Process and Information Mandala
Process and Information Mandala

IT Projects try to synthesize the real world of process and information as programs and data, the mandala expresses the interaction of these basic concepts.


Project 21 is a methodology for IT Projects, the stages and streams of Project 21 are designed to be usable as a set of freestanding tasks or to complement existing project methodologies. These tasks are lightweight and adaptable, and intended to guide, rather than prescribe, courses of action. The intention of Project21 is to describe the essentials of the process of realizing user requirements as a useful IT solution.

This site,  the guide to Project 21, includes templates and a simple methodology for software development. The components of the guide taken as a whole form an end-to-end process, the tasks of the guide have artifacts that are inputs and outputs that come from, and go into other tasks; some artifacts may be used internally within a task, such as progress reports for project planning. There are no supernumerary artifacts, every artifact has a purpose in the overall process.

There is more to an IT project than the process of creating software and this is the area of general project management. The guide is intended to complement existing project management techniques, not to compete with good practice. The guide presents a flexible process which will suit flexible, participatory, project management techniques. and presents a matrix of tasks that represent a full IT project life cycle. Some tasks are more readily used in a free standing fashion, such as estimation. Often a project is started with the assumption that later stages will clarify the project process, this often happens with specification and testing, the guide provides components that have methods and templates to help build the development process.

In summary the guide provides a process for running an IT project, with tasks specified for the various stages and streams. The guide can be used in whole of in part; however when using parts of the guide be aware of the need to match the inputs and outputs to the methods. Conventional project planning often focuses on the outputs of project tasks, the guide adds a focus on good input to tasks to achieve good outcomes.

The guide describes seven stages of an IT Project

  1. Project Definition
  2. Conceptual Analysis
  3. Logical Design
  4. Physical Design
  5. Component Construction
  6. System Testing
  7. Acceptance

These stages contain tasks which are divided into seven streams

  1. Governance
  2. Architecture
  3. User Interface
  4. Process
  5. Data
  6. Testing
  7. Documentation
The matrix of Project 21 stages and streams
The matrix of Project 21 stages and streams

It should be noted that the tasks are structured to allow incorporation with preferred development techniques and project methodologies such as Agile and PRINCE2.