Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

Independent set of standards and practices for running I.T department. Details processes that should exist and what best practise is. Provides standard for I.T. departments to use for benchmarking and measuring their performance. ITIL areas cover: Financial management for I.T. department Service design Service level management Availability management Capacity management T. service continuity management Information security management Change management Service […]

Planning Tools

Tools used to support I.T. department planning, range from Excel to Project or even more specialised products. Choice depends on size and complexity of project. MS Project can link several projects together under one steering project facilitating project management. Many tools can also provide costings for the projects to assist with budgets and cost charging.

Software Management Tools

Many tools available to help manage I.T. departments, both simple and complex. Can be stand alone for specific functions or fully integrated systems covering areas such as: Code repository Asset repository Help desk Data models repository Software analysis and design repositories  

Software Development Productivity Measures

Key output from I.T. department is software, either directly written or by third party. Difficult measuring & monitoring software development productivity – no industry standard approach. Approaches include: Algorithmic Model based on historical data e.g. Constructive Cost Model (COCOMO). Comparison Compare to a similiar sized past project. Bottom Up Work Breakdown Structures (WBS) – work broken down into smallest parts, […]

Contract Management

Sources for human resources can be varied, not just directly employed employees. In such cases there will be contracts. Contracts will also exists for other areas such as: software development software maintenance network provision hardware software licences Contract costs can vary greatly and require managing with help from KPIs and performance metrics. Performance metrics may be complicated i.e. to use quality […]

Key Performance Indicators

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – valuable tool in monitoring plans. Relate to critical areas of plan that need to be monitored and managed. Specific measurements usually quantitative. Commonly displayed as a Traffic Light report, results shown in red, amber and green. Green – progressing to plan. Amber – variance to plan, need to review. Red – significant variance, need to […]

Behavioural Issues Relating to Budgeting

Problems with budgeting usually fall into following groups: Figures in budget are not actual figures, they are plans based on historical data, forecasts or human judgement. Accuracy of data could be responsibility of another business function. Preparation is managerial process requiring great deal of co-ordination. Information comes from different parts of organisation. Preparation can be time consuming and resource intensive. […]

The Need for Prompt and Relevant Corrective Action

Variance analysis attempts to identify discrepancy between actual and planned results. Adverse/unfavourable variance should be investigated – determine cause i.e. inefficiency or external factor, Inefficiency could be caused by lack of motivation or inappropriate training.  Steps should be taken to rectify issues. External factors, such as a downturn in market, are harder to accommodate. May be necessary to amend targets […]

Accounting Variance

Variance – difference between budgeted figure and actual figure. Usually at end of budget period. Can be favourable (F) or adverse (A). Favourable variances – actual figure is better than budgeted figure. Adverse variances – actual figures are worse than budgeted figures. Managers examine variances to determine how improvements can be made.

Budgeted and Actual Figures

Budgets set out in financial terms the responsibilities of executives in relation to requirements of organisations policy. Comparing actual results against budgeted results allows managers to meet the objectives of the policy or to determine necessary revisions of the policy. Budgetary controls assist managers with planning, coordinating and controlling of individuals activities and overall performance of organisation.