Project Definition

A project is a temporary endeavor, with a set of coordinated and managed activities, undertaken by individuals (or teams) to successfully meet specific objectives within defined cost, quality, and time parameters. Projects that are managed together to maximize productivity and efficiency toward a shared objective(s) compose a program. Projects and/or programs that fall under an overarching shared strategic goal compose a portfolio.

At the University of Maryland Division of Information Technology, we have seven main source for projects:                                      

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For a more detailed view of an entire project lifecycle, see the Project Management Process Overview swimlane (PDF).

DIT's Project Management Process provides a framework that optimizes how new and enhanced technology service projects are run by the division. Following the process helps ensure roles and expectations are clear among project team members and stakeholders.

Project management focuses on three key elements: time, performance, and cost.

  • Time
    • Projects have clear start and end dates.
    • A schedule is needed to map out major tasks in a clear progression.
    • Tasks are crated by and assigned to team members.
    • Schedules can change and can be re-baselined as a project evolves.
  • Performance
    • Projects require various kinds of resources: human resources like staff, consultants, contractors, or equipment such as materials and supplies.
    • Project managers assist team members in securing the resources needed.
  • Cost
    • Projects have a budgetary target, this could be determined by the project sponsor or IT Governance.
    • Initially, the cost may be estimated in a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM),  which relies on past projects of similar nature, as well as salary estimates.
    • Project managers use cost to aid in tracking a project’s health, managing resources, and engaging in realignment(s) if project objectives change.

Successful project management has a good relationship with documentation. It is critical to ensuring that there is a record of the thought processes and collaboration needed to plan and execute rigorous work that results in high-quality products. The process is documented in complete detail in the Project Phases section of this site - as are tools and templates to help with documenting the project.

Delegated projects have been determined by their appropriate DIT director or manager to require absolute minimal time, performance, and cost. See Project Size Parameters for information to help determine whether a project can be designated as delegated.

Support for Your Project

The Office of Service Strategy is here to help! Contact dit-pm@umd.edu if you would like assistance with your project, such as:

  • A devoted project manager
  • Project manager assistance with project steps (such as schedule creation or template use)
  • An identified project manager to reach out to if questions arise