IT project audit check-list: the key tips for the audit process
The project’s audit is an important phase of a project rescue mission, because the results of the audit may even show that the project cannot be saved and it’s pointless to take any actions towards the rescue.
There’s no doubt that the benefits of IT project audit absolutely justify the cost of it. By the way, it’s useful to turn to IT project audit experts not only when you feel your project is going to the sink, but also when you want to perform better, but you don’t know yet, how. So in case you feel like you could make better at least one of the characteristics listed below, don’t hesitate to ask for advice already now:
- Cost efficiency;
- Balance between expectations and reality;
- End users’ satisfaction;
- Commercial business results;
The main purpose of Smartym Pro’s undertaking of IT audit is to help you meet the initial goals of the project, identify the strong sides as well as the weak spots and give recommendations on both technical and organizational (project management, business analysis) aspects. If audit is conducted at the end of the project, it can help recognize and develop commercial success factors not only for the given project, but also for all the future ones.
However, it is important to be aware of the following warnings:
- The depth of the audit is directly dependent on the time and money spent on it;
- The process of IT project audit might be distracting for those working on it;
- Negative audit results might also have a negative effect on the project team’s morale.
So, in case you might be planning to execute audit, the first question that should come up in your mind is: How to do a project audit? What exactly will the experts audit? What parts will get under investigation? Here is a check-list of the core things that will be thoroughly checked by the IT project audit experts:
- The project’s concept, the main idea and purpose – it is important that all of these are clarified and understood by all the stakeholders and all the members of the team, as well as all the end users;
- The company’s main expertise – sometimes projects fail, when, for example, a mobile software development company takes a complex Virtual Reality project. Thus it’s important to inventory the company’s service nomenclature and identify its functions to see how it corresponds with the project’s objectives;
- Technical environment – technical auditing services include observing physical equipment components, their allocation, interconnections, Internet connection, project’s test and production server environments;
- The project’s team structure – the important thing in the audit process is to identify each role in the team and make sure that every member knows exactly his/her own duties and responsibilities, and that there is enough members and/or not too many of them. Later we look at the team members’ skills and the correspondence between their professional expertise and their role in a particular project;
- Project Management – proper IT project management and team leadership is the guarantee that the right people are doing the right things at the right time;
- The project’s documentation – the statistics show that one of the most popular problems in IT projects is poor documentation or its complete absence. Good project documentation should be clear and inviting, detailed enough, up-to-date and useful. Also needless to note that all the documentation should be easy-to-find, be accessible to authorized people only, be named adequately and structurized;
- The project’s plan – an inadequate plan and/or backlog is one of the key factors of failure. When the project is being led intuitively clear plans, deadlines, acceptance criteria, clarified goals, etc. per each iteration – sooner or later the IT project will end being in chaos;
- Software development methodology – today Agile is probably existent in one form or another in every second IT company due to the popularity of the termin itself, however that doesn’t mean that the classic methodologies should be forgotten forever, in some cases Waterfall or Spiral is better to opt for;
- Costs structure – to see how many assets are being spent on every project’s aspect and the return, in the end we can come to a conclusion to redirect the expenses and as a result cut down on costs significantly in general;
- External third-party elements – all the APIs, third-party custom technologies, open-source programming code;
- UI/UX design – we dedicate an expert UX-analyst in order to investigate this particular element in order to define the weak spots and develop recommendations for improvement;
- Technology stack – maybe the problem is hiding in using technologies that are just irrelevant or not suitable for a particular project – programming languages, libraries, frameworks, technologies, IDEs etc. (for example, you might be using React Native for a complex and platform-specific project while it’ll be better to use Native development);
- Backend architecture – a software foundation of any IT project, where just a single little inconspicuous flaw can lead to huge problems in the whole system and directly intervene with its overall viability and success;
- Programming code – overall code review is a standard procedure, that any IT project should pass every once in a while at least internally.
Depending on the specifics of every given project the IT project audit guidelines can be different – with more or fewer components. However, this is the standard check-lists of things our team of audit experts examine during every IT project audit session.
Once the inspection of an element is finished, our main tasks are:
- To highlight all the influential deviations and flaws. Audit results must be maximum honest and completely unbiased;
- To analyse the reasons and the origins of these deviations;
- To give recommendations and plan together with you the actions for resolving these deviations.
The finalizing milestone of IT-project audit is an audit report, where we clarify the initial data, the step-by-step audit flow with our experts’ conclusions and recommendations per each stage and our final verdict with determined global problems and their causations as well as recommended goals.
We believe that the importance of IT project audit doesn’t appear only when there is a need for project rescue, but also whenever there are any problems, big or small, when you feel like there is an opportunity to improve the performance and overall quality, reduce costs and mitigate the risks.
Here in Smartym Pro we provide IT project audit services for projects of all sizes and domains – from ERP systems in manufacturing industries to complex blockchain products in trade finance and entertainment social media solutions.
We hope that our list to conduct successful IT audit was useful for you!
Don’t wait until your project will degrade to a state of need of emergency rescue – ask us for a free tip now on the basics of IT project audit, and we will plan our further audit actions according to the specifics of your IT solution – fill out the form below and get a free pre-audit consultation on your web or mobile development project!