Chloe Boreham October 23, 2020 Project Management
With simple projects, a tool such as a Gantt chart may make over complicate the project scheduling. Unless all team members are trained in the tool then the use of the tool may itself lead to poor communication and an unsatisfactory result. A simple project such as those identified above may only require a timetable and/or an action plan. All those in the project team should be communicated with as to their tasks content and timing. Timetables can then be negotiated and agreed, actions lists or diaries/calendars can be used for recording and planning purposes.
The business requirements document should accurately, and in detail, describe the purpose of the project. It states what is needed to achieve that goal i.e. what is in-scope, what is out-of-scope, any assumptions that have been made, any constraints that have been imposed and expected timescales. The document will form the definitive description of the aims of the project and, as such, can be used to manage the expectations of the stakeholders. It will also include acceptance criteria that will ultimately be used to judge whether the project was a success.
Then you bring in your techies to ask them to prepare a project scope document along with a report, in which the specific technologies and the steps to carry out the plan are decided. The scope and the feasibility of it are studied and a decision on whether to take it up or to pass on the offer is made. This official document contains everything from primary goals of the scheme to the deliverables expected of it. Once the document is perused and the upper management gives it a green signal, the project is considered as taken!
Among all the tools at our disposal for managing projects, checklists are perhaps the simplest and most productive means of building consistency in work practices. Checklists are useful in almost every field of human endeavor, and in particular where repeatability and systematic action drive performance. Yet they are still much under-used in the planning and managing of projects.
All the documents prepared all along the execution of the scheme must be lucid and articulate, so that everyone in the team and the stakeholders get to understand, each and every issue of it. This is an essential ingredient for a successful project. The final issue in project management is getting the user to check on the plan and see to that they are satisfied. A disgruntled user will not only reject the plan, but would also leave a bad reputation for the organization. So assuming that the requirements are met the customer is made to sign a customer satisfaction form and then the project is declared closed. The resources used on it are released and the project manager gets a day off!
All projects have control points and required deadlines, where progress is monitored and measured. In the event that a deadline is missed then the overall impact on project completion time can be assessed, and if necessary new timetables drawn up, re-negotiated and agreed. Action Plans are lists of tasks/individual actions that are carried out to achieve a single and objective or outcome - in this case, the specific project. Action Plans focus on the achievement of a single goal, the action may then be translated in to a to-do list/diary cum calendar which cover many goals.
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