Project Analysis - What needs to be done, and how will I know when it is done?

The analysis phase is an important part of the project management process in the field of information technology (IT). This phase involves the careful examination and evaluation of the project, its goals, and its requirements, in order to develop a detailed plan for its successful completion.

Analysis is a discovery process where you continuously collect and digest information with the purpose of achieving a true understanding of the requirements. Analysis activities are focused on rapid requirement validation and on generating functional specifications. The key outputs of the analysis is answers to the following questions:

  • What needs to be done?
  • Why does it need to be done?
  • What is the expected benefit when it is done?
  • How do we know we have done it?

The sources for the analysis can be a written requirements statement, a formal vision document, and interviews with stakeholders or other interested parties. The output of the analysis depends a great deal on the type of project that is being undertaken. Analysis activities include:

  • Following up on information requirements
  • Conducting clarification meetings and reviews
  • Facilitating functional specification sessions
  • Creating functional specifications
  • Developing a business case for project

During the analysis phase, IT project managers and their teams typically conduct a number of activities, including the following:

  • Defining the project scope: This involves clearly stating the goals and objectives of the project, as well as identifying the specific tasks and activities that need to be completed in order to achieve those goals. This helps to ensure that the project stays on track and focused on its key objectives.

  • Identifying the project stakeholders: Stakeholders are individuals or groups who have a vested interest in the project, and who may be impacted by its outcome. Identifying stakeholders helps project managers to understand the different perspectives and needs of the people involved in the project, and to ensure that their concerns are taken into account.

  • Conducting a needs analysis: This involves identifying the specific needs and requirements of the project, such as the technology and resources that will be needed, the skills and expertise of the project team, and any external factors that may impact the project. This helps project managers to develop a realistic plan for completing the project.

  • Developing a project schedule: A project schedule is a detailed plan that outlines the tasks and activities that need to be completed in order to achieve the project's goals. This typically includes the timeline for each task, the resources that will be needed, and the dependencies between different tasks.

Overall, the analysis phase of successful IT project management is a crucial step in the project management process. By carefully examining and evaluating the project, its goals, and its requirements, IT project managers can develop a detailed and realistic plan for its successful completion.