaboration software to ensure everyone is on the same page about who’s doing what by when. You may need to revisit the project plan during execution, as projects often experience changes during development. 

4. Monitor and control

During the execution phase, use IT project management software to track your team’s progress in real time. This involves monitoring the time, cost, scope, quality, and risk of the project itself. Using your project roadmap , you can evaluate whether the project is on track with your project proposal and goals, or course-correct if necessary. 

Once the project is complete, the closure phase begins. In this phase, ensure all work has been completed, approved, and moved on to the appropriate team. It’s also important to take some time to review any lessons learned during the project and determine what went well and what didn’t. The closure phase is crucial because it empowers your team to review and improve future methodology. 

What does an IT project manager do?

As an IT project manager, you must know how to communicate with everyone in your organization. You’ll be working closely with members of the IT department but you may also be in charge of discussing your team’s work with other teams.

Ensure the product functions: The goal of every IT project is to deliver a functional product that meets the customer’s needs. IT project managers are the first point of contact if things go wrong with a project, which is why you must prioritize functionality above all else. 

Assign tasks to team members: A project manager is a team’s go-to person when determining what their roles and responsibilities are for the project. As an IT project manager, take some time to understand IT teams so you can assign tasks effectively.

Track progress and performance: Once each project begins, project management professionals must track team performance, the project timeline , the budget, and how well the project is meeting its goals. IT project managers can use project management software to assess competencies and assist with professional development.

Lead Agile meetings with stakeholders: A stakeholder is often influenced by the outcome of the project. This could be senior management, a customer, or a product tester. As IT project manager, you’ll communicate with stakeholders and give them frequent status reports on the project.  

Challenges faced by IT project managers

You’ll face a fair number of challenges in your role as IT project manager, but with the right management tools, you can feel confident in your ability to address issues quickly. 

[inline illustration] Challenges faced by IT project managers (infographic)

Time and budgeting

Time and budgeting are some of the biggest challenges you may face in IT project management. Without realistic deadlines for a project, you risk delivering a product or service that is of lower quality than it could be. 

Not having the resources to complete the project can also make teams and customers suffer. You can reduce time and budgeting challenges by prioritizing these items in the planning phase. 

Scenario: Senior management would like your team to perform a company-wide software migration within one month, but you’ll need an additional month because your team is too small and inexperienced to complete the migration in the allotted time frame.

Solution: Use IT project management software to keep senior management informed about your team’s availability and experience. That way, management can prepare a more realistic timeline when assigning IT projects.

Scope creep

Scope creep occurs when the original goals of the project become overshadowed if stakeholders continue adding new requirements and deliverables. It can potentially derail a project and requires constant maneuvering. 

To reduce the frequency of scope creep, set strong project objectives from the beginning, have a change control process in place, and do your best to communicate with stakeholders every step of the way. 

Scenario: Your initial project goal was to improve outdoor Wi-Fi at your company’s headquarters so employees and visitors can work from anywhere. During project execution, stakeholders ask you to expand the outdoor Wi-Fi reach to the operations center across the street and also allow download capabilities. 

Solution: IT project management can give clear project objectives at the start, so your stakeholders will know what can be accomplished during this project. For example, they would understand that requesting an extension of the outdoor Wi-Fi reach is reasonable, while requesting download capabilities is too extensive.


Because IT project managers function as the go-between among team members, departments, and stakeholders, miscommunication can become a challenge if there isn’t an organized process in place to keep everyone informed. Prioritize communication using IT project management tools to lead your team to success. 

Scenario: Your company agrees to work with a local school and improve their learning spaces with increased access to technology. The project involves installing Wi-Fi and donating 100 computers to the school, but your senior manager thought you were only donating 10 computers.

Solution: Prioritize communication at the beginning of a project. Sharing frequent project status updates with IT management tools can ensure everyone is on the same page through the project life cycle. 

Risk management

Managing the risks of an information technology project is a necessary step in the initiation phase. During this phase, you must come up with alternate plans should your initial goals fall short. If you don’t manage risk on the front end, you’ll have a hard time picking up the slack when things go awry in real time. 

Scenario: Your team creates an online scheduling portal for patients at a hospital. You predict everything will run smoothly, so you’re shocked when a bug in the program causes cardiac patients to see gynecologists and neuro patients to see urologists.

Solution: With proper risk management, a plan is in place to quickly and effectively resolve the bug. Fixing the bug also means reassessing and identifying potential new risks raised by the fix. Risk analysis is an essential part of IT project management—try using a risk register to identify risks before they occur. 

Changing technology

Complex IT projects can take months or years to complete. One challenge in IT project management is keeping up with transforming technology as a project takes place. The project scope of your initial IT project must be flexible in case the needs of your customer change while your project is in development. 

Scenario: Your team takes on a long-term project to improve the GPS systems in cars. While working on this project, GPS phone apps come out allowing drivers to see traffic in real time. Your GPS system doesn’t include traffic, and including this feature would considerably extend your project length. 

Solution: Changing technology can’t be stopped, so your IT project must be flexible. In this example, your team would need to decide whether pivoting the project is a good business strategy to compete with advanced GPS phone technology.

Types of IT project management tools

IT project management tools can keep your project team organized and informed from project initiation to closure. These tools help visualize each team member’s role in the project and show the project’s progress in real time.

For all types of IT projects:

RACI chart: RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. Using a RACI chart , you can clarify the roles and responsibilities of your team members when working through projects. For each task or deliverable, designate which team members or stakeholders are Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, or Informed. These charts can be useful in all types of IT projects, as there’s always a need for clarification among team member responsibilities.  

For projects with task dependencies:

Gantt chart: A Gantt chart —named after Henry Gantt—is a horizontal chart used to illustrate a project timeline. Each bar on the chart represents tasks in the project, and the length of each bar represents time. Gantt charts help teams visualize what work needs to get done and how tasks affect one another, like a waterfall. If your project involves many dependent tasks (in other words, tasks that rely on one another), then this is a great tool because your team members can see if and where tasks overlap. 

For projects that require tasks with small, incremental changes:

Kanban boards: Kanban boards show the work breakdown structure of what stage each task is in. Using Kanban boards in IT project management can help your team balance their work responsibilities and see other team members’ available capacity. Kanban boards work well when your project requires tasks with small, incremental changes. These task boards allow teams to break down tasks into checklists and progress stages. 

[inline illustration] Types of IT project management tools (infographic)

What is an example of IT project management?

An information technology team is developing a new iPhone application to help employees clock in at work. When putting together the project proposal for the iPhone app, the IT project manager consults with the app creator while also considering the needs of the end user. 

In this IT project example, we’ll use the five phases of project management to bring the iPhone app through development.

Initiation phase : The first step is to ask questions. Dig deep into how the app will help solve a problem. Consider how this iPhone app can provide a solution for employees and employers. Is creating this app viable for your team given the designated time and budget?

Planning phase : Next, you begin the planning phase. To do so, determine the budget it will take to make the app and assess who on your team can handle the coding of the app.

Execution phase: The most important part of executing the plan for your iPhone app is to identify your overall project objectives. In this example, your project objective is: “The goal of this time-tracking application is to provide an easily accessible way for employees to clock their work hours and to help employers keep track of their team’s productivity.”

Monitor, control, and closure phases: Use IT project management tools to monitor your team’s progress. With effective project management software, you can look back at the data during the closure phase. 

Streamline IT projects with project management software

A strong IT manager will ensure that your IT projects run smoothly, stay on track, and budget. Looking for a way to automate tasks as an IT manager? 

With Asana, get Gantt chart-like views, tools for managing team responsibilities, stakeholder sharing options, and real-time project updates to help you hit your project deliverables on time.

Related resources

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7 crucial components in an effective it project plan.

December 13, 2022 - Managed IT

7 Crucial Components in an Effective IT Project Plan

Posted by Scott Vickery

7 Key Elements of Effective IT Project Planning

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Project structure and scope
  • Prerequisites
  • Deliverables
  • Timeline and schedule
  • Management plans

Once you’ve identified your goals and designed an IT project for your business, such as updating network infrastructure or moving to the cloud , it can be tempting to jump in immediately. After all, you’re most likely eager to solve the problem as quickly as possible. But careful planning is critical for ensuring that the entire project runs smoothly and stays on budget. IT project planning may not be the most glamorous step, but its importance can’t be understated.

Your IT project plan needs to be documented in a way that is easily understandable and accessible for each team member. Whether you use third-party project management software or your own internal processes, ensure each step of your plan is thoroughly defined in writing. Some IT projects are complex, with many moving parts, and it’s important to crystallize any decisions that come as a result of meetings or other communications by integrating them into the plan.

When you’re ready to draft your IT project plan , there are several crucial elements you’ll need to include to make the plan as effective as possible. Here are seven components every business IT project plan needs to include.

1. Roles and Responsibilities

Most likely, you already have a team assembled as a result of the discovery and design phases of the project. Now is the time to get more specific about each person’s role in executing the project. Your team will probably fall into several categories. Before moving ahead with planning, define each person’s role and responsibilities. For example, your project could include roles such as:

  • Stakeholder - Receives updates on IT project progress
  • Project Manager - Manages the project scope, budget, communication, etc.
  • Technology Lead - Approves project components
  • Vendor - Implements defined technology according to plan and schedule

Defining roles and responsibilities will help you avoid roadblocks. Knowing the areas each person is responsible for increases ownership and accountability.

2. Project Structure and Scope

The project structure and scope are the what and the how. Document exactly what you are doing and how it’s accomplished. This involves defining each task that must be completed to finish the project. Include information about the scope by defining the project's parameters. If you’re working with an IT vendor, it’s important to be on the same page about exactly what is and is not included in your engagement.

Will this project be delivered in phases or all at once? When will various components be released to users, if applicable? Blocking out the IT project into distinct phases can help maintain organization.

3. Prerequisites

What needs to be completed before the project can begin? What elements need to be put into place before work can start? Prerequisites may be technology-related, but not necessarily. They might be related to business processes—have we done everything we need to in order for this project to be valid? Or they may involve budgeting—do we have a procurement strategy that has received the go-ahead? Whatever your project prerequisites, now is the time to organize them into your IT project plan.

4. Deliverables

Since you have already blocked out your project’s scope and structure, it’s time to fill in the deliverables. Deliverables can be thought of as distinct tasks that must be completed within the project. While each task may have associated subtasks that are part of the larger whole, the deliverable is a building block of the overall project.

During the project, as deliverables are completed, one of the project roles will be to assess them for quality and make approvals. Ensure one of your defined project roles is empowered to assess deliverables and decide whether they have been completed.

5. Timeline and Schedule

Use the various pieces of the plan you’ve already defined to build a realistic and manageable timeline. When is each phase of the project due? Within each phase, when is each deliverable due? In addition to breaking out the timeline of tasks, schedule performance check-ins and team updates to ensure everyone is on the same page. Often, you may not find out about a roadblock until it is too late. By building progress updates into the project schedule ahead of time, the team can address challenges before they become real problems.

6. Resources

Assemble all of the allocated resources for this project in a place where the team can easily access them . Resources will include the various tools and information needed to complete the deliverables.

7. Management Plans

Business IT projects can get complex. To manage all the moving parts, you’ll need to develop “sub-plans” that will help control the various aspects that must work together. Think about how you will manage each of these elements throughout the project. Remember to think about who will address these aspects and what tools they will use to do so.

  • Schedule - Where will the schedule be kept, and who will update it?
  • Procurement - How will purchases or purchase requests be made? Who approves them, and what is the process?
  • Cost - How will the budget be monitored and controlled?
  • Risk - Who is responsible for risk management, and how will risks be assessed and conveyed to the team?
  • Quality Control - What is the process for evaluating and measuring the quality of deliverables?
  • Communication - What methods of communication will be used, and who will own each
  • Staffing - Who manages the different project roles and team members?
  • Change - How will change requests be handled?
  • Release - How will we orchestrate the project release?

information technology project plan

Ready to Simplify IT Project Management?

As any business person knows, projects can quickly run off course, no matter their nature. Properly planning your business IT project will help limit project challenges while better controlling the budget and timeline.

If planning your IT project on your own seems overwhelming, consider partnering with an experienced managed IT service company. Certified IT experts will guide you through the process and plan a project that works for your business and helps you meet your goals.

Editor's Note: This post was originally published on August 4, 2017, and has been updated for accuracy and current best practices.

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Scott vickery.

Scott Vickery is SymQuest’s Director of Professional Services. Scott works with SymQuest’s Systems Engineering, Sales Engineering, and Project Management teams to ensure quality scoping, implementation, and management throughout the project lifecycle.

information technology project plan

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The 9 Steps of Planning a Successful Technology Project

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Technology should be helping your organization, not holding it back. But in Idealware's work with nonprofits, we often see organizations struggling with technology that limits their abilities. Luckily, some simple planning — along with great resources like TechSoup — can go a long way toward resolving problems and preventing future issues.

How do you go take a technology action plan from concept to reality and make it approachable and feasible? The short answer is, in two separate steps — first you plan out what you’re going to do, and then you implement it. Assume that planning will take about half your time and effort, and implementation the other half.

Below, we've created an overview of what the process might look like for each stage.

Planning Process

  • Identify Goals. Plan at least a quick meeting to make sure your team is on the same page with what you want to accomplish. State what you hope to achieve, describing your end result in terms of how you define what success looks like. In addition to planning what is part of the project, make sure to state what is not included, to avoid scope creep.
  • Define Needs. Create a spreadsheet or other document to record all of your requirements for the project. If you're not sure what needs you might have, do some research — talk to colleagues at other nonprofits, talk to the staff members that will be directly affected by the project, or do some reading on the particular type of technology you’re looking to implement. Then, go through what you’ve identified and define what needs are critical, and what would just be nice to have.
  • Consider Improving Processes. If your project will change the way your staff does their work, take the opportunity to improve or change your processes, rather than "building a cathedral" to the way you've always done things. When possible, try to standardize your processes to best practices and reduce inefficiencies.
  • Explore Your Options and Make a Decision. Remember that you're not the first nonprofit to go through this process — talk to other organizations that did similar projects, to find out what they did, as well as any issues or complications they encountered, so you know what to expect. If your project involves selecting software, create a shortlist of three to five systems that sound like they might be right, and schedule demos from the vendors. In advance, send the vendor a list of specific examples of functionality or processes that you need, rather than letting them dictate what you see. Compare all these options against your needs in order to determine what best meets your needs.

Implementation Process

  • Implement and Configure. The first step is likely to involve getting everything up and running and working in its final location. It's common with software projects to have to configure or customize the system to better suit your organization's needs. Do you need to set custom options, create or hide custom fields or settings? Depending on the configuration needed and the type of technology, you might be able to do this yourself, or you may need someone with more intimate knowledge of the system — like a consultant — to do this for you.
  • Data Migration. If you're dealing with a system that has data in it, you'll need to think about moving that data from the old system to the new one. Data migration is a big deal — it takes knowledge of how to get the data out of the old system, how to manipulate and work with it, and then a detailed understanding of how the data goes into the new system. It's likely not a smooth process, and you'll likely need a consultant to clean up and transform the data to fit the new system.
  • Define Usage and Support. The next step is to define how are people supposed to use the new system and who is in charge of supporting it. What's okay for staff to do with the system? What's not okay? If data is involved, what standards are involved to make sure the data is entered consistently? It's also important to define who will answer users' questions.
  • Train Users. You typically won't be able to set up a new technology and expect all your staff members to immediately know how to use it. Training is a critical step. It doesn't matter how much of a step forward your project is for the organization if no one knows what they’re doing with it. It could be a really minimal process, or it could take several days of hands-on training and documentation.
  • Measure and Check In. At the start of the process, you defined what success would look like. At the end of the project, take a look at what you've done to see if you've achieved that. Come up with a set of measures and an ongoing process to track how well things are working. Check in on an ongoing basis to make sure that everything is still working as planned and if the solution is still the right one for your needs. And remember to look to the future when this solution no longer meets your needs — schedule an ongoing process to identify issues and make the decisions that need to be made.

Tech Planning Webinar

Learn more great tips about tech planning in this recorded webinar on tactical tech planning with my co-worker Andrea Berry.

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IT Project Plan

information technology project plan

Technology has become a significant part of our everyday lives. It’s a fast-changing industry that continues to rapidly grow with the advent of various software tools and advanced systems. But behind every innovative project comes an extensive process of planning that could take months, or even years, to complete.You may also see  research project plan examples 

  • 19+ Project Action Plan Examples
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Planning is a crucial step in the development of a project. It is comprised of several steps and phases that must be followed when initiating a project. That being said, creating a foolproof project plan is essential to the success of an organization and its ventures.In this article, we’ll dig deeper into the world of information technology and project planning to learn more about how the simplest plans can turn into market-changing creations.

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IT Project Development Plan Example


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IT Project Management Plan Guide Example


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What You Need to Know about IT Project Planning

Before we tackle the basics of IT project planning, let’s find out what a project plan actually is.

1. Definition of a Project Plan

A project plan is a formal document specially designed to properly manage key aspects of a project. It is used to document and communicate products and project expectations for stakeholders to grasp, to control the schedule and delivery of tasks, and to calculate and manage the risks associated with the said project.You may also check out  advertising plan examples .

A good project plan should respond to these basic questions:

1. Why? This should explain why the project is being implemented in the first place.

2. What? This refers to the tasks and activities required to successfully complete the project.You may also like  job plan examples .

3. Who? The people responsible for carrying out each activity will be held accountable for their actions. This part of the project plan should identify these individuals and explain what their responsibilities are throughout the project development period.You may also like  simple business plan examples .

4. When? A project schedule will be used to present the start and end dates of a project, along with the deadlines and milestones in between.

The project plan should document and ensure mutual project stakeholder approval, similar to a contract agreement , while also assisting the project management and technical teams with analyzing whether the expected outcomes are being fulfilled.

In the field of information technology, a project plan can sometimes come in the form of a Gantt chart or any other document that displays project activities and deliverables along a timeline. But because these documents may be considered inaccurate and vague to most leaders, they are merely treated as a part of a bigger project plan.

Information technology is a varied and complex world that not everyone will fully understand. Determining the best course of action to take sets the barrier between reaching goals and risking failure. Knowing that the project planning methods you choose are paramount to your success, deciding on them carefully is crucial to your organization’s future.You may also see  daily plan examples .

This is why it’s important for project managers to be very particular with their decisions. When creating a project management plan, you should analyze the necessary tasks, resources, time frames, and finances; and ensure that each task may be delivered and closed successfully. This will serve as a road map for the entire team to follow in order to reach your desired goals in an efficient manner.You may also see  transition plan examples .

2. Initiation

When initiating a project, you have to identify the need, problem, and opportunity being faced. Possible solutions for each scenario must also be considered, with the likelihood of completion being weighed down carefully against its drawbacks. This cause-and-effect type of analysis will help you determine a feasible solution for the circumstance at hand. Once you have completed the initiation stage of the project, you can then begin with the actual planning.You may also see  territory sales plan examples .

3. Planning

Project planning can be done in two ways: traditionally or digitally.

You could choose to write down every single aspect of your plan on paper. Or you can accept the aid of a project planning software to fulfill each task with ease. This is a tool that can help you clarify tasks, set goals, and track milestones for a more structured approach to project planning. This also allows you to identify the resources, finances, assessments and controls, risks, and procurement for the completion of your project. That way, your entire team can get a full overview of all the required tasks to fulfill in order to establish a smooth and sound procedure.You may also see  weekly plan examples .

4. Execution

After the project has been outlined, the tasks and activities indicated in your plan can then be performed. Project managers are highly encouraged to utilize various tools and assessments during this phase to ensure that project deliverables are met.You may also see  legal strategic plan .

Once the execution portion of the project is finally completed in accordance to the established time span, you can then venture toward the closing phase. This merely marks the end of the most critical stage of the project, as the project team may be tasked to constantly update the system in an attempt to continuously improve and adapt to its changing market.You may also see  catering company business plan .

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IT Strategic Project Plan Example


Five Major Components of a Project Plan

The project life cycle is a whirlwind of ups and downs that every project team is bound to experience. The cycle starts in the concept phase, where members of the project team put their heads together to formulate a shared idea, and is finalized at the end of the definition stage, where the very nature of the project is clearly defined for investors and clients to absorb.You may also see  marketing plan examples .

But when creating a plan, you have to ensure that its content successfully conveys the key aspects of the project to its audience. Hence, the five primary components of a good project plan include the following:

1. Executive Summary

Nearly every business document contains an executive summary that defines the purpose of the project, the objectives to be accomplished, as well as the time, cost, and quality of its development. Most people tend to read the executive summary first before proceeding to the next pages. That’s because the executive summary already provides an outlook of the entire project, with an emphasis on the vital elements of the plan that readers need to know about.

For this reason, you have to make sure this chapter clearly explains the overall procurement strategy of your project plan. You should also make it brief and concise to keep readers interested.

2. Policy and Procedures

This section of the document must define the procedures that will be used to keep the project in control. This would usually vary from project to project, as well as the values and practices of the organization in question. You can refer to your organization’s standard approaches when completing this section. These could include your quality management plan, health and safety policy, and project control policy.You may also see  food catering business plan examples .

3. Schedules

The main element included in this section is a high-level timeline comprised of key deliverables in the form of a milestone schedule. This should highlight the principal tasks that need to be accomplished (and when), along with cost estimations and resource requirements.You may also see  e-commerce project plan examples .

To be more specific with its content, refer to the following:

  • Project life cycle – This establishes every phase of the project.
  • Precedence diagrams – This describes the dependencies between each task and resource.
  • Resource histograms – This examines the resources necessary to deliver the project against the resource availability.You may also see  hotel marketing plan tips .
  • Gantt chart – This is a project timeline that shows when each activity is scheduled to start and finish.

4. Resource Plans

For this section of the plan, you must explain how the project team may fulfill their duties accordingly. You have to define who is responsible for the completion of each assignment; provide a breakdown on the organizational hierarchy of the project; identify the delegation of authority for the approval of documents, expenditures, and acceptance; as well as the role descriptions of each member of the project team.

5. Budgeting and Cost Management

The financial aspect of a project is critical to its completion. Without the proper allocation of funds, the project team may end up spending more than its intended budget. This may cause the program to come to a sudden halt, or result to a significant loss in company resources.You may also see  annual marketing plan examples .

To make sure that the proposed budget is spent wisely, creating a cost plan is essential. This consists of cost estimations and other possible expenses that the organization may have to settle with during the project’s completion.

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Project Management Plan for IT Example


Six Steps to Building a Good Project Plan

You’ve probably been tasked to create a simple project plan for your company. Though you may feel pressured to create something that would impress your superiors, there’s no need to panic. You can execute a successful project plan without knowing all the basics in project management. To do so, follow these six easy steps:

Step 1: Identify and reach out to stakeholders.

A stakeholder constitutes to anyone who is affected by the outcome of your project plan, such as your customers, clients, and end users. Since they’re considered to be the targeted audience of your plan, you have to make sure that your project plan centers on their needs.You may also see  restaurant project plan examples

Meet up with project sponsors and key stakeholders to discuss what they need and expect from your project. This will help you determine your project scope, budget, and timeline as well. You also have to look beyond their stated needs and into their underlying desires. A great way to do so is to build a connection with your stakeholders through a casual conversation.You may also see  training project plan examples

Step 2: Set down your goals.

Right now, everything might seem important to you. But in reality, only a few of these objectives can actually benefit you and your stakeholders. It’s important to set and prioritize your goals, and make sure that they address the exact needs of your clients and end users.You may also see  event project plan examples

Step 3: Illustrate deliverables.

What are the deliverables and project planning steps required to fulfill the project’s goals? What outputs do you expect to produce? Be sure to specify these in your project plan. It’s also a good idea to set firm milestones for deadlines and deliverables to track the amount of progress made as soon as the work begins.You may also see  research project plan examples 

Step 4: Formulate a project schedule.

Deliverables are large products that need to be broken down into smaller, more manageable parts for one to carry out effectively. When this is done, you can then determine the amount of time and resources necessary for the assigned individual to complete the task.You may also see  baseline project plan examples

Next, you must input these deliverables, milestones, and possible dependencies into your chart or diagram for your team to be guided.

Step 5: Look for possible issues and conduct a risk assessment.

There’s always a possibility of problems and issues arising at a certain point of your project. As much as you try to identify these risks beforehand, a few unforeseen circumstances are bound to create hiccups along the way.

To prevent these risks, or at least minimize their impact, it’s important to conduct a risk assessment and develop a risk management strategy to keep your project secured.You may also see  construction project plan examples

Step 6: Present the plan to stakeholders.

Now that you’ve taken the appropriate measures to create your plan, you still need to gain your stakeholders’ approval. You have to make your presentation open and unbiased as well, allowing your audience to view the project plan from different perspectives. It has to be made accessible for them to review so they could easily monitor your progress, share updates, and make edits without stuffing your calendar with countless meetings.You may also see  comprehensive project plan examples

When it comes to developing a project plan of any kind, remember to recognize the value of communication. It’s important to keep your executives, team members, and stakeholders in the loop to ensure that the plan satisfies a shared goal. And with the help of these guidelines and examples, you’re sure to create the perfect project plan for your IT company in no time!


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14+ information technology project plan templates – pdf, doc.

Some of the most important projects being done today are often related to information and technology. Information technology projects or IT projects plan are just essential in running the world today. Be it projects involving the development of new software, upgrading outdated technology, or just transferring from one kind of system from another, these projects need to be executed both effectively and essentially. You may also see plan samples .

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Project Plan Template for IT

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Information technology project planning template.

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Information Technology Project Plan Sample

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IT Project Management Plan Sample

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Project Plan Elements

  • A human resource plan that manages the personnel in the team according to their skills or availability or both.
  • A budgeting plan that manages the costs of elements involved in the project. This should include any procurements or supplier engagements you might have.
  • A communications plan that details who receives the messages about the project, its format, and when to receive or send the said messages.
  • A risk management plan that deals with the risk involved in the implementation period. It should include the processes involved in tracking or logging these risks.
  • A plan that specifies the quality target of the project.
  • Scope management
  • Requirements management
  • Schedule management
  • Financial management
  • Quality management
  • Resource management
  • Stakeholder management
  • Communications management
  • Project change management
  • Risk Management

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15 Free IT Project Management Templates for Excel, Word & More


IT projects are unique. IT teams plan hardware and software installations, upgrades and rollouts, and the tools they use are specific to working with infrastructure, information systems and computers. These IT project management templates are essential to get those jobs done properly.

ProjectManager has dozens of free project management templates for Excel and Word that IT managers need when working on web development, software development, mobile app development, network configuration and so much more. Try these 15 free IT project management templates today.

1. IT Project Plan Template

IT project managers are responsible for many different types of projects, from developing new systems to upgrading old enterprise applications. But every IT project has one thing in common: they start with an IT plan. With our free IT project plan template , IT project managers can organize tasks, costs and resources with scheduled deadlines and deliverables.

IT project plan template

Using an IT project management template saves you time and helps you to start a project more efficiently, which leads to a more successful outcome. Not only are you able to figure out what you’re going to do, but you can share the IT project plan template with your team to get them on the same page.

2. Gantt Chart Template

When making an IT plan, or any plan for that matter, the go-to tool is the Gantt chart. It’s a tried-and-true tool for good reason; Gantt charts create a visual timeline in which all your project tasks are scheduled. They can manage time, costs and resources. Creating a Gantt chart in Mircosoft Word or Microsoft Excel is frustrating, especially when there’s one ready for you to use when you download our free Gantt chart template for Excel .

Free Gantt chart template for IT projects

3. IT Risk Assessment Template

IT projects are no different than any other type of project in that they’re rife with risk. IT risk carries an extra burden in that most businesses, regardless of what they do, demand that their IT systems work. If something goes down or is compromised in any way, it can lead to a significant financial loss or worse. This is why our free IT risk assessment template for Excel is so important.

ProjectManager's IT risk assessment template

The structure of any risk assessment tool has common elements. Ours lists the risk numerically, which makes it easy to track, as well describing the risk and the control environment. It collects data but also defines the actions to take if the issues do in fact arise so you can mitigate the risk . There’s also a calculator to note the likelihood of the risk occurring and, if it does, what impact it will have.

4. Action Plan Template

Whether you’re responding to risk or simply planning an IT project, you need a strategy. Our free action plan template for Excel is a document that outlines the steps you should take in order to achieve that strategy. IT project managers can use this IT project management template to visualize how to turn the strategy into actionable steps, which can be broken down into subtasks or action items.

Action plan template for IT teams

IT project managers can use the free template during the planning stage of the project. It outlines goals, action steps, tasks and a timeline and can address business, strategic and corrective action as needed. It’s a versatile tool. However you use it, an action plan provides a framework that helps you think pragmatically and ensures you don’t overlook important tasks.

5. IT Project Budget Template

Getting an accurate count of the costs of your IT project is how you ensure you have the funds to do the work properly. That includes everything from your team, equipment and more. It’s a lot of costs to track, which is why IT project managers can download our free project budget template for Excel .

ProjectManager's project budget template

Not only will it help you create a more accurate budget but it’ll help you monitor your costs as you execute the project. The IT project management template captures labor, consultant and software license costs to name a few. But it also collects recurring costs such as phone bills, office space and equipment costs. Remember, you’re not only creating a budget but a cost control mechanism.

6. IT Server Maintenance Checklist

If the server goes down, trouble is around the corner. To avoid that, make sure to schedule maintenance. There are many things to check to ensure that all are well, which is why we recommend downloading our free server maintenance checklist for Excel. This free IT project management template helps you do a thorough job.

ProjectManager's service maintenance checklist

Using the template is simple. On the left-hand side are a variety of tasks that are common to server maintenance, such as updates, security, backups, monitoring, file system maintenance and more. On the right is a grid where you can schedule those tasks as daily, weekly, monthly or occasionally. The template is customizable so you can add or subtract what you want so it better reflects your responsibilities.

7. Dashboard Template

Monitoring IT systems is key to keeping software and hardware alike running smoothly. By having a high-level view, it’s possible to not only track progress and performance but catch any anomalies that might indicate issues that need to be addressed before they become problems. Use our free dashboard template for Excel and track this data at a glance.

Project Dashboard Template

Use this IT project management template to track keep performance indicators (KPIs) such as tasks, workload, task length and cost. The colorful bar graphs and charts make it easy to digest the data quickly and provide IT project managers with the perspective they need to get valuable insights that’ll guide better decision-making .

8. IT Risk Register Template

Every IT project manager knows that risk is always around the corner. That’s just part of project management. Planning for it is also part of project management. Our free risk register template for Excel gives you the tools to plan and mitigate risk in your IT projects. This tool allows IT project managers to prepare a strategy that helps them to respond to risk and resolve or take advantage of it if it occurs in their project.

ProjectManager's risk register template

This IT project management template numbers risks to make them easy to track. You can also describe the risk, its impact and what response you’ll have if it becomes an issue in the IT project. There’s also a column to rank the level of the risk from high to low, which helps with prioritization. Finally, you can assign an owner who’s responsible for identifying and mitigating the risk .

9. IT Issue Tracking Template

Issues are problems. Whether they’re risks that you planned for or something that comes out of the blue, they can sidetrack your IT project. When an issue arises, you have to be able to identify it and resolve it quickly before it impacts the time, scope or cost of your project. That’s what our free issue-tracking template for Excel is designed to do.

ProjectManager's issue-tracking template

Use the free IT project management template to capture any issues that show up in your project, which is the first step in developing an action plan to deal with the issue. There’s a column to describe the issue and its impact. Then you can add the priority, the date it was identified and who’s responsible for responding to it. There’s also space to add the department that’s handling the issue, its status (open or closed) and even a place to add notes.

10. IT Change Log Template

Another risk or issue is change. That change can occur in an IT project due to equipment failure, human error, an act of God, such as a power outage or requests from stakeholders, to name a few. Whatever the reason, changes in a project can impact your schedule, budget and more. To manage them, download our free change log template for Excel .

ProjectManager's change log template

Everything you need to collect and manage change is included in the document. From the project’s and project manager’s names to the change number and type of change request, it’s all included. There’s also a date to note when the change was requested or occurred, a description of the change and its status. You can also assign it, add a priority and determine when it’s expected to be resolved, understand its impact and outline the action steps that’ll resolve it.

11. GDPR Compliance Checklist

Anyone in IT knows the importance of GDPR (general data protection regulation). While it’s specific to the European Union (EU), any tech company that collects and processes personal information and has a presence in the EU is under a legal requirement to be compliant with this law. Our free GDPR compliance checklist template makes it easy to manage that process.

ProjectManager's GDPR compliance template

Our IT project management template has columns to collect the tasks that are required to remain compliant with the law. It assigns owners to each of these tasks to ensure they’re done in a timely and thorough fashion. There’s also a place to add a deadline and you can even allocate resources to each task as needed. Then simply check them off as you go down the list. It’s an easy way to manage a legal requirement.

12. Requirements Traceability Matrix Template

IT projects have requirements meaning they must be done and done right or else the project suffers. In order to ensure that, use our free requirements traceability matrix template for Excel . It does this by listing all those project requirements and how to track them through the project’s life cycle. This way nothing critical can fall through the cracks.

ProjectManager's requirements traceability matrix template

There are many ways in which this IT project management template helps you manage your project requirements. It’s great for quality assurance (QA) and understanding what needs testing to ensure it’s meeting the project requirements . IT project managers can also use this document to help them make data-informed decisions rather than acting on instinct.

13. IT Project Prioritization Matrix Template

Not all IT project managers have the luxury of focusing all their attention on one project. They’re often responsible for a portfolio of work and making sure they allocated their resources wisely among that group. Our free project prioritization matrix template allows you to look at all your IT projects and make objective decisions as to which projects need attention and when.

ProjectManager's project prioritization template

This Eisenhower matrix is broken into four quadrants. On top, there are two columns: one for do now and the other which says do later. On the left-hand side, there are two rows: crucial and not crucial. Now you can place your projects in one of the four squares to know what must be done immediately, what can be scheduled for the new future, what can be delegated and what can be deleted or moved.

14. Implementation Plan Template

Every IT project starts as an idea that’s codified by a plan, but it needs to be realized by an implementation plan, or the steps required to actualize that plan and produce its deliverable. While it might sound redundant to have the plan to execute a plan, anyone who’s familiar with project management knows using our free implementation plan template for Excel is how you organize those ideas into actionable steps.

ProjectManager's implementation plan template

The IT project management template is broken up into three distinct parts. First, there is the project strategy, which moves down to processes and actions to implement that strategy. Then there’s the timeline, which shows the planned and actual start and end dates for the tasks as well as the planned hours for the task. Finally, there are the resources to execute those tasks, including materials and costs. With all this mapped out, you can implement your plan successfully.

15. Requirements Gathering Template

Knowing the requirements for an IT project is what starts out the planning phase. They will be collected in a document, which is where our free requirements-gathering template for Word comes in. This IT project management template also acts as a communication tool connecting the requirements of the user to the developer.

ProjectManager's requirements gathering template

But it’s not only user requirements that are gathered; there are also business and system requirements captured in the document. The requirements are broken down into seven subsections: user, functional and system requirements, software and user interfaces, workflow activities and change and risk management . There’s also high-level technical architecture sketched out plus maintenance and support. There’s even testing and evaluation, such as objectives, artifacts, users and tasks included.

16. Test Case Template

A test case is a software development document that allows developers to verify if a new software will perform as expected before releasing it to the public. To do so, they test all the features of a software and then use a test case to document their findings.

test case template

17. Bug Report Template

A bug report is a document that helps IT and software development teams document and monitor software malfunctions, commonly referred to as bugs. Bug reports are commonly used when testing a new software feature before it’s released to the public. They should contain basic information that developers can use to understand the circumstances in which the bug occurred so they can fix it.

bug report template

ProjectManager Helps With IT Project Management

As any IT project manager will tell you, templates are static documents. They can be a step back, not forward, when it comes to managing a project. What you need is project management software, such as ProjectManager. Our online software delivers real-time data for better decision-making. What also makes our software superior to templates is that you can use a variety of tools that all share the same updated data.

Use Multiple Project Views

Not all project tools are created equal. The Gantt chart is ideal for scheduling, but kanban boards visualize and control workflows as you plan and execute sprints or manage your backlog. Teams might prefer using our robust task list, which also shares the same real-time data as the other tools, such as the sheet and calendar view. That means you can work on the tool you want and stay up-to-date with the most current project information.

Capture Real-Time Data

Having everyone on the team work on the same live data is key to productivity, but it’s not everything. IT project managers also need a see high-level view of the project whenever they want. Our real-time dashboard does just that. It captures live data and crunches those numbers to display metrics on time, cost and more in easy-to-read graphs and charts. Best of all, there’s no setup required. It’s plug-and-play.

ProjectManager's real-time dashboard

Reports take you deeper into the data, customizing results to show just what you want to see and making it easy to share with stakeholders to keep them updated. There are also resource management tools that balance workload, risk management tools that track issues and task management tools that keep teams collaborating and productive.

Related IT Project Management Content

If you’re still on the fence about signing up for a free trial of ProjectManager, we have lots of free content you can read. From weekly blog posts to guides, videos, templates and more, we have information on every aspect of the project management phases. Here’s a small sampling of our IT-related content.

  • IT Project Management Guide
  • IT Project Management Software
  • IT Audit: Definition & Quick Guide
  • How to Become an IT Project Manager
  • IT Problem Management
  • IT Risk Management Strategies
  • IT Governance Framework

ProjectManager is award-winning software that empowers IT teams to plan, manage and track their work in real time. Our collaborative software makes it easy to comment and share anywhere and at any time, whether across departments or continents. Join the teams at Nestle, Avis and Siemens who use our software to succeed. Get started with ProjectManager today.

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Architecture & Governance Magazine

Information Technology Governance and Project Planning in a Changing Environment

April 29, 2022 Holt Hackney Agile , Applications & Technology , Digital Transformation , Elevating Architecture , Strategy & Planning 0

information technology project plan

By Ella Ponsford- Gullacci, MBA., PMP, and Dr. Sarah Dyson

Information Technology governance covers a broad spectrum of topics, which is to ensure that an organization is effectively and efficiently using IT resources while protecting the organization from nefarious entities seeking to steal data (Almgren & Skobelev, 2020). Several systems help IT organizations govern the technology and provide project planning. The article presents the system development life cycle (SDLC)  for the Waterfall and Agile/Scrum development methodologies and discusses the associated project planning.

System Development and Project Planning in a Changing Environment

System development methods and project planning have continuously evolved to reach levels of maturity designed to lead to success (Dadhich & Chauhan, 2012). Early systems development was predictive; each step was carried out, one after the other. Following the Agile Manifesto, both system development and project planning adopted iterative methods. The agile methods had the advantage of breaking long systems development cycles into smaller pieces and delivering usable products to customers much sooner. While agile methods have become popular, research suggests that Waterfall has not been abandoned altogether (Dadhich & Chauhan, 2012).

Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) and Development Methodologies

The SDLC is a set of steps that organizations follow to bring systems from inception to disposal (Valacich & George, 2016). It covers the necessary business rationales and budget allocations, including designing and building the system. Finally, the SDLC stipulates maintenance and end of functional life tasks (Valacich & George, 2016). On the other hand, system development methodologies (SDM) define the processes employed to define, design, and develop a system. For example, Waterfall and Agile/Scrum are two widely different methodologies at first inspection. However, both methodologies fundamentally perform the same processes leading some organizations to create a hybrid.

The waterfall methodology acquired the name because each step follows the other, much like a waterfall that collects water, fills up, and passes to the next level. For example, a typical waterfall model begins with a requirements definition stage, designing a solution, software development and unit testing, stakeholder testing, and implementation (Valakati & George, 2016). Each step in the Waterfall equated with a milestone; the next phase would begin when the milestone was complete. The drawback to Waterfall is that all projects flow from one step to the next without incident. However, this is an unrealistic situation for most system development work.

The primary strength of Waterfall is that it is best suited to projects where the requirements are unlikely to change. Conversely, the primary weakness, and threat, is that Waterfall projects have limited customer involvement, often leading to rework, delays, and cost overruns.


The agile methodology was created by a group of 13 software engineers that wanted to establish values and principles leading to delivering higher-quality software faster (Gheorghe et al., 2020). Agile’s goal is to involve the customer from the beginning of the development cycle. Then, the customer, or product owner, works with the team to establish a product backlog. The backlog is worked through in sprints – short bursts of development that lead to incremental deliverables (Gheorghe et al., 2020). On the other hand, Waterfall delivers one complete product at the end of development and testing.

Agile has become synonymous with the rapid delivery of working software (Gheorghe et al., 2020). The progressive elaboration of features and functionality improves the likelihood of systems acceptance. Additionally, customer involvement helps with system acceptance. Unlike Waterfall, systems are not left unused. However, there is the possibility of long, drawn-out projects due to constant changes in requirements.

In conclusion, the differences between Waterfall and Agile SDLCs found in the latter’s predictive and iterative flow (Gheorghe et al., 2020; Sasankar & Chavan, 2011). IT architects need to know the service capabilities and what it expects to gain by implementing a structured governance framework for project planning. Waterfall progresses steadily from one step to another throughout the life of the systems project. On the other hand, while some upfront planning is done to establish a backlog for agile development, its primary strength is the iterative flow and change acceptance. Therefore, a best-fit SDLC would depend on the organization’s maturity and readiness to adopt agile.

 How much planning is dependent upon the SLDC

Before planning occurs, however, organizations decide which projects will further the organization’s strategic plan (Kalumbilo & Finkelstein, 2014). First, organizations identify goals and objectives. The goals and objectives lead to tactical steps. Some tactical steps, not operational, are represented by projects. System projects have become increasingly complex due to the interdependencies between technologies in an organization’s portfolio (Kalumbilo & Finkelstein, 2014). Some projects require specialized technology, while others may incorporate existing hardware. Aligning the project with everyday purchases requires planning for both to coordinate.

Strategic planning is usually done at the senior executive level, while systems acquisition is the purview of information technology (IT) management. The senior-most IT executive needs to be involved in the strategy to ensure IT aligns with the strategic planning. Strategy and acquisition require stakeholder management and constant communication (PMI, 2017).

Systems planning requires a cross-functional team to ensure that the organizational needs align with the systems strategy (Valacich & George, 2016). Key stakeholders, including those from the business and IT, should be involved from the start of planning. Keeping communications open and continuous is beneficial. When an IT team is planning for refreshing, expansion, or project-related systems acquisitions, the right people with the right skills need to be involved early and often.

The system development team should consist of professionals with the needed development skills. However, communications and infrastructure representatives are needed to ensure that new software is compatible with existing systems and infrastructure. A critical task for the project manager is to schedule tasks that consider resource availability (PMI, 2017). Existing budget constraints and scope requirements often lead to a make-or-buy decision.

Architects may ask whether developing or purchasing is decided based upon established criteria, such as the availability of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software that meets organizational requirements. Budget and available financing contribute to the decision process, as do the post-implementation costs of maintenance and upkeep (Valacich & George, 2016). While purchasing a fully developed system is convenient, costs are often high. On the other hand, developing a system from the bottom-up house is not inexpensive.

  • In-house development raises several questions: are the needed skills in-house?
  • Will the organization have to hire or train new employees?
  • Is there a location available to seat an onsite group of developers hired for the project?

The final decision is usually made on costs and payback. If the project takes longer to pay for itself, it may not be prudent to develop.

In summary, the relationship between strategic planning and systems planning is critical. IT has become a key element in supporting the business strategy (Kalumbilo & Finkelstein, 2014). IT development projects are crucial to supporting the strategy; however, the main risk to success is aligning strategy and IT support. Involving all the key team members from the initiation of planning and throughout the project and ensuring clear communications are positive steps toward aligning IT and strategy (Kalumbilo & Finkelstein, 2014).

Professor Ponsford-Gullacci and Dr. Dyson are part of the capstone team in the Project Management Program at Harrisburg University Science and Technology.

Almgren, R., & Skobelev, D. (2020). Evolution of technology and technology governance. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity , 6 (2), 22. https://doi.org/10.3390/joitmc6020022

Dadhich, R., & Chauhan, U. (2012). integrating cmmi maturity level-3 in traditional software development process. International Journal of Software Engineering & Applications , 3 (1), 17. http://www.demix.org/images/3112ijsea02.pdf

Gheorghe, A. M., Gheorghe, I. D., & Iatan, I. L. (2020). Agile software development. Informatica Economica , 24 (2), 90-100. http://www.revistaie.ase.ro/content/94/08%20-%20gheorghe,%20gheorghe,%20iatan,.pdf

Hoffer, J. A., George, J. F., & Valacich, J. S. (2014). Modern systems analysis and design . Boston, Mass: Pearson.

Kalumbilo, M., & Finkelstein, A. (2014, June). Linking strategy, governance, and performance in software engineering. In Proceedings of the 7th International Workshop on Cooperative and Human Aspects of Software Engineering (pp. 107-110). https://doi.org/10.1145/2593702.2593722

Sasankar, A. B., & Chavan, V. (2011). SWOT analysis of software development process models. International Journal of Computer Science Issues (IJCSI) , 8 (5), 390. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=

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IT Project Management Standard

Section 1 – introduction.

The University of Mary Washington is committed to continuously improving the delivery of information technology (IT) solutions within budget, on schedule, within scope and in such a way as to best contribute to accomplishing the university’s strategic mission. To this end, the University has established a standardized IT project management methodology based on proven “best practice” guiding principles as promoted by the Project Management Institute appropriately tailored to the specific circumstances of the university.

This standard and associated guidelines were developed in full accordance with and in support of the UMW Information Technology Project Management Policy and will be maintained by the UMW Project Management Office (PMO). The PMO will monitor the future development of project and portfolio management best practices and incorporate into UMW’s methodology those that are proven to improve project performance in a higher education setting.

The Commonwealth of Virginia Restructured Higher Education Financial and Administrative Operations Act of 2005 and Chapters 824 and 829, Virginia 2008 Acts of Assembly grant public institutions of higher education certain operational authority in the areas of information technology and procurement, on condition that certain commitments to the Commonwealth are met. The University of Mary Washington’s Memorandum of Understanding with the Commonwealth provides delegated responsibility for management of the institution’s procurement and information technology project management. This delegation includes the authority to conduct these activities in accordance with industry best practices appropriately tailored for the specific circumstances of the university, in lieu of following Commonwealth determined specifications. Responsibility for IT projects costing under $2 million is delegated to the university to approve and manage such projects in accordance with industry, Commonwealth, and/or Project Management Institute (PMI) best practices.

IT projects costing $2 million and over remains under the purview of the Commonwealth’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), and the Project Management Division (PMD) of the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA).

The President of the university has final project management oversight authority and may review, suspend or terminate any project.

This standard establishes the required processes and documentation for all University information technology projects.

This standard is applicable to all IT projects implemented by UMW faculty, staff, students, contractors, business partners, and IT service providers.


Project definition.

The definition of a project covered by this standard is a temporary information technology endeavor with an established beginning and end time that has a set of defined tasks and assigned resources, undertaken to develop a unique product, service or result.

An information technology project is a temporary effort undertaken by or on behalf of the university that:

  • Establishes a new technology-based system or service
  • Facilitates a significant business process transformation using technology; or
  • Includes a major change in technology architecture or a system migration beyond that considered as general maintenance, enhancement, or refresh activity

In our organization a project typically performs one or more of these functions:

  • Develop a new system or service
  • Improvements to a system or service
  • Improve business processes or introduce new ones
  • Build or enhance infrastructure
  • Apply new technology
  • Upgrade enterprise applications

Some examples of work that are NOT projects:

  • ETF/Operation efforts
  • System administration
  • System operations
  • Break/fix activities
  • Customer support

Activities undertaken in support of an existing product or service will not be defined as projects for the purposes of this standard, so long as the bulk of the effort involves continuation, with improvement, to the current product or service. Significant cost for a procurement or operational activity does not make the procurement or activity a project. For example, routine software upgrades or network component replacements are not necessarily projects. Utilization of project management principles and techniques in the management of maintenance and operational activities are encouraged, whether they are defined to be projects or not.

“Projects and operations differ primarily in that operations are ongoing and produce repetitive products, services, or results. Projects (along with team members and often the opportunity) are temporary and end. Conversely, operations work is ongoing and sustains the organization over time. Operations work does not terminate when its current objectives are met but instead follow new directions to support the organization’s strategic plans.” (PMBOK, Fourth Edition)


If an individual/department is considering an information technology project, they are encouraged to work with Information Technology to assure appropriate analysis, classification, approval and documentation steps are undertaken. In addition to promoting good technology management decisions within the university, these steps also assist the university in meeting requirements set forth in Commonwealth of Virginia policies and standards.

Prior to soliciting acquisition or development of an information technology project, the following steps must be completed:

  • Define the idea or need to be addressed by this project. Be able to communicate the project purpose and scope clearly to others.
  • Submit the IT Project Research Form (PRF) on line at http://technology.umw.edu/pmo/evalform/    Any inquiries should be directed to the PMO for Information Technology at ext 5975.
  • The PRF notifies the Technology Portfolio Management Committee and initiates the Project Research Phase. During the Project Research phase the requestor begins the process of investigating possible solutions, scheduling demos, gathering information, and answering questions.
  • At the conclusion of the Research Phase, a potential solution/system is identified and an IT Project Approval form is submitted. During the Approval phase, the form goes to the Technology Portfolio Management Committee for review and recommendation to the Cabinet.
  • Following Approval, the project moves to Project Management. At this point, IT PMO will review the requested solution/system with the PMO team. IT PMO will work with the project initiator to collect any additional information and complete any further analysis that may be necessary.
  • In general, the level of oversight during the selection and management of technology projects varies with the cost and complexity of the project. For this purpose, projects are first classified as either major or non-major:

A major information technology project is one:

  • For which the costs, from project initiation to project closeout (generally operational production go-live), are greater than $1M. These costs are to include all hardware and software costs. Salaries for technical and functional personnel are to be considered part of the project costs and the individual’s involvement will be tracked as a project expense.
  • That is of such significance to the university that failure to achieve its expected outcomes could prevent UMW from accomplishing its mission or meeting its legal obligations until a workable alternative could be established; OR
  • Set forth by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) as having “statewide application”.

Non-major information technology projects are those technology projects that have an estimate total project cost of less than or equal to $1M and are neither mission critical to the university or designated by VITA as having statewide application.

  • As the initial analysis is completed and the project selection is approved by IT PMO, in conjunction with the initiator and appropriate management approvers, will assign a final project categorization (High/Medium/Low) and outline more specifically the project management and documentation requirements to be fulfilled as the project proceeds. The specific requirements vary with project categorization.

Project Categorization

UMW IT projects are categorized as High, Medium or Low based on a variety of parameters including but not limited to budget, resources, time to complete and risk. An IT Project Categorization Matrix is used to evaluate and determine each projects category. The IT Project Categorization Matrix can be found at https://sharepoint.umw.edu/departments/it/pmo/Shared%20Documents/Forms/AllItems.aspx?RootFolder=%2fdepartments%2fit%2fpmo%2fShared%20Documents%2fTemplates&FolderCTID=0x012000E69BBE4E7DAADE4B9574321E05944FEB

Any activity that is determined by management to be undertaken as a project in one of these categories is covered by the Project Management Standard. The amount of oversight and documentation required is directly related to and increases with project complexity. The goal is to apply just the right amount of management control needed for a specific project to succeed.

Certain other characteristics may elevate the category for technology projects. These projects involve systems that:

  • interface to the university’s Banner Administrative Systems (for date related to Student Administration, Finance, Human Resources, Advancement, Financial Aid, Student Accounts Receivable, etc);
  • authenticate using the university’s directory services (i.e. Active Directory); or,
  • access, transmit, process or store highly sensitive data such as Social Security Number (SSN).

Project Documentation by Categorization

  • Projects over $2M require a Project Charter and are reviewed by VITA PMD before initiation.

Project Management Knowledge Areas

The project life cycle is comprised of phases: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Control, and Closing. In addition to these process groups, processes can also be classified into nine categories referred to as the Project Management Knowledge Areas. These Knowledge Areas combine and bring together processes that have characteristics in common. The level of project categorization is used to determine the required documentation associated with each of the nine Knowledge Areas and processes (reference Project Documentation by Categorization matrix).

The nine Knowledge Areas of Project Management are as follows:

  • Project Integration Management: This process coordinates the other areas to work together throughout the project. The six processes associated with Project Integration Management involve identifying and defining the work of the project and combining and integrating the appropriate activities. This is the only Knowledge Area that contains processes across all five of the project management process groups. The processes within Project Integration are tightly linked, as they occur continuously throughout the project:
  • Develop Project Charter
  • Develop Project Management Plan
  • Direct and Manage Project Execution
  • Monitor and Control Project Work
  • Perform Integrated Change Control
  • Close Project
  • Project Scope Management: The five processes of Project Scope Management are used to ensure that the project includes all of the requirements and no new requirements are added in a way that could harm the project.
  • Collect Requirements
  • Define Scope
  • Verify Scope
  • Control Scope
  • Project Time Management: The Project Time Knowledge Area consists of six processes that help to ensure the project is completed on schedule.
  • Define Activities
  • Sequence Activities
  • Estimate Activity Resources
  • Estimate Activity Durations
  • Develop Schedule
  • Control Schedule
  • Project Cost Management: The Project Cost Management Knowledge Area consists of three processes that monitor costs to ensure the project is completed within budget.
  • Estimate Costs
  • Determine Budgeting
  • Control Costs
  • Project Quality Management: The Project Quality Management Knowledge Area consists of three processes.   These processes ensure that the project meets the requirements, or does what it is expected to do.
  • Plan Quality
  • Perform Quality Assurance
  • Perform Quality Control
  • Project Human Resource Management: The Project Human Resource Management Knowledge Area consists of four processes. These processes organize, develop, and manage the project team.
  • Develop Human Resource Plan
  • Acquire Project Team
  • Develop Project Team
  • Manage Project Team
  • Project Communications Management: The Project Communications Management Knowledge Area consists of five processes. These processes determine what information is needed, how that information will be sent and managed, and how project performance will be reported.
  • Identify Stakeholders
  • Plan Communications
  • Distribute Information
  • Manage Stakeholder Expectations
  • Report Performance

A good project manager spends up to 90 percent of their time communicating. Overall, much of the project manager’s work involves managing project communication.

  • Project Risk Management: The Project Risk Management Knowledge Area consists of six processes involved in identifying, managing and controlling risk of a project.
  • Plan Risk Management
  • Identify Risks
  • Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis
  • Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis
  • Plan Risk Responses
  • Monitor and Control Risk

According to the PMBOK® Guide , a risk is an uncertain event or condition that has a positive or negative effect on a project objective. Every project has some level of uncertainty and, therefore, some level of risk. Keep in mind that a risk is different from an issue. A risk may or may not occur. But when a risk materializes and impacts the project, it becomes an issue that must be handled.

  • Project Procurement Management: The Project Procurement Management Knowledge Area consists of four processes. These processes are used to acquire the materials and services needed to complete the project.
  • Plan Procurements
  • Conduct Procurements
  • Administer Procurements
  • Close Procurements

Project management activities begin at the Initiation Phase where a project has been approved by management with funding identified. It continues on through the remaining life cycle phases of Planning, Execution and Control, and Closeout. This PM standard addresses the governance and management of any IT activity that meets the definition of a project.

Project Lifecycle

The lifecycle of a project begins when a person or organization recognizes a business need or problem requiring a solution. Projects are NOT just a set of tasks to perform! A project is a process that produces a unique product or service which allows the organization to achieve a desired business goal.

All projects are reviewed and managed through a lifecycle of phases, Initiation, Planning, Execution and Control, and Closeout.

The initiation process defines a new project and obtains authorization for that project to start. A project research form outlining the business justification for the project is prepared by the Project Sponsor. The sponsor serves as a “champion” for the project.

After the project research stage, a Project Approval form is submitted for review and approval by the Technology Portfolio Management Committee. Once approved, the project goes to the PMO, is appropriately classified, and the CIO and PMO will appoint an IT Project Manager. The Project Sponsor and Project Manager will identify the appropriate team members, and the Project Manager and project team will complete the project charter document.

Approval of the project charter by the CIO authorizes the Project Manager to staff the project team, procure resources, and oversee the people and resources necessary to complete the project. The project charter must be approved by the CIO before the project is considered approved for planning.

During the planning phase, information used in the Initiation phase is used to further refine the scope and define the objectives to be met by the project. The IT PMO will work with the Project Manager and team to identify documentation and project management activities that will be required (see the Project Documentation matrix for details). A project plan is developed, which includes the schedule, milestones, and plans for testing and training, security, procurement, resources, communication, and risks. The planning phase is complete when the project plan is completed and submitted to the CIO and PMO. With the submission and acceptance of all project planning documentation by the CIO and PMO, then and only then is the Project Manager given approval to officially activate the project and proceed to the Execution and Control phase i.e. begin project work, assemble project team, procure materials/equipment, etc.

Execution and Control

Executing begins when team members begin the actual work, as defined in the project plan, to complete the defined tasks and develop the deliverables. This includes building, developing and managing the project team; distributing relevant project information to stakeholders as planned; and managing stakeholders’ expectations to ensure their needs are met.

Monitoring and Controlling processes track, review and regulate the project’s progress toward meeting the performance objectives as defined in the project plan. These include, but are not limited to, ensuring changes to the plan are tracked and approved; that decisions, issues and risks are documented and appropriately addressed; that timely and accurate project status reports and other relevant information are communicated; and that testing and training activities proceed according to plan.

Project Closeout

When the Project Sponsor has accepted the project’s deliverables as complete and signed off on the project, the project manager initiates action to finalize the project and submits a final status report to the sponsor and the IT PMO. An archive of the project’s documents must be stored on SharePoint. The final deliverable is transferred to operations and support staff where it becomes part of the operational activities of the university.

Project Manager Selection and Training

Project Managers are selected and assigned to projects by the CIO in consultation with the IT PMO. The training and certification required depend on the project classification and level of experience required to manage the project.

For projects with High classification, a Project Management Institute (PMI) or Virginia Information

Technologies Agency (VITA) certified project manager is required or equivalent experience. For all other projects, a non‐certified project manager may be assigned. However, it is recommended that a certified project manager serve as a consultant on these projects.


Activity Schedule – the planned dates for performing schedule activities and the planned dates for meeting schedule milestones

Information Technology Project ‐ a temporary effort undertaken by the university with the primary purpose of creating a unique information technology product or service. Temporary means that the project has a definite beginning and a definite end. Unique means that the technology product or service is different in some distinguishing way from all other products or services provided.

Maintenance, Enhancement or Refresh (MER) Activity – development, migration or upgrade activity undertaken as part of the normal, on-going operation of an information technology system and that is not of such significance to be considered a system replacement or major architectural change.

Project Charter – a document that provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities.

Project Research Form (PRF ) – a list of general information questions to be completed by the project initiator and submitted to IT PMO as the basis for preliminary discussion, analysis and possible project identification and classification.

Procurement Management Plan – the document that describes how procurement processes from developing procurement documentation through contract closure will be managed.

Project Management Office ‐ provides project methodology guidance and support for the university’s IT projects. The PMO maintains Project Management Institute (PMI) or Virginia Information Technologies Agency(VITA) certification.

Project Manager ‐ assigned by the CIO and PMO and responsible for managing the project on behalf of the sponsor. Approval of the project charter authorizes the Project Manager to staff the project team, procure resources, and oversee the people and resources necessary to meet the project objectives. Project managers are responsible for reporting project status, budget, schedule and issues to the project stakeholders and the IT PMO. Every IT project must have a designated Project Manager.

Project Plan – according to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), the project plan is: “…a formal, approved document used to guide both project execution and project control. The primary uses of the project plan are to document planning assumption and decisions, facilitate communication among stakeholders, and document approved scope, cost, and schedule baselines. A project plan may be summarized or detailed.” The project plan is the planning document, capturing the entire project end-to-end, covering all project phases, from initiation through planning, execution and closure.

Project Sponsor ‐ the individual, usually part of the senior management team, who makes the business case for the project. This individual has the authority and responsibility to define project goals, secure resources, and resolve organizational issues and conflicts. The sponsor approves and provides formal sign‐off of the project deliverables and closeout report.

Project Team ‐ comprised of the individuals responsible for completing the project tasks and objectives. The team members may be assigned to the project in a full or part‐time capacity, and may report directly or indirectly to the Project Manager.

Stakeholders ‐ persons or organizations that may be impacted, positively or negatively, by the execution or completion of a project. Stakeholders may be actively involved in project activities and may influence the project outcome and deliverables. The Project Sponsor and Project Manager are responsible for identifying all stakeholders at the start of a project.

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) ‐ a deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables. It organizes and defines the total scope of the project.


Project Management Institute. 2008. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) , 4th ed. Newtown Square, PA: Project Management Institute.

Virginia Information Technologies Agency. 2013 Project Management Standard (CPM 301-01) . Chester, VA: Commonwealth of Virginia.

Supporting Information

Section 4 – governance, section 5 – standards review and maintenance.

This standard is reviewed annually by 1 July of each succeeding year.  The IT PMO or assigned designee will review the standards for accuracy and relevancy and make any necessary revisions or adjustments.

Document footers will be updated to include the date of the most revision.

The Change History matrix will be updated accordingly.

Any exceptions or changes to this process will be approved by the CIO.


Approved v1.0 March 26, 2014 by the Acting CIO

March 22, 2016: v2.0 revised and approved standard based on newly implemented Technology Portfolio Management process.

May 31, 2016: v2.1 document aligned with IT template.

Information Technology

  • IT Policies
  • IT Project Research form
  • IT Project Approval form
  • Getting Started
  • Managing a Project
  • Project Satisfaction Feedback
  • Hosted Technology Services Addendum
  • Identity Theft Prevention
  • Interoperability Security Agreement
  • IT Security Request Form
  • Protecting Highly Sensitive Data
  • Reporting Security Incidents
  • Security Awareness
  • Technology Accessibility
  • Our Departments and Offices
  • Setting Up and Using Your Mobile Device with Office 365
  • Office 365 Training

Helpful Links

New Student Info! Technology Information IT Systems Status Page

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Certification of Health IT

Health information technology advisory committee (hitac), health equity, hti-1 final rule, information blocking, interoperability, patient access to health records, clinical quality and safety, health it and health information exchange basics, health it in health care settings, health it resources, laws, regulation, and policy, onc funding opportunities, onc hitech programs, privacy, security, and hipaa, scientific initiatives, standards & technology, usability and provider burden, draft 2024-2030 federal health it strategic plan.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), released the draft 2024-2030 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan for public comment. The draft plan was developed in collaboration with more than 25 federal organizations that regulate, purchase, develop, and use health IT to help deliver care and improve patient health. 

2024-2030 Draft Federal Health IT Strategic Plan [PDF - 2.3 MB]

The draft plan defines a set of goals, objectives, and strategies the federal government will pursue to improve health experiences and outcomes for individuals, populations, and communities while also promoting opportunities for improving health equity, advancing scientific discovery and innovation, and modernizing the nation’s public health infrastructure. The draft plan also places an emphasis on addressing the policy and technology components essential for securely catering to the diverse data requirements of all health IT users. 


The final 2024-2030 strategic plan will serve as a roadmap for federal agencies and a catalyst for alignment outside the federal government. Federal organizations will be able to utilize the final plan to prioritize resources, align and coordinate efforts across agencies, signal priorities to the private sector, and benchmark and assess progress over time. 

ONC encourages review and comments on the draft plan. Please submit your comments via our feedback form . Attachments should be in Microsoft Word, Excel, PPT, or Adobe PDF format. The comment period is open for 60 days and the deadline for submission is May 28, 2024 at 11:59:59 PM ET .  

Submit Comments

Additional Information

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