IT project sizing

Use this page to identify the size of an IT project

General requirements for projects of every size are found on this matrix.  Specific requirements for tools and techniques are noted below.

Large Project

Involves many major deliverables and hundreds of tasks and activities

  • Generally takes 6-24 months
  • Generally involves a major change to one or more services (creates, retires or significantly alters an IS service)
  • Impacts all or large part of campus
  • High risk and complexity
  • Requires learning new skills or implementing new technologies
  • Multiple stakeholders with varying objectives
  • May involve one or more sub-projects
  • Cross-functional core team
  • Requires a full time project manager and a sponsor at an appropriate level
  • Typically requires a full complement of project management tools and techniques

Special requirements for large IS projects (projects managed by IS employees--project sponsors/participants may be from other organizations)

  • Assigned to a named IS project manager
  • Assigned to no more than one sponsor
  • A Project Data Sheet (PDS) must be
  • Project status must be updated on the project web page at least monthly
  • Project managers must participate in monthly project reviews with IS directors
  • Upon completion, a project retrospective must be conducted and learnings captured

Medium Project

A focused set of deliverables requiring a significant amount of work

  • Generally take 3-6 months
  • There may be multiple stakeholders who are generally in agreement on project goal
  • Some unfamiliar work may be involved
  • Involves a small team of individuals
  • Moderate risk and complexity
  • The project leader role is typically part time and may be played by a technical contributor, with assistance from a sponsor
  • Benefits from a project description document and organizational tools

Special requirements for medium IS projects

  • May be tracked at a departmental level
  • Project Management tools and templates can be used as desired and if helpful

Small Project

A series of steps with limited scope and activities

  • Generally of short duration (<3 months)
  • Normally there is only one deliverable and one major stakeholder
  • Typically require 15-20 tasks to complete
  • Typically involves familiar work and extending functions or features (does not involve learning new technologies)
  • Low risk and complexity
  • Typically lead by a technical contributor and involves limited project management or planning tools

Special requirements for small IS projects

  • May be tracked at a departmental level
  • Project Management tools and templates can be used as desired and if helpful