Christin Maur November 7, 2020 Project Management
Can Project Managers prevent projects from slipping? Ask a techie to come up with a schedule for a specific list of activities, and more often than not, he/she will present a fairly accurate estimate. Some activities might be underestimated, others overestimated, but overall, the plan will be fairly accurate. However, something happens to these estimates between the time the techie writes them down and the time the Project Manager publishes a baseline project schedule. That "something" is why projects slip.
Project Managers are all too familiar with the project triangle. We know we can shorten a schedule by either (a) reducing the scope of the project, or (b) adding more resources to it. Unfortunately, management either has not seen that triangle or, more likely than not, simply chooses to ignore it. Consequently, Project Manglers who are more interested in pleasing upper management than keeping honest have come up with their own universal algorithm for shortening project schedules. Take the number of days that need to be cut from the schedule, divide it by the number of major milestones, and then deduct that number from the duration of each milestone. In other words, if a project comprising of 4 major milestones is estimated to last 6 months, but you need to reduce it by one month, you`d take 20 days, and divide it by 4. Take the answer (5), and deduct it from the duration of each milestone. And voila! Works every time.
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!
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 First and main benefit I think of is structure. These templates show you the best way and cycle to follow to tackle an important project. There are a lot of things people have to do along with planning their project. It often happens that managers have a many other things to deal with which often causes problems. These templates give you structure and clarity. They simplify the planning process which enables a smooth process. This simple yet professional way of presenting your project is bound to impress your boss. Confidence - These templates would help you create high quality documents. This would definitely boost your confidence while planning. They would help make your work look professional. This would help your employers trust and belief in you as well.