Common IT Project Terminologies You Need To Know

Have you heard about IT Implementation Projects? You might remember being asked to use or adapt to a new system in your office and you might have encountered words uttered by technical people around you that left you wondering “what do those words even mean?”

Instead of Googling each of those words, we have compiled 10 of the most common terminologies you need to know (whether you are the end user or just plain curious):

1. STAKEHOLDERS

Simply put, these are the people or groups of people who are concerned with the outcome and/or the launching of a project. Internal stakeholders usually include the project team and the end users or employees, while external ones are the suppliers, donors, and even the government. In the case of the eUP Project, its stakeholders are the administrators, faculty, students and staff.

2. DELIVERABLES

This refers to the tangible outcome of a project. All kinds of projects have deliverables to produce in a form of documents, system, plans, infrastructure, service, etc. In some cases, there are internal and external deliverables depending on the type of stakeholders involved.

3. PRODUCTION INSTANCE

You may have heard this during a technical training or client meeting, but let us breakdown these compound words first. Also known as the “environment”, the term instance refers to a copy of the system. Note that there are three common types of instance created during implementation: development, test, and production. Once it’s called production instance, it becomes the environment that contains live data — as in actual data which can be used to support daily operations or actual processes.

4. “OFF-THE-SHELF”

This term is used to describe a software or hardware that is readily available in the market. It is usually cheaper and does not require customization. Think of it as RTWs (Ready-to-wear) you can buy from the mall. You just use it and no need for alterations of anything. In the world of IT, one concrete example of an off-the-shelf software is a word processor. Other off-the-shelf systems are relatively more complex and adapted by various types of businesses and institutions.

5. CHANGE MANAGEMENT

This is the process in which changes are being monitored and coordinated to all parties in order to facilitate effective outcomes. Change Management is a crucial part of any implementation project as there are changes that must be addressed and communicated thoroughly to all stakeholders. In the case of a computerization project, Change Management teams usually work closely with technical teams as they conduct orientations and stakeholder meetings for updates.

6. “GO LIVE”

It is a point in which the system becomes “operational”. You may think of this as similar to the moment when ribbon cutting happens and the building starts accepting customers, because the facilities in it are ready for use and the people are already trained to work. In the real world of IT, however, Go Live can be referred as a method and may consist of handing over the product or service to the end users, deploying the product or the actual use, and maintenance or resolving technical, financial, and other types of issue that may arise during the actual use.

7. USER ACCEPTANCE TESTING (UAT)

This is an activity conducted by the project team for the end users at the end of the implementation process. It is the point where an instance is presented to end users to determine if the system meets all the requirements according to the specifications. If there are bugs and irregularities found, these must be documented by the technical team to be properly addressed. Other people may refer to this as beta testing, end user testing, or application testing.

8. END USER TRAINING (EUT)

Once the system is accepted and deployed, EUT usually follows. This is attended by all end users, to be conducted by technical trainers. Training sessions may last from days to weeks depending on the complexity of the system and the learning curve of its end users. In some cases, EUTs are repetitive due to updates in the system and to sustain knowledge among users.

9. REPORT GENERATION

A stand alone or built-in feature of a system that allows users to create and print reports in a certain format (e.g., PDF, excel, etc.). Depending on how it is developed, report generation involves selection of data from the records to be arranged into a defined sequence in a document. Sometimes it can also allow placement of images, headers, and footers into a chart or graph. Such feature makes the end user’s life easier, since the report can be generated in a few clicks, instead of starting from scratch by entering all the data manually into each cell or field.

An example of report generation can be in a form of Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) printing using the Human Resource Information System (HRIS).

10. CONFIGURATION

This is the physical and functional characteristics of a hardware or software based on what has been stated in the technical documentation. It usually refers to what has been achieved as output of the design and if changes are needed, this is where the more serious Configuration Management comes in.

References:

http://www.dictionaryofengineering.com/definition/report-generator.html
 http://verqu.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/VerQu-PM-Common-Terminology.pdf
 https://www.techopedia.com/definition/3887/user-acceptance-testing-uat
 http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/it-consultant/it-project-management-terms-you-should-know/
 http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/COTS.html
 http://www.change-management-coach.com/definition-of-change-management.html

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