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HERMES is a project management method for projects in the context of information technology, the development of services and products, and the changing of organizational structures. HERMES supports the steering, management, and execution of projects of a varying nature and complexity. As a method, HERMES is clearly structured and simple to understand with a modular, easily expandable design.

The following describes the essential elements of the HERMES method and how they interact.


Scenarios

An organization usually has different types of projects to carry out. The projects can vary considerably in terms of content and complexity. To cope with this diversity, HERMES offers different scenarios. Each scenario is designed to deal with projects of a specific nature. It has exactly those method elements of HERMES which are of importance for the project in question. This makes HERMES efficient and easy to use.


The project manager chooses the scenario that corresponds to his or her project, on which the project is then planned.

HERMES provides a number of standard scenarios such as for the procurement and integration of a standard IT application, the establishment of an IT infrastructure, or the development of a new service or product.

HERMES users can adapt a standard scenario to the needs of their organization and create additional, individual scenarios.

Individual scenarios can also be made available to other HERMES users by submitting them to eCH (e-Government Standard) for validation.


Modules

Modules are reusable components for creating scenarios. A module contains the tasks, outcomes, and roles within a given topic area. These are assigned to phases and milestones.

 

For instance, the Project Steering module contains the tasks and outcomes of project steering. This enables the project sponsor to see clearly which tasks and outcomes are his or her responsibility.

HERMES users can create additional modules and integrate them into their individual scenarios.

Phases and Milestones

The phase model constitutes the backbone of the project. It provides the framework that enables all those involved in the project to understand how the project is to be carried out. This is an important pre-requisite for the successful development of cross-organizational projects. 

 

Projects are carried out using a standardized four-phase model. The project starts in the initiation phase with the Project Initiation Order milestone and finishes towards the end of the Deployment phase with the Project Closure milestone.

There are milestones at the beginning and at the end of each phase. Individual scenarios can also have additional milestones. Depending on the scenario, there are additional milestones. They represent quality gates where decisions are made about outcomes and actions to be taken. At the same time, compliance is ensured with the strategic goals and requirements of the core organization.

Throughout the phases, reports are compiled periodically in accordance with the requirements of the core organization. 

Roles

HERMES distinguishes between the roles of the core organization and the roles of the project organization and defines their interrelationships.

 

Every role of the project organization has a role description. This defines the responsibilities, the scope, and the skills needed for the role.

Every role of the project organization is assigned to one of the three hierarchical levels: Steering, Management, or Execution.

A project organization has three partner groups: users, developers, and operators. Every role is assigned to one or more partner groups.

The figure below shows a minimum project organization with its roles of project sponsor, project manager, and specialist. HERMES has defined various other roles which can be used as needed.

Tasks

The tasks are used to achieve outcomes.

 


Every task has a task description. This determines how to proceed in general as well as the activities undertaken to achieve the outcomes.

Every task is assigned a role which determines who is responsible for handling it.

Roles of the same topic area are grouped into modules and assigned to phases.

Outcomes

The outcomes are at the heart of HERMES.

 

Every outcome has an outcome description. Many outcomes have document templates which describe them in more detail.

For every outcome roles are assigned. These indicate who is involved in achieving the outcome in question. 

Minimum outcomes are defined in order to meet the requirements of project governance.

Outcomes in the same topic area are grouped into modules and assigned to the tasks and phases.

User Information

The user information describes specific aspects of HERMES.

It forms the basis for a fundamental methodological understanding, e.g. with regard to governance and sustainability.

In addition, it demonstrates how HERMES should be applied in specific situations and helps reduce the scope of how information is interpreted, e.g. in agile development or in the application of HERMES in programs.