Information Technology - The planning phase: setting project objectives
The Planning Phase: setting project objectives
In the planning phase broad goals for the entire project are set. In
particular, it must be determined if the entire system or only part of the
system needs to be replaced. Whilst this does not seem to be a significant
step, it is very important to the overall project. It is through the
setting of these broad system goals that the measurements of success can be
determined. That is, at the completion of the planning phase, a clear
picture of what the problem is has been established and equally important,
a clear picture of what outcome will resolve the process has also been
It should be noted here that we have not identified what needs to built
into the computer based information system. There is a very good reason for
this - at this stage it is not relevant. In the problem solving phase, the
focus is on identifying the problem and what would solve it - not how the
problem has arisen and how it should be solved. By maintaining this focus,
the solution is linked to the problem and through this a process for
solving it developed. A computer based information system should never be
created for the sake of creating it - it should be created to solve the
problem that was identified.
Too often, a computer based information system will be created but will
not solve the problem that it was intended to. This can usually be traced
back to the initial planning phase. When the outcomes to solve the problem
were established, they would focus on what the system could be made to do,
rather than what it actually needed to do to solve the problem.
Consequently the system that was built, even though it achieved its goals,
did not solve the initial problem.
The quality of the initial planning will have a significant influence on
the ability of the final product to solve the problem.
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