IT projects management is a process of scheduling, organizing and defining various responsibilities for achievement of IT goals of an organization, while civil engineering is consider as a discipline of professional engineering which deals with the plan, formation and protection of natural and physical construction environment that include works like bridges, dams, roads and buildings. The present report will discuss about the similarities and differences of civil engineering and describe the waterfall approach in project management. Moreover, the report is going to discuss about the methodology of waterfall approach and also explain different techniques and tools which are not suitable to manage IT projects. Further, study will explain the evolution of agile approach to manage IT projects and also analyse the critically and suitability of agile approach to manage IT projects (Abrahamsson.et.al, 2010).
The major similarities among the IT projects and civil engineering projects are that they both are considered to be proper collection of required equipment’s and tools to be used for designing IT projects and civil engineering projects. IT projects could be used in various businesses of civil engineering for improving the effectiveness of construction projects and for achieving desired goals in a proper timeframe.
There are a lot of difference among characteristic and nature of IT projects and civil engineering. The civil engineering mainly works to build various construction projects like buildings, homes, roads etc. while IT projects are mainly works for new and innovative technology for achievement of business goals in a proper way. IT projects mainly works with different type of hardware and software programs. But the project of civil engineering mainly focuses on physical involvement in the development projects. IT projects have wide information management system and different type of flexibility operations and activities. IT projects use different mechanism for designing and planning of the projects of company (Adenowo and Adenowo, 2013). Whereas, the project of civil engineering mainly creates the special design for columns, roof, slab, beams, roads and load calculation foundation of construction work.
The waterfall approach is a sequential method of software development. The waterfall approach is considered as the most efficient approach of project management in civil engineering. This approach helps the organization to maintain the level of project in construction industry. This approach stated that the civil projects required huge capitals or money as they are essentially required in this type of construction projects. This approach provides sequence to the organization in relation to project maintenance and development (Gartner, 2010).
According to this approach, the project follows a well-managed development of projects from one stage to another stage. The levels of waterfall approach of project development helps the organization to have a proper plan for project management and pursued it in an effective way. This method helps to collect different information and requirements which are essential to manage the project.
A common waterfall project follows a specific plan in which the model is used to specify the time frame. It will be used to decide the architect of the project and maintenance. Then according to the model the construction will start in a proper manner. This approach also helps the construction project as it specifies the needs and requirements and also it solve architecting problems that appears in construction project (Gartner, 2010). In the present time, waterfall approach is mainly used along the software projects and it consists of various stages and each stage provides measures and controlled outputs for the project. Moreover, waterfall approach provide different specifications of needs and requirements and it also helps to validate all the stages in a succeeding way to determine that the project fulfil needs and requirements of the project. It is a linear model, so it is very easy to implement the model in construction projects and for achieving the target in a proper time frame.
The traditional sequential methodologies for project management are based on waterfall model. In the waterfall model, the product life cycle is divided into several phases and the completion of one phase will trigger the execution of the next phase. Thus the progress follows in the form of a waterfall.
Figure 1: Waterfall Model
The important feature of waterfall methodologies is that all the requirement analysis and the designing is done prior to the development. Some of the well known methodologies based on waterfall model are PRINCE2 and PMI PMP. PRINCE2 was developed by the government of United Kingdom for the management of projects in public sector. PMI PMP is more popular and is used internationally.
The main feature of waterfall is that all the phases are pre-planned and defined in a sequence. This model is the easiest to implement; however any change in the requirement of the customers will lead to change in task sequence and as a result would lead to several changes which could be complex to manage for the project management team (Gartner, 2010).
1. Complex projects do not follow the sequential flow and as a result the changes could be difficult to manage.
2. The customers are often confused about the requirements and freezing the requirement could take long time. Since the next phase is dependent on the requirement phase, hence it could lead to overall delay in the project
3.The designers designing the solution often fail to foresee the issues related to a design and hence needs to make changes later. Due to the changes, the project management team has to go back a phase or two which could lead to increase in the budget of the projects (Gartner, 2010).
4.Currently there are models like Scrum and Agile which are flexible and adaptive and as a result are more appropriate then waterfall to manage the IT projects.
The tools that are being used by project managers for normally managing the projects within Invercargill Company could be through a variety of IT projects that company has been contracted for each year for meeting their fiscal aspirations. These are as follows:
The main purpose in relation to work breakdown structure is to carry out the planning process by project managers for breaking down their key tasks into more manageable and smaller units of work. Under this process cost breakdown structure can be laid down in order to list various items that can be classified and its expenditure for the project, so that a more detail estimate in relation to cost or expenditure can be carried out (workbreakdownstructure.com, 2014). This tool is used for carrying out allocation and delegation of responsibility for accomplishing various tasks that can be controlled through a greater accountability. Work breakdown structure also helps in improving the resource planning and efficiency of how the resources are consumed. For example: In this regard accurate forecasts in relation to project staffing can be undertaken for appropriate saving of cost.
It is seen to be a time chart proposed in the period of 1917 by Henry Gantt. A Gantt chart is seen to be a horizontal bar chart prepared for carrying out appropriate project scheduling. Under this tool each activity is seen to be a task that is depicted as a block over time. In this respect actual performance can be recorded in a real time and is efficient for carrying out comparison of planned deadlines in order to complete a project. Gantt chart can be used within Invercargill business for planning time scale of a project and for estimating the resources required (Gantt.com, 2012). Even it helps in undertaking appropriate planning, coordinating and tracking specific task in relation to a project. The examples of a Gantt chart that can be used by a project manager of Invercargill organization for carrying out their project operations are as follows;
Figure 2: Example of a Gantt chart
In a case where projects are lengthy and complex under that circumstances Gantt chart are seen to be a poor time management tool. It is particularly seen in the large projects that are of higher interdependency between various tasks. For example: In some case a project activity cannot be started until the first activities are not finished. Thus, under such a circumstances Gantt chart are seen to be less desirable as they do not display interdependencies. In such a situation critical path analysis is seen to display more logical sequence and timing of each activity. They have been communicating interdependency and is seen to be more of effective time management tool for carrying out a complex projects (Mind Tools, 1996). Even this tool is seen to be a good visual communication and planning tool for carrying out effective management of time. Further, also displays clear interdependent relationships that exist between various activities or tasks to be accomplished. The example of a critical path analysis is as follows;
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