IT Best Practices : Management, Teams, Quality, Performance, and Projects book cover
1st Edition

IT Best Practices
Management, Teams, Quality, Performance, and Projects

ISBN 9781138374560
Published September 18, 2018 by Auerbach Publications
355 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Consistent success does not happen by chance. It occurs by having an understanding of what is happening in the environment and then having the skills to execute the necessary changes.

Ideal for project, IT, and systems development managers, IT Best Practices: Management, Teams, Quality, Performance, and Projects details the skills, knowledge, and attributes needed to succeed in bringing about large-scale change. It explains how to incorporate quality methods into the change management process and outlines a holistic approach for transformation management.

Detailing time-tested project management techniques, the book examines management skills with a focus on systems thinking to offer a pragmatic look at effecting change. Its comprehensive coverage spans team building, quality, project methodology, resource allocation, process engineering, and management best practices. The material covered is validated with references to concepts and processes from such business greats as Dr. Deming, Jack Welch, and Henry Ford. Readers will learn the history behind the concepts discussed along with the contributions made by these great minds.

The text supplies an awareness of the factors that impact performance in today’s projects to supply you with the real-world insight needed to bring about large-scale change in your organization. Although it is geared around change, most of the concepts discussed can be directly applied to improve efficiencies in your day-to-day activities.

Table of Contents

Acquiring Knowledge
Content Material

Management Best Practices
Problem Solving
Decision Making
Ability to Influence the Organization
     Meetings for Informational Purposes
     Meetings to Sell an Idea or Get Approval
     Meetings to Gather Information
Improving Management Best Practice Disciplines
Bad Management Practices

Five Disciplines of System Thinking

The Effects of Management on Subordinates

Management Types
Manager of Maintenance Work
Technical Manager
Project Manager
System Resource Manager

Crisis Management

Jack Welch and Management

Robert Greenleaf and Servant Leadership

Management Wrap-Up

Business Model

High-Performance Teams
Defining High-Performance Teams
HPT Member Classification
HPT Characteristics
High-Performance Team Life Cycle

Introduction to Definition of Quality
Generalist versus Specialist
Tasks Grouping and Quality
Reporting Quality and Performance
Measuring Quality and Performance

W. Edward Deming, Father of Quality
Continuous Quality Improvement
Theory of Constraints

Process Engineering

Lean Management

Six Sigma

Workplace Efficiencies and Distraction
Instant Messaging
Controlling Workplace Inefficiencies
Getting Started for the Workday


Contractor Behavior
Contractors for Knowledge
Contractors for Filling a Resource Void
Using Contractors Successfully
Overseas Contractors
Effects of Defects
Causes of Defects

Knowledge Acquired So Far

Project Selection Criteria

Project Characteristics
Project Success versus Failure
Law of Cause and Effect
Identifying the Cause

Effects of Project Failure

Controlling Failure

Project Methodology

Project Phases
Analyzing (Solution Scoping)
Summary of Testing Steps

Factors That Affect Projects
Project Estimates and Staffing

Project Methodology
Spiral Project Methodology
Extreme Programming (XP)
Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
     Functional Modeling
     Design and Build
Feature-Driven Development Method (FDD)
     Develop Overall Model
     Build Feature List
     Plan by Feature
     Design by Feature
     Build by Feature
Cowboy Development Method
Learning about Spiral
Linear Project Management
Linear Waterfall—Crashing the Timeline
     Law of 20–80
Linear versus Spiral
     Spiral Strengths
     Spiral Weaknesses
     Linear Strengths
     Linear Weaknesses
Working Environment

Project Management Improvement
Knowledge Areas of a Project
     Scope and Integration
     Human Resource Allotment
     Problem Solving
     Influencing the Organization
     Decision Making
Project Sizes and the Amount of Form and Art Needed
Small Project Characteristics
     Areas Affected
     Simple Design and Development
          GOOD: Project manager leads the project
          BEST: Technical manager or leader leads the project
Medium Project Characteristics
     Areas Affected
     Design and Development
          BAD: Technical manager or leader leads the project
          GOOD: Project manager is assigned without a technical lead or technical manager
          BEST: Project manager leads with a technical lead assigned
Large Project Characteristics
     Areas affected
     Complex and Difficult Design and Development
          BAD: Project manager leads the project with a technical lead assigned
Never Assume, Always Validate



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Tom Witt has a B.S. in mathematics, with a minor in coaching, from the University of Wisconsin–Platteville. He has worked in the information technology (IT) environment for almost 30 years. Early in his career, he moved into management for 14 years before entering the project world, in which he has held the titles of office automation manager, project manager, technical manager, technical lead, architect, and system analyst. Most of Tom’s experience has been in the insurance industry in addition to three years in the magazine fulfillment business and three years at an institute of higher education.

Tom has worked on a wide range of projects; he has been a part of the development of new mainframe systems, new web systems, and vendor-purchased imaging systems and system remote workers across the country as well as part of a small team that reengineered a business division for a major insurance company. Many of the projects on which Tom has been involved have affected changes—as many as 200 different systems—throughout the entire enterprise. Tom has acquired knowledge not only through personal experiences but also from outside sources such as external consultants, seminars, books, and a personal network of people. More importantly, he was put into many different types of project and situations that allowed him to apply the many different concepts and knowledge acquired to see the results from a front-line perspective.