Sarah Neudorf October 28, 2020 Project Management
To start we will be clear that we are not going to deal here with repetitive implementation / rollout projects where a template plan has been refined over a series of projects and becomes a standard checklist for project management (for example for COTS - commercial off-the-shelf software). This article is about those one off (or initial template try-out) projects. These projects may be within organisations small, medium and large.
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.
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.
The next phase is the execution phase. Here the project must be monitored and managed. A schedule is derived which includes work breakdown, followed by allocation of tasks to people, allocation of resources and finally setting up deadlines for tasks. It is very important to have both a short-term goal and a long-term goal. While the long term goal is to get the product done, the short goals must be imposed by the project manager, who helps in guiding and motivating the members of the team working on the plan. Two important documents namely the issue log and the risk log which are both maintained by the project manager. The issue log keeps track of issues raised by the stakeholders and the risk log considers the vulnerabilities of a system.
A detailed schedule is one of the best tools that a project manager can have. By scheduling yourself in advance to do all of the necessary management tasks, you stay much more organized throughout your project. You know exactly what you need to do to get started, what you need to do for the planning stage, and so on. Plus, before you commence work on your project, you can ask yourself: how often do I want to meet with my team? how often do I want to conduct project reviews? and schedule yourself to do these periodic tasks.
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!