project management plan

www.free-management-ebooks.com All Rights Reserved PROJECT MANAGEMENT PLAN CHECKLISTThe project management plan is a comprehensive document that defines each area ofyour project. The final document will contain all the required plans you need tomanage, monitor and implement your project. Your plan must also describe thedeliverables and benefits it brings to the organization.The introduction to the plan provides a high-level framework and summary of theproject objective. The remainder of the plan is made up of a series of plans that areapplicable to each functional area.For example: Project Team Management (Human Resources) Scope Schedule (Timeframe & Milestones) Budget Quality Risk Communications Contract & Supplier ManagementIn the case of smaller projects, this plan can serve as a self-contained planningdocument. However, in larger projects it makes more sense to create a series ofsubordinate plans for each functional area (scope, budget, schedule, risk, quality,human resources, etc).Using the project plan as a parent plan that refers to these subordinate plans preventsit from becoming too lengthy and complex. The following outline provides a goodfoundation for a project management plan but you will need to use your own judgmentabout which sections to use and how much detail to go into. Project Management Plan Checklist www.free-management-ebooks.com All Rights ReservedProject Management Plan Checklist www.free-management-ebooks.com All Rights ReservedMANAGEMENT SUMMARYThis section should explain the business background to the project, what the projecthopes to achieve and what the intended outcome will look like. This information shouldalready exist in the business case, project charter and the preliminary scope statement.It is important that project objectives are stated in a clear and measurable way so thatwhen the project is completed there can be no argument about whether or not it hasachieved these stated objectives. Many projects fail because the objectives are notmeasurable and the language used to describe them means different things to differentstakeholders.For example, the objective:Resolve 75% of billing queries during first customer call is clear andmeasurable,whereas,Improve how customer billing queries are handled is not.The objectives must be clear enough so that the project can be measured against themonce completed. Most of this information should already exist in the business case,project charter and the preliminary scope statement.The purpose of this plan should be to describe how and when a projects objectives areto be achieved, by showing the major products, milestones, activities and resourcesrequired on the project. It should also document project team roles and responsibilities,and the governance structure of the project.These are the products and services that the project will deliver rather than the projectmanagement deliverables (other plans and documents), which are detailed below. Thisinformation should already exist in the business case, project charter and thepreliminary scope statement.Project Management Plan Checklist www.free-management-ebooks.com All Rights ReservedHUMAN RESOURCES (HR) MANAGEMENTThis section defines the people that make up the project team, both in terms of skillsand knowledge. The composition of the whole project team will change over the lengthof the project as resources alter to match the project phase. But it is important to havecore of individuals that are committed throughout the project and have the correct levelof management, planning, organizing, monitoring and communications skills.This section needs to consider the following:Developing the HR Plan is where you define the type of skills and knowledgeyou require for your project team members and represent this in a projectorganization chart. The project activities will provide you with a list of thenecessary skills and level of responsibility you need for each phase or workpackage of the project. It will also identify if there are any training requirementsand create a timetables of when, who and how long an individual will be releasedto the project time.Acquiring Project Team identifies the manner in which you will acquire thenecessary individuals for the project in a timely fashion. Where specialistresources are required the project manager will negotiate the release of suchindividuals with their functional managers or liaise with agencies to provide peopleto interview in advance.Developing and Managing the Project Team this is the process where theproject manger builds a competent team, one that is based on trust, open andhonest communications. The project manager must create an environment thatencourages a collaborative way to solve problems and make decisions. Conflictsand differences of opinion will occur throughout the project and it is essential thatthe project manager deals with these instance in a constructive and objectivemanner.Project Management Plan Checklist www.free-management-ebooks.com All Rights ReservedCOMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENTThe need for good and appropriate communications between the project manager andproject stakeholders is critical for the success of any project. Understanding theimportance and influence of each stakeholder enables you to define the appropriatedepth and frequency of communication you have with that person throughout theproject.This section defines the lines of communication and the methods to be used. In otherwords what should be communicated, and to whom. This may seem unnecessaryduring the planning phase of a project but focusing on the importance ofcommunication at this stage will eradicate serious problems later on that could resultfrom too much or too little communication.The ease of sending emails and attached documents means that that there is a realrisk of over-communication. This results in team members becoming snowed underwith largely irrelevant emails. To avoid this, the ultimate goal of communicationsmanagement is to ensure that stakeholders receive the information they need to knowat the appropriate time and at the appropriate level of detail.This section should identify what they each role is responsible for communicating, howoften they need to communicate, what communication tool and medium to use and anyspecific triggers for communication. This section needs to consider the following:Planning Communications details the communications the project manger willhave with each stakeholder and within the project team. This needs to include theformat (email, memo, etc), level of detail, urgency and content for eachcommunication along with a defined frequency. Within any project there is acontinual need to keep everyone involved updated, so different individuals will beresponsible for certain types of communication.Distributing Information this describes how you will actually distributeinformation appropriately to interested parties during the project. This can takemany forms, e.g. email, phone, text, web conferences, intranet, presentations,reports etc.Project Management Plan Checklist www.free-management-ebooks.com All Rights ReservedCOMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT CONTINUEDManaging Stakeholder Expectations having a clear understanding of yourstakeholders expectations will enable the project manager to communicate witheach in a way that addresses their concerns and interests when wanting toresolve issues. There are certain documents that any alterations to the projectneed to be recorded in to ensure your stakeholders are up-to-date. These are thestakeholder register, issue log and if appropriate the stakeholder managementstrategy.Reporting Performance this section defines the style of reporting to be used,often this is a simple traffic light system to report the status of different activities orwork packages. Stakeholders are usually most interested in how actual eventscompare to the forecast and the Earned Value method (EVM) is a popular way todo this.Project Management Plan Checklist www.free-management-ebooks.com All Rights ReservedSCOPE MANAGEMENTMany project mangers use the project charter scope statement as a basis for thissection, which must define, communicate and gain agreement on the exact details ofthe project. This process helps to avoid confusion arising between the project membersand stakeholders that cause delays, increased costs, re-works or any other unintendedconsequences.This section needs to consider the following:Documenting Requirements this is where you define your customers or endusers needs and expectations. You will use the high-level requirements outlinedin the project charter as a basis and then incorporate the interest of your projectsstakeholders. These will be listed in the stakeholder register. There are severaltechniques, such as, interviews, facilitated workshops, questionnaires, surveys,prototypes etc. that you can use to collate your project requirementsDefining the Scope details the activities that must be completed to ensure theproject deliverables are achieved. You must define exactly what is excluded fromyour scope so that stakeholder expectations are set appropriately. This sectionneeds to define the exclusions, constraints and assumptions made for the project.You must list all the management reports and documents you will produce duringthe project. You also need to define what your projects acceptance criteria willbe so that everyone involved knows what constitutes a completed project.Creating the Work Breakdown Structure shows how you will break down yourproject deliverables into manageable chunks of work, this is known asdecomposition. You continue to breakdown each deliverable until you reach thework package level. At this level you can assign estimated costs, as well as defineand manage the activity duration. You must be careful not to breakdowndeliverables to the point were the project becomes inefficient.Project Management Plan Checklist www.free-management-ebooks.com All Rights Reserved SCOPE MANAGEMENT CONTINUEDYour WBS must include all project work and can be represented in a variety ofways, the most common are as an outline or an organization chart. From yourWBS you will also produce your:WBS dictionary provides a definition of the work packages.Scope baseline an approved version of the detailed scope statement.Verifying and Controlling Scope this section formally establishes yourstakeholders agreement and acceptance of your completed project deliverables.Scope verification also provides details of how change requests will be proposed,validated and accepted or rejected.You will also need to define how changes to your project scope and the scope baselinewill be managed. This is a natural part of any project and a strict control process isessential. In addition to this plan you will also use the work performance informationand your requirements document to administer and manage this control.CHANGE MANAGEMENTIn many organizations this is a separate section and is where you will detail and definehow changes to your project are identified, assessed and a decision is made as towhether they are accepted or rejected. In some instance the organization has its ownChange Control Board or CCB that manages this aspect of a project and judges thelikely impact of each proposed change.This section also details who within the organization or project team has the authorityto approve changes, which individuals can submit changes, how proposed changes arerecorded and monitored. Project Management Plan Checklist www.free-management-ebooks.com All Rights ReservedSCHEDULE MANAGEMENTThe project schedule is the roadmap for how the project will be executed. Schedules are animportant part of any project as they provide the project team, sponsor, and stakeholders apicture of the projects status at any given time.This section explains how the project schedule is developed and managed. It details theprocedures for monitoring progress against the schedule baseline and making changes to it.This would include the timing and format of progress meetings including who should attend.The purpose of the schedule management plan is to define the approach the project teamwill use in creating the project schedule. This plan also includes how the team will managechanges after the baseline schedule has been approved, including: identifying,documenting, prioritizing, approving, and publishing all schedule-related changes.This section needs to consider the following:Defining Activities from the WBS you define each step involved in performing aparticular activity or activities required to complete a work package. This creates youactivity list, which details which team member is responsible for the activity,dependencies with other activities and initial cost estimates.Sequencing Activities using the activity list you can now define the relationshipsbetween the different activities and decide the most efficient order they must beperformed in. The end result is displayed in a network diagram.Estimating Resources now you have defined each activity you must estimate whattype of resources and what quantities each one needs. It is important to identify theright skills you need for your project here and to refine them in the develop scheduleprocess. A resources calendar presents the duration and quantity of the resourcesyour project requires.Project Management Plan Checklist www.free-management-ebooks.com All Rights ReservedSCHEDULE MANAGEMENT CONTINUEDEstimating Time Required using the output from estimating activity resourcesyou can now define how long each activity will take depending on the number ofresources you have available. The most popular techniques used for estimatingare: Analogous estimating. Parametric estimating Three point estimateThese duration estimates will change as the project progresses.Developing and Controlling the Schedule now you have all the informationyou require to develop your schedule. Using a scheduling tool and method youwill create your Critical Path (CPM) or Critical Chain (CCM) that will requireseveral version before you match the schedule to the agreed milestones andcompletion date.This process enables you to observe the impact of altering resources andcompressing certain activities. This is also where you establish how you willassess, agree and implement necessary changes. Accepted changes will result inthe project schedule and records being updated and communicated throughoutthe team.The schedule management plan is the result of these processes and defines how yourproject will be time managed and what techniques and tools will be used. Themanagement of time in a project is based upon activities not on the WBS elements.Project Management Plan Checklist www.free-management-ebooks.com All Rights ReservedBUDGET MANAGEMENTThis section explains how the projects costs are going to be measured, reported andcontrolled. This details the procedures for: monitoring project cost, identifying who isresponsible for managing them, who has the authority to approve changes to theproject budget, and how cost performance is measured and reported including reportformats, frequency and to whom they are presented. For example, If the project begins to incur cost overruns, at what thresholds mustspecific actions take place? If the cost variance exceeds 15%.Then the project must undergo a review to determine what actions must take place tobring the project back on track. This section needs to consider the following:Estimating Costs this is where you define at the outset of the project what youexpect the costs to be. You will specify who is responsible for managing projectcosts, as well as the person or individuals who are responsible for authorizingchanges to either the project or budget.Your organization may have set guidelines for how accurate your estimates mustbe. The input to your estimates will come from four documents the scopestatement, the project schedule, the HR plan and the risk register.Budgeting Costs this describes how you will manage the estimated costsagainst the baseline. The formats and standards that will measure, monitor, reportand control are defined in this section.Controlling Costs outlines the procedures you have put in place to monitorcosts and how change requests along with their financial implications will beincorporated into the cost baseline. The latter is then compared to the workperformance information which details activities or work packages have beencompleted and those still being worked on.A common technique used in this area is Earned Value Management (EVM)where your forecast of expenditure is compared to the projects actual costs.(Return on investment is not a concern of the project team or plan.)Project Management Plan Checklist www.free-management-ebooks.com All Rights ReservedQUALITY MANAGEMENTThis section details the specific quality assurance and quality control measures that willbe used and why these measures have been chosen. Quality should also beconsidered from both a product and process perspective and must always be plannedinto a project in order to prevent unnecessary rework and waste.Even if the organization already has a standardized approach to quality, this must bedefined and communicated to all project stakeholders.This section needs to consider the following:Planning Quality collates all the required quality standards and then outlineshow the project team will meet and demonstrate its compliance to the qualitybaseline. This results in the Quality Management Plan which assigns a qualitymetric for each deliverable, that is the test criteria it must pass to be signed off asacceptable.Performing Quality Assurance this process defines the quality controlmeasures of the project and audits that these are being adhered to. Any changesidentified in the process need to be reflected in a revised Quality ManagementPlan.Performing Quality Control is the actual execution of the quality controlactivities. These have been designed to measure how well they have beenfollowed and where applicable recommend changes.Defining Testing Requirements a significant part of quality is testing that thedeliverables meet the acceptance criteria and where appropriate independentvalidation criteria (legislative and compliance requirements). This section definesthe testing team, their roles, responsibilities and resource needs.When a project fails to meet its quality requirements there are serious repercussions onthe delivery and acceptance of the project.Project Management Plan Checklist www.free-management-ebooks.com All Rights Reserved RISK MANAGEMENTThis section defines the key roles and responsibilities for risk management activities,and establishes the framework in which the project team will identify risks and developstrategies to mitigate or avoid those risks.It documents the procedures for identifying, analyzing, prioritizing, assigning andmitigating a risk. As well as those for implementing a contingency plan should a risk berealized and become an issue.This section needs to consider the following:Planning Risk Management this involves the project management teamlooking at the key project areas and judging what degree of risk they contain.They consider risks to the project by categories defined in a Risk BreakdownStructure (RBS) and then assess the probability and likely impact of each risk.This section would also define how risk activities are to be documented.Identifying Risks It is the responsibility of the project management team toidentify, analyze the impact of risks to the project. These are then documented inthe Risk Register, which describes the risk, its likely impact on the project if ithappens. A risk can be defined as something that has an effect on the projectobjectives, if it has no effect on the latter its is not a risk.Performing Qualitative & Quantitative Risk Analysis this aspect looks at thelikely probability and impact a potential risk could have on the project and is oftendisplayed using a matrix format. A longer more complicated and costly analysis ofrisk is trying to assess the quantitative element where an actual percentage isapplied to probability and a monetary value is assigned to the impact.Planning Risk Responses once the project risks have been identified andanalyzed the project management team need to decide on the most appropriatestrategy to adopt in advance. This falls into four ways to respond to such threats avoid, mitigate, transfer and accept. Project Management Plan Checklist www.free-management-ebooks.com All Rights Reserved RISK MANAGEMENT CONTINUEDMonitoring & Controlling Risks this details the practical ways in which theproject manager will monitor risks and implement risk responses as required. Asthe project progresses the risk register and planned responses will be updated asrisks are not longer relevant and new ones occur.SUPPLIER MANAGEMENTThis section identifies the products, services and resources that need to be acquired orpurchased from outside of the project team. It will include the timeframe for eachresource and the quoting and management processes attached to this procurement.It will also explain the procedures for making purchases and soliciting requests forquotes (RFQ) from service providers, and detail how the suppliers will be evaluatedagainst the Statement of Work (SOW). This section needs to make clear who haspurchasing authority and at what level.For example,A team leader might have a purchase authority limit that is different from theproject manager.This section needs to consider the following:Planning Supplier Management this process details and records the expectedpurchase decisions. It also identifies the type of contract the purchase would beand potential suppliers.Conducting Procurements outlines how quotes will be evaluated, selectedand desired contractual terms.Managing Supplier Relationships this area details how the procurements forthe project will be managed. It also defines how suppliers performance andservice will be monitored and adjustments made if appropriate. This ensures thatstrict control on expenditure is maintain and kept within budget.

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