Project Management Best Practices: An Introduction to COBIT

Managing Holistically

Each delivery phase of the implementation will be a multi-threaded program touching many parts of the organization. While there is no “one size fits all solution,” successful implementations of frameworks such as COBIT share some common characteristics, notably:

· A vocal and visible project sponsor capable of taking the “Why are we doing this?” message to all levels of the organization.

· A project team with subject matter experts who are truly representative of the business, and are empowered to make decisions.

· Excellent communications planning and execution.

· A focus on delivering framework components within the agreed timelines. This may mean establishing basic-level processes, controls and metrics around an area, rather than trying to implement every detailed requirement. There is always room for process improvement in later phases.

Make use of technology solutions to automate controls, processes, metrics and audit tracking wherever possible, but be aware that the technology itself does not offer a “silver bullet”. In order to be successful, the organization must want to change. This goal must also be reinforced by rewarding the new behaviors. Take the organizational and individuals’ culture and motivation into account when performing the implementation.

COBIT is a framework for IT governance, and there are a number of solutions that can be leveraged to deliver a high-level COBIT “dashboard,” and provide integrated support to the underlying processes and controls defined as part of that framework. Typically, an integrated dashboard would be implemented. This provides configurable support for controls and metrics, and at its most basic level can also capture information on desired maturity and current levels (and trends) for each of the process areas.

Benefits of Leveraging Best Practices

Best practices span solution implementation methodologies, guidelines on process alignment, reference architectures, configuration recommendations, performance tuning advice, and end-user training (onboarding). These best practices should be used in every implementation and in doing so, time to value is reduced and user adoption increases. Both of these factors are hugely critical to the success of PMBOK, PRINCE2 and COBIT implementations across the organization.

For more on Project Management go to Project Manager

Haydn Thomas brings more than 15 years of experience implementing enterprise-wide project management systems to his position as a certified architect of CA Clarity PPM software. Most recently, Haydn has been responsible for overseeing CA Clarity PPM r8 upgrades within some of CA’s marquee financial, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, it and public sector customers.

Julie Tilke has worked in the areas of project portfolio management and ITG governance for over 20 years. Initially working on process and techniques for project management (PROMPT and later PRINCE), Tilke developed an interest in the developing technologies to support these new implementation approaches. After a five-year stint with Softlab managing its U.K. consulting and training practices, she took time out to manage the European delivery team of a small systems integrator.