Birgit Kuester November 2, 2020 Project Management
Projects tend to slip for two reasons. Either Project Managers do not account for derivative activities such as vacation days when planning the overall project schedule, or they simply succumb to the pressure from management to compress the schedule. Now, present this schedule to the management team, and 8 times out of 10, the feedback you will get is "that`s too late". Eight times out of ten, you will be asked to revise the schedule and shorten it.
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.
A project in general is divided into many phases depending on the life cycle model used for it. In general, the methodology deals with the genesis of a scheme, controlling it and termination of the plan! Where it all begins! An organization begins on a project, by getting down the objectives of the customer. The requirement gathering report should be as unambiguous as possible. You do not want to give a two-story house when the client had actually asked for two storerooms in the house! Get the deal straight! Then a mandate is provided to the client, which is an official document stating the needs of the customer, for their verification.
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.
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.
When it comes to choosing tools for managing a project, there are several options that are available to you. In the past several years, many tools that were in use were general purpose tools. Nowadays, software tools have been created specifically for managing projects in specific industries. In addition, these tools are available in different types such as automated tools that could be installed on local computers or on a network server where different users can access them. There are also Web-based tools and paper-based tools, which include forms, templates and checklists.
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