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Topics: IT Project Management, PMO, Portfolio Management
When does IT 'Maintenance Work' become a Project instead?



What criteria do you use to differentiate between IT maintenance support work, and work that should be treated as a project please? Do you determine based upon effort hours, duration, number / type of resources, cost or other criteria?

I appreciate your time and opinion!

Best Regards,
Ed
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Edmund -

In most organizations I've worked with, they use one or more of the following criteria to differentiate between small break/fix/enhancements:

- Effort and/or cost
- Duration
- Magnitude of change impact on end users & other stakeholders
- Risk of change
- Level of interdependency on other projects or systems

However, in product-centric (vs. project-centric) environments, large and small enhancements as well as defects are all handled by the same team and delivered through the same releases. One of the key benefits to this is eliminating the "us & them" syndrome between Dev and Ops, fast tracking to DevOps, and increased quality as development folks know they will have to support their own "dog food". In such cases, a project is purely a funding envelope constraining what gets delivered when.

Kiron
...
1 reply by Edmund Hudon
Nov 29, 2017 11:15 AM
Edmund Hudon
...
Thanks Kiron -- would you mind sharing what your pre-determined hour breakpoints are? I'm thinking that 80 hours becomes a lowest tier project.

Thoughts?
ed



Elizabeth Harrin just published a short article related to this topic and may be helpful.

https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-pos...elivery-Manager

A project delivers something new, or as she states, delivering change. which could also include certain enhancement efforts as well. Maintenance and break/fix activities fall under support. If these efforts end up spanning over a pre-determined hours threshold, it moves into the project queue. This is only the case if it enters the support queue through a ticket submitted via the business/customer. Otherwise, an enhancement request will come through our intake process.
...
1 reply by Edmund Hudon
Nov 29, 2017 11:14 AM
Edmund Hudon
...
Thanks Andrew -- That is an interesting article.

ed



Nov 28, 2017 8:52 PM
Replying to Andrew Craig
...
Elizabeth Harrin just published a short article related to this topic and may be helpful.

https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-pos...elivery-Manager

A project delivers something new, or as she states, delivering change. which could also include certain enhancement efforts as well. Maintenance and break/fix activities fall under support. If these efforts end up spanning over a pre-determined hours threshold, it moves into the project queue. This is only the case if it enters the support queue through a ticket submitted via the business/customer. Otherwise, an enhancement request will come through our intake process.
Thanks Andrew -- That is an interesting article.

ed



Nov 28, 2017 3:39 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Edmund -

In most organizations I've worked with, they use one or more of the following criteria to differentiate between small break/fix/enhancements:

- Effort and/or cost
- Duration
- Magnitude of change impact on end users & other stakeholders
- Risk of change
- Level of interdependency on other projects or systems

However, in product-centric (vs. project-centric) environments, large and small enhancements as well as defects are all handled by the same team and delivered through the same releases. One of the key benefits to this is eliminating the "us & them" syndrome between Dev and Ops, fast tracking to DevOps, and increased quality as development folks know they will have to support their own "dog food". In such cases, a project is purely a funding envelope constraining what gets delivered when.

Kiron
Thanks Kiron -- would you mind sharing what your pre-determined hour breakpoints are? I'm thinking that 80 hours becomes a lowest tier project.

Thoughts?
ed
...
1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Nov 29, 2017 12:22 PM
Kiron Bondale
...
Hi Edmund -

I've seen it go as low as one week of effort, but it really depends on the size of the organization and the size of their resource pools.

Kiron



Nov 29, 2017 11:15 AM
Replying to Edmund Hudon
...
Thanks Kiron -- would you mind sharing what your pre-determined hour breakpoints are? I'm thinking that 80 hours becomes a lowest tier project.

Thoughts?
ed
Hi Edmund -

I've seen it go as low as one week of effort, but it really depends on the size of the organization and the size of their resource pools.

Kiron

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