Is there such a thing as an IT project?

The South Yorkshire Branch would like to thank The Training Foundry for generously sponsoring this event.

Thursday 18 March 2010, 5.30pm - 7.30pm

Simon Geller, University of Sheffield


Business as usual is carrying on, as usual, but current processes are failing to deliver the required services to customers, and the call goes: “We need a new system”. Someone calls the IT department. The IT dept will have a Project Manager, to draw up a risk assessment, utilise their MS-Project skills to create a Gantt chart, arrange meetings, ensure resources are allocated, monitor progress, write reports, ensure the product gets delivered, and walks away, job done.

People find that despite the new system processes are still failing. Half the people have abandoned the new system and gone back to their old ways. The half using the new system find that it doesn’t do what they thought it would. When they ask for changes they find there is no-one to do the work. Eventually the system is abandoned. A lot of time and money has gone down the drain, even though the project was, at handover, deemed a success.

This presentation suggests some ways you can avoid the scenario described above, by looking at the project from more than just an IT point of view, with some examples from the project environment at the University of Sheffield.


Simon Geller is a Senior Project Manager at the University of Sheffield in the Projects and Programme unit.

Having graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in Communication Studies, he worked for the Travel Industry, then ran his own computer business, before becoming employed by Sheffield University. The University had recognised a lack of formal project management methods and Simon became part of the Projects and Programme unit, a small team within the Corporate, Information and Computing Services (CICS) department. Simon has worked to deliver several projects for the University, eg On-Line Timetables, a Virtual Learning Environment, Shibboleth Access Management. He is interested in the environmental impact of HE and its IT Projects.


PDF Icon Is there such thing as an IT Project? - Simon Geller