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Agile methods quickly address the problems your users have.

  • Joan Starr, California Digital Library, Code4Lib 2007

Front-loaded project management starts out with a heavy investment in "planning" before any development begins: this sounds like a prudent approach. Stakeholders (end-users) develop lengthy and detailed lists of requests through requirements gathering techniques such as surveying, contracting, etc. to spec out the functionality they need for a new or existing business operation. A gap analysis of available solutions may even be undertaken in order to determine the actual product that will meet their need(s) to preform the new task. A project request is usually then forwarded on for review by technical and administrative staff for the creation of a project plan, where costs, hardware, software, staffing and time are calculated based on the known requirements and expected resourcing. Using both plans (the one identifying needs to address a new business function and the other developed by technical staff to provide that function), the project moves into development. Adherence to the plans are strictly enforced. In fact, changes (as managed through a "change request"), are discouraged and may result in a financial penalty. The planning stage is emphasized as the key to successful design, development and deployment. Arguably, success in a front-loaded project management approach is determined by how well a project adheres to the plan, not on the actual quality of the work or the return (value) of the finished project to the customer.


In addition to these broad, and varied definitions, there are a variety of methodologies available to organizations that wish to formalize their practice of IT governance.


UMassOnline works with a variety of stakeholders in the delivery and advancement of online education, these include: