Project Planning

Anyone considering a new database project might like to ask themselves the following questions...

Feasibility Study

  1. What are the objectives of the new system?
  2. Who takes the blame if the system does not deliver measurable business benefits?
  3. How much money actually exists in the budget for this development?
  4. Who holds the budget?
  5. Will the project make the organisation more efficient or more effective?
  6. How does the proposed system fit with the information strategy?
  7. How long will the various stages take?
  8. Who will do what?
  9. Is there an off-the-shelf alternative?
  10. Will the staff have enough time to sit and explain how the system works?
  11. Is there someone who can write down ALL the rules for transforming the data?


  1. Do we have the hardware and software to do meet our aspirations?
  2. Do we have enough expertise?
  3. Do we have all the additional equipment necessary to do the job?
  4. Where will the programmer/developer sit, Is there a spare PC?
  5. Has the IT Department told you that there are imminent changes to your soft and hardware?


  1. Who gains power and who loses it from this development?
  2. Does the project have top management approval and support?
  3. Has the IT Manager and the Network Manager been informed of your plans?

Data Protection

  1. Will the system hold data about a living individual?
  2. Which folders are actually backed up at night?
  3. Will we hold a copy of the database off site?

Physical Protection

  1. How will we stop equipment or data theft?
  2. Do we need a disaster contingency plan?


  1. Who will be on the project team and who will do their work whilst they are on it?
  2. Who will be responsible for database administration after the implementation date?
  3. Will we need a help desk?

Staff Associations

  1. How will the project affect existing jobs?
  2. How will the new idea be introduced into the organisation?
  3. Should we have a publicity policy?

Project Boards/Committees

  1. How will we make the development accountable to the organisation’s needs?
  2. At what point will the design be frozen?


  1. What standards shall we use to design and deliver the system?


  1. What are the training needs and costs?
  2. Who will write AND maintain any procedure manuals?


  1. What input to the design do the Auditors want?

E.U. Considerations

  1. Procurement/EEC Requirements – expenditure limits?
  2. Do we need to form a Euro committee?

Health and Safety

  1. Will an eyesight test for all staff be necessary?
  2. Have we bought the right chairs, footrests, and tables?

System Performances

  1. What response times do we want?
  2. How should the test data be designed?
  3. Will we try parallel running during the implementation period?
  4. Is our network up to it?


  1. What are the cost implications if the project overruns?
  2. If key staff leave or become ill, or better still, win the lottery what happens?