A TEI Project Manager is assigned to each engagement by the project executive. The project manager directs all project resources and is the single point of project communications with the client. Our Chief Software Architect, sometimes assisted by an architect assigned specifically to a large project, is responsible for the technical direction and decisions on the project. When the client has in-house technical staff available, the Chief Software Architect works closely with them to assure seamless design and deployment of the application.
Depending on the size and complexity of the project, team leaders are assigned by management for areas such as requirements analysis, design, development, and testing.
Client personnel is often included on project teams to reduce project development costs, and to develop in-house skills that will be helpful in supporting and maintaining the completed system.
For large projects, a TEI Project Executive serves as Program Manager, communicating directly with client top executives on overall satisfaction with project design and progress. Project executives are usually senior managers with over twenty years of information technology experience, specifically in application development.
Based on the size and scope of individual statements of work, team leaders are assigned to various project areas such as requirements analysis, design, development, and testing. These team leaders are primarily IT professionals whose capabilities and strengths are well understood.
Our standard project management methodology includes project planning and tracking. The steps below are the responsibility of the TEI Project Manager and outline our approach, showing key planning and tracking milestones:
• Document project objectives
• Document methodology to be used
• Record in detail the project scope and assumptions
• Obtain agency approval
• Conduct a kickoff meeting with management and team members
Milestone: Approved Project Definition Document
Develop Integrated Project Plan
• Tasks and milestones
• Start and end dates
• Assigned resources, including TEI, subcontractor, and agency
• Task dependencies
• Agency approval
Milestone: Approved Project Plan
Perform Project Management and Tracking
• Conduct weekly status meetings with management and project team
• Resolve deviations in the project plan with agency management
• Perform issue, change, and risk management
• Produce monthly status reports
• Provide quality assurance – quarterly review of project controls by senior level executives
Deliverables: Monthly Status Reports
A Monthly Status Report for the client details the actual progress of tasks compared to planned progress in the approved project plan. For tasks that are behind schedule, agreed upon corrective actions are included. A summary of issues, changes, and risk management activities are included. Also, a summary of project hours expended during the previous month, compared to hours planned, is prepared for review.
In the process of pricing a proposal for a client’s Statement of Work, TEI estimates the number of hours by category needed to satisfy a particular requirement. In the Project Planning step of our methodology, we develop a detailed Project Plan containing tasks, resources, and the number of hours planned by resource for each task.
Once work begins on the project, resources will report their actual hours worked by the task to the Project Manager. The Project Manager then tracks these actual hours in the Project Plan and produces reports comparing actual hours usage to planned usage. The Project Manager will resolve variances between actual and planned hours with project team members and the client.
A key part of our process is the development of a Project Schedule. In the Project Planning phase of our methodology, we develop detailed project plans, breaking the estimated schedule into detailed tasks and milestones. At project inception, team members begin reporting Task Starts and Completions to the Project Manager weekly. The Project Manager enters the actual Starts and Completions into the Project Plan tool, producing reports that compare actual dates with planned dates. The Project Manager then resolves variances between actual and planned dates with project team members and the client.
Problem Tracking & Resolution
The TEI methodology includes Issue Management. During the project kick-off meeting, the TEI Project Manager distributes an issue form used to report issues or problems. The issue form can be completed by any stakeholder in the project and returned to the Project Manager, who tracks reported issues in a summary log.
It is the Project Manager’s responsibility to conduct weekly meetings to review the status of issue resolution. The meeting is usually attended by key project team members and any agency representative designated by the client. Any issue resolution requiring a change to the Project Plan, or other project baseline document, is subject to the Change Control process. A summary of issue management activities is always included in the Monthly Status Report created for this project.
Risk Assessment & Management
The TEI methodology includes Risk Management. Once work begins, the Project Manager schedules a meeting or series of meetings to initiate the Risk Management process. The meeting is attended by key project team members and client personnel.
The purpose of the meeting is to identify future events that could impact the successful completion of the project. Once identified, a contingency plan is adopted for each risk event based on the impact of the risk and the likelihood of its occurrence. Upon completion and approval by the client, this information becomes the Risk Management Plan for the project. The Project Manager then schedules periodic meetings to review and modify the plan throughout the project.
Statement of Work Staffing
At the time the TEI proposal is developed for a particular Statement of Work, the staffing needs of the project are determined. During proposal development, key resource assignments are made such as the Project Manager, analysts, and software developers. Team members are generally assigned based on their skill match to the assigned tasks.
Monthly Status Reporting
A Monthly Status Report for the client is produced showing actual progress of tasks compared to planned progress in the approved Project Plan. For tasks that are behind schedule, agreed upon corrective actions are included. A summary of the issues, changes, and risk management activities is included. A summary of project hours expended compared to hours planned is also included.
Quality assurance takes two forms in the TEI methodology. First, the Project Executive provides periodic reviews and oversight of the project controls in place to ensure a successful project outcome. Second, our Technical Services methodology contains steps to ensure the quality of the deliverables and work products. These steps include oversight by our Chief Software Architect, peer code reviews, unit and system testing, and user acceptance testing
At the time our proposal is developed for a particular Statement of Work, we determine the necessity of specialized skills, if any, to satisfy the requirements of the project. If specialized skills are needed beyond those of our full-time IT professionals, a subcontractor may be included in the proposal. In this case, TEI assumes complete responsibility for all services offered in the proposal, whether provided by us directly or by the subcontractor. TEI will be the sole point of contact with regard to contractual matters, including payment of any charges. TEI will also be responsible for all deliverables.
The TEI Project Manager will manage the work effort of any subcontractors. The Project Plan will include all tasks assigned to the subcontractor. All project management activities such as project planning, tracking, issues, changes, risk management, and project reporting, will include the subcontractor work effort as an integrated project component. The TEI Project Manager serves as our single point of contact for project communications with the client for all project matters, including those relating to subcontractor work effort.