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Defined further, a project is a defined set of tasks necessary to achieve an established objective; management is the principle, method and technique for effective planning to meet the objective. A successful project occurs when the defined tasks reach their objectives within the budgeted amount of time and resources established at the onset of the project.

This section describes the project methodology used by ANMsoft for managing and communicating project activities between customers, management and project members. The goal of the project management methodology, developed by ANM, is to ensure that at all times a circle of communication is maintained between the customer, Management (at ANM) and Project Members. We believe that this is the most important element in implementing any project because only through continuous communication is it possible to gain the knowledge necessary to make the decisions that are necessary for the successful completion of a project.

Only through continuous communication are we able to ensure that there are no surprises. By continually communicating we are fully aware at all times of what has to done, who is doing it, how long will it take, and whether it will be on time. In order to achieve this goal ANM has developed a methodology in accordance with the guidelines set out by our internal Quality Systems model. This project management methodology we believe will allow us to attain our goal and will produce the best results for our customers.

Role of Project Manager
The ANM project manager is responsible for leading the activities of the project in accordance with the methodology outlined in project methodology manual and in accordance with the proposed solution. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Registering the project with ANM's central registration system
  • Producing and distributing the project workbook;
  • Identifying the tasks, milestones, phases and schedules for the project;
  • Identifying the people responsible for the various project roles;
  • Managing the utilization of resources;
  • Reporting the status and progress of the project both to the customer and to ANM management;
  • Resolving conflicts;
  • Managing the logging, tracking and completion of Trouble Logs (TLOGs);
  • Managing the logging, tracking and completion of Project Change Requests (PCRs);
  • Obtaining sign-off at the various project stages;
  • Producing a Post Project Report.

Process Overview
In the following illustration an overview of the implementation methodology is presented. Each box within the diagram represents a stage in the project process and will be described in the following paragraphs. The project stages "Development/Customization", "Testing", "Delivery" and "Certification" are gray-shaded as these stages belong to the development cycle. Titlehough not specifically illustrated in the process overview diagram but essential to the process are, Document Sign-Offs and Project Reporting. As part of the process, each document produced during the project must be approved and signed off by both the customer and the ANM Project Manager. This includes such items as Functional Specifications Document, Development Work Plans and Acceptance Criteria. Project Reporting is the mechanism by which the Project Manager communicates the status of the project to the customer and ANM management. By adding these two mechanisms within the implementation methodology we believe we are able to enhance the communication between the customer, ANM management, and the Project Members.

Project Registration
The first step in the process is the Project Registration. This step requires the registration of the project with the Central Registration System. ANM's Central Registration System is designed to record all projects for monitoring and tracking purposes. The objective of the Central Registration System is to maintain a central base of knowledge on all projects and to ensure compliance with ANM's project management methodology.

It is the responsibility of the Project Manager to register the project with the Registrar and to obtain a project number. A project does not become an "official project" until a Project Registration Form has been received by the Central Management System from the Project Manager. Project Managers are also responsible for updating the registration system when each project phase is completed and providing the necessary documentation to the Registrar for record keeping. In addition, Project Status Reports will be prepared for all projects on a bi-weekly basis and a status summary will be provided to all managers involved with the project. And on a monthly basis, the senior executives at ANM will be advised on the status of the project.

Project Workbook
Once the project has been registered it is the responsibility of the Project Manager to create and distribute the Project Workbook. The workbook is documentation for the customer and the project team and covers issues such as the purpose of the project, the scope, the deliverables and a description of key persons involved in the project - their roles and responsibilities.

Functional Requirements
Working closely with the customer a Business Analyst will identify and document the customers' business requirements and translate it into functional requirements. When obtaining requirements for the customization of an already developed system, the business analyst will provide the customer with a copy of the Functional Specifications of the existing system that the customer has contracted for. The business analyst will walk through the specifications with the customer as well as provide a demonstration of the system. The customer and the analyst must identify the functionalities of the contracted system that are missing or do not meet the requirements of the business. All changes to functionality of the contracted system (i.e. outside of the existing Functional Specifications) will require the customer to initiate a Project Change Request (PCR). The purpose in creating a Functional Requirements document is to gain an understanding of the problem or opportunity before seeking specific details and to provide a basis of agreement between the customer and ANM on what the software application will do. It documents the general solution that the customer is seeking and provides the basis of evolution for obtaining detailed specifications. As well, the Functional Requirements document is used to verify that all obligations been addressed. In creating a Functional Requirements document, the "big picture" is understood and then in a top-down approach the general solution is broken down into smaller components.

Functional Specifications
Evolving from the Functional Requirements document the Functional Specifications document provides details on exactly how the system, sub-systems, functions and processes will operate, how users will interact with it, what the database will contain and how system security will operate. Its purpose is to provide a detailed set of instructions or guidelines for the development of the system.
Each Functional Specifications must be signed-off by both the customer and the Project Manager before the project moves onto its next phase.

Effort Assessment & Development Work Plan
Effort assessment is the task of breaking down the development phase into sub-tasks for which development time can be determined. Based on the effort assessment a Development Work Plan is created. The Development Work Plan provides an overview of all the project phases and the relationship of one task in one phase to those in another.

System documentation is a project deliverable agreed to at the beginning of the project. Documentation such as User Reference Manuals and Operations Manuals are prepared during the development cycle and are provided to the customer when the software module is delivered. Documentation is prepared in conjunction with the testing process and the PCR process, to ensure that the manuals accurately reflect the functionality of the system.

Application Acceptance Criteria
This document sets out the terms, procedures and criteria for customer acceptance of applications. It covers the following;

  • ANM's responsibilities
  • The customer's responsibilities
  • And a demonstration of the application's compliance with Functional Specification

Test Case Scenarios
In this phase of the project the solution is tested in a number of scenarios so as to ensure that it would execute under any situation encountered by a customer.

Development Cycle (Development/Customization, Testing, Delivery, and Certification)
It is at this phase in the implementation process that the actual development, testing, delivery and certification of the system(s) are carried out. All these steps are done in accordance with the functional specifications and in accordance with the development work plan.

Trouble Logs (TLOGs) Any software problems observed during customer verification or delivery are handled by way of a Trouble Log. The following outlines the process in place to track, monitor and manage issues that arise.

  1. When an issue/problem is reported, a TLOG (Trouble Log) form is completed.
  2. The TLOG is then entered and registered in the Company's database.
  3. Once entered into the database the TLOG is given a reference number by which it is tracked.
  4. A call is then placed to the customer in order to confirm the nature of the issue/problem.
  5. Once confirmed the issue is automatically assigned to the Product Manager responsible for the product.
  6. The support staff then works to resolve the issue. More complex issues are handled directly by our Product Engineers.
  7. Once the issue/problem has been resolved, its status within the company's database is updated and the customer is contacted. For more complex issues, such as product enhancement, the solution is forwarded to our Quality Assurance group where it must be verified.
  8. The issue is only closed once the solution is received and accepted by the customer.

Project Change Requests (PCRs) Changing circumstances in the business environment often necessitate changes in projects already underway. It is essential to identify the requested change, the reason for the change and the impact on project schedules, estimates and costs. To accommodate such instances ANM provides customers with a mechanism for making changes at any time once a project has begun. The Project Change Request (PCR) is used to identify changes to the specifications of the contracted system and the effort required to bring about the changes.

All PCRs are entered and tracked on a master list called the PCR Summary Report.

ystem training is a project deliverable agreed to at the beginning of the project.

Customer Verification
At the end of each project phase or at the end of the project the customer is given a chance to review progress to verify that all of the deliverables have been addressees and that the system meets the contracted requirements, as set out in the Functional Requirements document.

Project Sign-Off
Once the project is completed the Project Manager ensures that all development issues have been completed or are closed in the perception of both the customer and ANM. This means that all deliverables have been delivered to the satisfaction of the customer. This includes software, training and documentation. When all deliverables are completed, the Project Manager initiates the Overall Project Sign-Off form. When the project is signed-off, the project manager will send a Transfer to Support letter to ANM Support Centre to inform of commencement of support services. The letter will indicate the starting date for support, the support contract and any related information. This procedure brings to an end the "project phase" at a customer site and begins the "production phase". Project Sign-Off implies that system support will now be handled through the ANM Support Centre.

Post Project Report
In addition to the Transfer to Support letter, the project manager will also complete a "Post Project Report". This report allows us to build a centralized library of project information and allows the Project Managers an opportunity to provide feedback on the implementation methodology. In using this methodology to implementation, we believe we are able to achieve;

  • Improved communication between the customer, the project members, and the management at ANM
  • Consistency and quality in delivery of project services
  • Satisfaction of expectations for project results
  • Efficient and productive use of resource
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