Project Management Considerations

So, you are either considering or have submitted a Design Studio (custom) project. Software development projects are often complicated and require careful planning. An important consideration that is often overlooked when planning for a DS type project is who represents the Project Manager for your desired project completion. Think of a project manager as being responsible for knowing the who, what, when and why of a software development process, and for keeping all applicable parties informed. Depending upon the project scope, objectives and 3rd party vendor(s) potentially engaged, this process can sometimes be a challenging process. In most cases, a key to a successful project development process is to correctly identify the software project roles and responsibilities associated with your project.

Remember, a DS project represents a custom project strategy and presumes a DIY mentality. For many CU’s, the level of responsibility for managing various aspects of a DS project type are considerably different than what you may be accustomed to when having previously submitted a DIT type of project, which normally entails an Idea Form being submitted per a desired CU*BASE enhancement or fix. Historically, for these types of DIT (CU*BASE) related projects, CU*Answers has traditionally assumed a primary project management lead… it has made sense as many of these are included as part of a future CU*BASE Release. However, when talking about custom software development, the process for managing these types of projects is normally very different.

Who will assume the primary project manager responsibility?

1. If your custom project entails working directly with CU*Answers (no 3rd party vendor solution is required), and CU*Answers has been contracted to perform primary DS project design/ specs., programming development, QC testing and other management responsibilities, CU*Answers will assume the role of Project Manager and will take a primary lead in communicating directly with client as various milestones are completed (a 100% CU*A responsibility).

2. If during the project bid/ authorization process, it is defined that your CU will assume a direct responsibility for completing various DS project development steps (specs. design, programming development, QC testing, documentation writing, on-going management, etc.), your CU will be responsible for working closely with CU*A to ensure a mutual level of on-going communication is maintained throughout the project development process (a 50% client, 50% CU*A responsibility).

gantt chart

3. This is the one for which the greatest project mgt. oversight/ coordination is required – (and typically gets confusing) … if your DS project involves a 3rd party vendor interaction/ solution, the primary project management and coordination responsibility lies directly with the 3rd party vendor and CU for ensuring various steps are performed and communicating w/ CU*Answers to keep us informed. The reason for this is because the desired end result is to offer a 3rd party vendor solution, for which CU*Answers typically has little control over or relationship with. CU*Answers is simply a conduit for helping provide various the linkage required for CU*BASE to interact with a 3rd party vendor solution as defined (a 100% client/ vendor responsibility).

To summarize, our experience has demonstrated over time that the key to a project’s success often correlates directly to a clear and effective communication strategy between the parties via an effective project management effort.

We look forward to working closely with you on you Design Studio initiative!