Project Management Handbook
                                     (A Framework)

                                frame·work...
UNT Project Management Handbook




TABLE OF CONTENTS

1 INTRODUCTION........................................................
UNT Project Management Handbook


     3.3.5 Refine Project Budget...........................................................
UNT Project Management Handbook


     6.3.2 Conduct Lessons Learned Meeting.................................................
UNT Project Management Handbook



1     INTRODUCTION


1.1      Overview

         Texas Administrative Code (TAC), chapt...
UNT Project Management Handbook



1.2      Structure

         The Project Management Handbook describes a set of activit...
UNT Project Management Handbook



1.3      Purpose

         Project management is the formal definition and approvals “w...
UNT Project Management Handbook



1.5      Project Classification and Level of Project Detail

         As noted earlier,...
UNT Project Management Handbook




2     BUSINESS JUSTIFICATION / INITIATION REVIEW GATE


2.1      Overview

         Th...
UNT Project Management Handbook



2.3     Activities

        The following is a list of key activities necessary for suc...
UNT Project Management Handbook



2.3.3     Define Project Objectives

          Project Objectives are the specific goal...
UNT Project Management Handbook



2.3.4     Identify Project Manager

          Every aspect of a project requires someon...
UNT Project Management Handbook



2.3.5     Identify Sponsor

          The Sponsor is the individual, generally a CITC D...
UNT Project Management Handbook



2.3.7     Define Project Scope

          Provide a concise statement of what the proje...
UNT Project Management Handbook



2.3.9     Identify Project Constraints and Assumptions

          All projects have con...
UNT Project Management Handbook



2.3.11 Identify and Engage Key Stakeholders

          Stakeholders are all individuals...
UNT Project Management Handbook



2.4     Deliverables

        As noted earlier, larger projects require more documentat...
UNT Project Management Handbook




3     PLANNING REVIEW GATE


3.1    Overview

       Project planning follows the Busi...
UNT Project Management Handbook



3.2   Critical Success Factors

      •   Identification of Project Manager with a trac...
UNT Project Management Handbook



3.3     Activities

        The following is a list of key activities required to plan ...
UNT Project Management Handbook



3.3.3     Develop Resource Plan

          Every department has a limited number of res...
UNT Project Management Handbook



3.3.4     Create Schedule

          Develop a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

        ...
UNT Project Management Handbook


          Determine Task Dependencies

          A schedule denotes a hierarchy of task ...
UNT Project Management Handbook



3.3.6     Perform Risk Assessment

          During the Business Justification/Initiati...
UNT Project Management Handbook


          The Project Team conducts “Quality Control” by:

          •   Monitoring spec...
UNT Project Management Handbook



3.4     Deliverables

        As noted earlier, larger projects require more documentat...
UNT Project Management Handbook



4     SOLICITATION AND CONTRACTING REVIEW GATE (MAJOR PROJECTS ONLY)


4.1     Overview...
UNT Project Management Handbook




5     IMPLEMENTATION REVIEW GATE


5.1    Overview

       A Project Manager’s respons...
UNT Project Management Handbook



5.2   Critical Success Factors

      •   Stakeholder Buy-In and Commitment
      •   S...
UNT Project Management Handbook



5.3     Activities

        The following is a list of key activities required to execu...
UNT Project Management Handbook



          Schedule control is something that typically is managed at the project level ...
UNT Project Management Handbook



5.3.4     Manage Quality

          Quality assurance incorporates a process of evaluat...
UNT Project Management Handbook


          Setting budget limits and monitoring variances on budgets must be done early a...
UNT Project Management Handbook


          There is also a positive side of risk. A risk may be seen as a potentially use...
UNT Project Management Handbook



5.3.7     Manage Issues

          An issue is basically anything that might affect the...
UNT Project Management Handbook



5.3.8     Manage Scope

          Scope control is a straightforward concept. The inten...
UNT Project Management Handbook


          In both cases, the additional scope of work has an impact on other control mec...
UNT Project Management Handbook


          The Project Manager may be requested to make monthly reports to the Steering
 ...
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
Project Management Framework Handbook
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Project Management Framework Handbook

  1. 1. Project Management Handbook (A Framework) frame·work (plural frame·works) “underlying set of ideas: a set of ideas, principles, agreements, or rules that provides the basis or outline for something intended to be more fully developed at a later stage (e.g., providing a framework for next week's discussions).” -- MSN Encarta Dictionary Prepared By Document Owner(s) Project / Organization Role Andy Novak EPM System Manager / PMO Manager Project Management Handbook Version Control Version Date Author Change Description 1.0 5/22/07 Andy Novak Draft Completed 2.0 8/16/07 Andy Novak Final Draft 3.0 12/12/07 Andy Novak Review Gate Changes 4.0 2/08/2008 Maurice Added stage gate approval policy, table of Leatherbury required data elements for each size project, general edits for conformance to UNT’s project management policy 4.1 2/11/2008 Andy Novak Final changes per Charlotte Russell and Andy Novak
  2. 2. UNT Project Management Handbook TABLE OF CONTENTS 1 INTRODUCTION.........................................................................................................................5 1.1 Overview...........................................................................................................................5 1.2 Structure............................................................................................................................6 1.3 Purpose.............................................................................................................................7 1.4 Project Approval Structure.................................................................................................7 1.5 Project Classification and Level of Project Detail..............................................................8 1.6 Organization......................................................................................................................8 2 BUSINESS JUSTIFICATION / INITIATION REVIEW GATE.......................................................9 2.1 Overview...........................................................................................................................9 2.2 Critical Success Factors....................................................................................................9 2.3 Activities..........................................................................................................................10 2.3.1 Define Business Need / Opportunity.............................................................................10 2.3.2 Define Business Objectives and Benefits.....................................................................10 2.3.3 Define Project Objectives.............................................................................................11 2.3.4 Identify Project Manager...............................................................................................12 2.3.5 Identify Sponsor...........................................................................................................13 2.3.6 Ensure Alignment with Strategic Direction....................................................................13 2.3.7 Define Project Scope....................................................................................................14 2.3.8 Develop Preliminary Budget and Milestones................................................................14 2.3.9 Identify Project Constraints and Assumptions..............................................................15 2.3.10 Develop Project Organization (Governance)..............................................................15 2.3.11 Identify and Engage Key Stakeholders.......................................................................16 2.3.12 Perform Initial Risk Evaluation....................................................................................16 2.4 Deliverables.....................................................................................................................17 2.4.1 Project Plan..................................................................................................................17 2.4.2 Project Charter.............................................................................................................17 2.4.3 Sign-Offs......................................................................................................................17 3 PLANNING REVIEW GATE......................................................................................................18 3.1 Overview.........................................................................................................................18 3.2 Critical Success Factors..................................................................................................19 3.3 Activities..........................................................................................................................20 3.3.1 Develop Product Scope Statement..............................................................................20 3.3.2 Develop Procurement Plan...........................................................................................20 3.3.3 Develop Resource Plan................................................................................................21 3.3.4 Create Schedule...........................................................................................................22 Page 2 6/3/2010
  3. 3. UNT Project Management Handbook 3.3.5 Refine Project Budget...................................................................................................23 3.3.6 Perform Risk Assessment............................................................................................24 3.3.7 Develop Organizational Change Mgt Plan....................................................................24 3.3.8 Develop Quality Management Plan..............................................................................24 3.3.9 Develop Communication Plan......................................................................................25 3.4 Deliverables.....................................................................................................................26 3.4.1 Project Plan..................................................................................................................26 3.4.2 Sign-Off........................................................................................................................26 4 SOLICITATION AND CONTRACTING REVIEW GATE (MAJOR PROJECTS ONLY)............27 4.1 Overview.........................................................................................................................27 4.2 Activities..........................................................................................................................27 4.2.1 Deliverables..................................................................................................................27 4.2.2 Sign-Off........................................................................................................................27 5 IMPLEMENTATION REVIEW GATE.........................................................................................28 5.1 Overview.........................................................................................................................28 5.2 Critical Success Factors..................................................................................................29 5.3 Activities..........................................................................................................................30 5.3.1 Execute Procurement Plan...........................................................................................30 5.3.2 Manage Schedule........................................................................................................30 5.3.3 Document Work Results...............................................................................................31 5.3.4 Manage Quality............................................................................................................32 5.3.5 Manage Costs..............................................................................................................32 5.3.6 Manage Risks...............................................................................................................33 5.3.7 Manage Issues.............................................................................................................35 5.3.8 Manage Scope.............................................................................................................36 5.3.9 Manage Organizational Change...................................................................................37 5.3.10 Communicate Information..........................................................................................37 5.3.11 Conduct Status Review Meetings...............................................................................38 5.3.12 Review Project Checkpoints.......................................................................................39 5.3.13 Administer Contracts / Vendors..................................................................................39 5.3.14 Update Project Planning Documents..........................................................................40 5.4 Deliverables.....................................................................................................................41 5.4.1 (Formal) Project Status Reports...................................................................................41 5.4.2 Updated Planning Documents......................................................................................41 5.4.3 Project-Specific Deliverables........................................................................................41 5.4.4 Sign-Off........................................................................................................................41 6 BENEFITS REALIZATION / CLOSEOUT REVIEW GATE.......................................................42 6.1 Overview.........................................................................................................................42 6.2 Critical Success Factors..................................................................................................42 6.3 Activities..........................................................................................................................43 6.3.1 Conduct Business Outcomes Review Meeting.............................................................43 Page 3 6/3/2010
  4. 4. UNT Project Management Handbook 6.3.2 Conduct Lessons Learned Meeting..............................................................................43 6.3.3 Conduct Contract Closure............................................................................................44 6.3.4 Conduct Knowledge Transfer.......................................................................................45 6.4 Deliverables.....................................................................................................................46 6.4.1 Business Outcomes Review Document........................................................................46 6.4.2 Lessons Learned Report..............................................................................................46 6.4.3 Sign-Off........................................................................................................................46 7 KEY ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES...................................................................................47 7.1 Overview.........................................................................................................................47 7.2 Sponsor...........................................................................................................................48 7.2.1 General Functions........................................................................................................48 7.2.2 Business Justification/Initiation Review Gate...............................................................48 7.2.3 Planning Review Gate..................................................................................................48 7.2.4 Implementation Review Gate.......................................................................................48 7.2.5 Benefits Realization/Closeout Review Gate.................................................................48 7.3 Project Manager..............................................................................................................49 7.3.1 Overview......................................................................................................................49 7.3.2 General Functions........................................................................................................49 7.3.3 Business Justification/Initiation Review Gate...............................................................49 7.3.4 Planning Review Gate..................................................................................................49 7.3.5 Implementation Review Gate.......................................................................................49 7.3.6 Benefits Realization/Closeout Review Gate.................................................................50 7.4 Steering Committee.........................................................................................................51 7.4.1 Overview......................................................................................................................51 7.4.2 General Functions........................................................................................................51 7.4.3 Business Justification/Initiation Review Gate...............................................................51 7.4.4 Planning Review Gate..................................................................................................51 7.4.5 Implementation Review Gate.......................................................................................51 7.4.6 Benefits Realization/Closeout Review Gate.................................................................51 7.5 Project Team...................................................................................................................52 7.5.1 Overview......................................................................................................................52 7.5.2 General Functions........................................................................................................52 7.5.3 Business Justification/Initiation Review Gate...............................................................52 7.5.4 Planning Review Gate..................................................................................................52 7.5.5 Implementation Review Gate.......................................................................................52 7.5.6 Benefits Realization/Closeout Review Gate.................................................................52 8 APPENDIX A – PROJECT APPROVAL STRUCTURE............................................................53 9 APPENDIX B – PROJECT CLASSIFICATIONS.......................................................................54 Page 4 6/3/2010
  5. 5. UNT Project Management Handbook 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 Overview Texas Administrative Code (TAC), chapter 216 requires that public institutions of higher education in the state have a policy that communicates an institution-wide approach to project management practices and that those institutions manage information technology practices in a manner that includes documented and repeatable methods that the university uses to apply knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to satisfy project activity requirements. UNT Policy xx.x meets that requirement and the policy refers to the Project Management Handbook (this document) for specific implementation details on project management practices that meet the policy’s requirements. The Project Management Handbook is designed to meet the needs of all segments of UNT as technical information technology (IT) project work is performed. It serves as a guide to project teams as they plan the work, to management as they supply the required oversight, and to customers as they collaborate in the design and delivery of new products. The Project Management Handbook is designed to be conceptually consistent with the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) Project Delivery Framework as well as with the Project Management Institute’s (PMI®) A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®). The Project Management Handbook applies to projects of the various sizes defined in the Project Management Policy, prescribing different levels of rigor depending on effort, complexity, etc. (see Appendix B). The Handbook does not contain specific procedures and forms that must be filled out for the various sizes of projects but gives an overview of the project management process at UNT. The Computing and Information Technology Center (CITC) uses Microsoft’s Project Server and Project Portfolio Server to document and manage both the details of projects (Project Server) and the information about proposed and ongoing projects (Project Portfolio Server) Other departments may use simple paper forms to manage their projects as long as they conform to the requirements outlined in the Project Management Policy and this handbook. The Handbook is applicable to all organizations on campus that implement IT projects (TAC 216 requires that the Policy cover the whole enterprise) but because the Computing and Information Technology Center conducts the vast majority of IT projects on campus, the Handbook is directed more clearly to the needs of the CITC for its project management. The CITC will assist departments outside of the CITC in meeting the planning and management requirements of IT projects upon request. Page 5 6/3/2010
  6. 6. UNT Project Management Handbook 1.2 Structure The Project Management Handbook describes a set of activities and processes that for developing projects in a standard, consistent manner and a mechanism to obtain approvals at “review gates” along the way. The project management framework upon which the Handbook is built is broken down into five separate and distinct project phases : 1. Business Justification/Initiation 2. Project Planning 3. Soliciting and Contracting 4. Project Implementation 5. Benefits Realization/Closeout The third of these phases, Soliciting and Contracting, is invoked only when the project being planned is defined as a major IT project under TAC 216. However, some of the elements required to solicit vendors and develop contracts are included in other phases. Page 6 6/3/2010
  7. 7. UNT Project Management Handbook 1.3 Purpose Project management is the formal definition and approvals “wrapper” that ensures projects are executed as carefully as possible. The end goals are the empowerment of staff, enhanced team communication and collaboration, less rework, more predictable and consistent delivery of services, and increased customer satisfaction. This document describes the processes that CITC uses during the various phases of technology projects. The reader will find a detailed description of the framework, as well as references deliverables and tools that are used in support of the framework. Please note this document is not intended for use as an instruction manual for producing the deliverables at the end of each project phase. The objective is to present an overview of the key activities pertaining to the framework (i.e., the “What” vs. the “How”). Please refer to specific templates and Enterprise Project Management (EPM) System User Guides for step-by-step instructions. The framework embedded in the Handbook is designed to reach the following goals: • Provide a common point of reference and a common vocabulary for talking and writing about the practice of project management for technology projects on campus. • Increase the awareness and professionalism of good project management practice among those charged with the responsibilities defined in the framework. • Define the roles of the sponsor, project manager, stakeholders, etc. and obtain consensus about their importance to project success. • Define the major approval processes at the various stages of a project, including the specification of who is responsible for/authorized to approve the progression from one stage of a project to the next stage. • Specify the level of detail and specificity that each size project must include in order to conform to the Project Management Policy. Because one of the underlying assumptions about project classification is that the level of detail about a project should correspond to the risks, costs, and possible benefits of the project, it is necessary that the Handbook tell the persons involved in a project the expectations of the project management process for that size project. • Create the basis for a collaborative environment where everyone engaged in technical project work understands what is required of them and why those requirements are key factors for improving project results. 1.4 Project Approval Structure The final procedure of each of the review gates mentioned earlier is the approval (or disapproval) to proceed to the next stage of a project. Because some projects carry higher risks and/or higher costs to the university, those projects require final approval from administrators higher in the university’s chain of command. Appendix A details the approval structure for projects at UNT. Page 7 6/3/2010
  8. 8. UNT Project Management Handbook 1.5 Project Classification and Level of Project Detail As noted earlier, larger projects require more documentation about the risks, costs, opportunities, etc. than small projects. Appendix B details which project “artifacts” (documents, forms, data elements, etc.) are required for each project classification. 1.6 Organization Each Project Phase section of the document is organized as follows: • Overview / Description • Critical Success Factors • Activities • Deliverables Page 8 6/3/2010
  9. 9. UNT Project Management Handbook 2 BUSINESS JUSTIFICATION / INITIATION REVIEW GATE 2.1 Overview The Business Justification/Initiation Review Gate is the first stage of any project since it represents the identification of a need, the gathering of data about the scope and costs of meeting that need, and designing the management structure to perform the project. During this stage, the project request is approved for inclusion in the appropriate project portfolio (i.e., project list / “pipeline”). Once it has been determined to be a priority item and there appears to be ample capacity available to perform the work, the project is further defined via varying components of a Full Business Case / Project Charter (depending on project size), evaluated, funded, and given final authorization to proceed (there may be a “gap” between the time the request is approved and the project is actually executed). This process works best when information about the project is documented and reviewed in a formal manner. Development of a Project Charter promotes an early collaboration between the performing IT group (typically the CITC) and its customers. Early establishment of a good rapport among the players can help ensure a cooperative spirit later in the project. A well-written Project Charter can help everyone involved understand and come to agreement on exactly what is being proposed, the benefits that can be expected, the technical approach to be taken and how the project’s deliverables will fit into ongoing operations. 2.2 Critical Success Factors • The project is feasible • Identification of the Sponsor • Formal acceptance by the Sponsor of responsibility to support the project • Acceptance of the Project Charter • Alignment with UNT strategic direction Page 9 6/3/2010
  10. 10. UNT Project Management Handbook 2.3 Activities The following is a list of key activities necessary for successful initiation of a project and the creation of a Project Charter: 2.3.1 Define Business Need / Opportunity The statement of need / opportunity should explain, in business terms, how the project will address specific needs or opportunities. Typically, satisfaction of a need or opportunity will provide specific benefit to UNT, e.g.: • Keep an existing service or operation in good working order • Improve the efficiency or effectiveness of a service • Provide a new service as mandated by an external authority • Obtain access to needed information that is not currently available • Reduce the cost of operations The discussion of the need / opportunity should provide an understanding of: • Origin of the need, or how the opportunity was recognized • The magnitude of the need / opportunity • Contributing factors, such as increased workload, loss of staff, fiscal constraints, introduction of new technology, etc. • Results of an alternatives analysis, i.e. relative merits of alternative approaches • The cost of taking no action 2.3.2 Define Business Objectives and Benefits Business objectives define the results to be achieved for a project to effectively respond to the need / opportunity. They serve as “success factors” which measure how well the project addresses the business need or opportunity. Objectives can identify ways to improve business processes, enhance UNT’s reputation / name recognition, etc. Having established the business objectives, now determine the specific benefits. For example, determine whether the project will reduce or avoid costs, improve timeliness or service quality, etc. If possible, quantify operational improvements by translating them into reduced costs. Page 10 6/3/2010
  11. 11. UNT Project Management Handbook 2.3.3 Define Project Objectives Project Objectives are the specific goals of the project. Project objectives lead directly to accomplishment of the business objectives and relate specifically to the immediate goals of the project. For example, the project objective “implement a new time tracking system” has no value in and of itself. That goal only brings value when it leads to accomplishment of the business objective (e.g. “Reduce costs and improve productivity through improved resource management”). Project objectives can be described in two ways: Firm Objectives • Relates to time, cost, and operational objectives • Was the project on time? • Was the project within budget? • Was the full Scope delivered? Soft Objectives • Relates to how the objectives are achieved • Includes attitude, behavior, expectations, and communications • Is the Customer happy? • Is the Project Team proud of its work? • Is Management proud of the Project Team? Focus on the full set of project objectives, firm and soft, can lead to a more complete project success. Focus only on firm objectives can lead to a situation where the project is delivered on time and within budget, but the customer never uses the product. Page 11 6/3/2010
  12. 12. UNT Project Management Handbook 2.3.4 Identify Project Manager Every aspect of a project requires someone to guide it. Business Justification/Initiation, and specifically development of a Project Charter, is no exception. The Project Manager is responsible for defining the project purpose, gathering strategic and background information and developing budgets / schedules for the life of the project. The Project Manager may be a Resource Manager (has staff reporting to them) or may be an individual contributor. The Project Manager will coordinate resources and activities across CITC to develop the Project Charter and any other materials required for final project approval. In addition, the Project Manager’s responsibilities are: • Provide day-to-day decision-making on critical project issues as they pertain to project scope, schedule, budget, methodology and resources • Provide direction, leadership and support to Project Team members in a professional manner at project, functional and task levels • Ensure project documentation is complete and communicated • Identify funding sources and facilitate the prioritization of project requirements • Manage the planning and control of project activities and resources • Develop and manage project contracts with vendors • Report project status and issues to the project Sponsor and the Steering Committee • Provide teams with advice and input on tasks throughout the project, including documentation, creation of plans, schedules and reports • Resolve conflicts within the project between resources, schedules, etc. • Influence Stakeholders and team members in order to get buy-in on decisions that will lead to success • Delegate responsibility to team members Page 12 6/3/2010
  13. 13. UNT Project Management Handbook 2.3.5 Identify Sponsor The Sponsor is the individual, generally a CITC Director, who is responsible for the strategic direction and financial support of a project. Although not mandatory, the Project Manager is usually the Sponsor’s direct report within CITC. A Sponsor should have the authority to secure resources and resolve organizational and priority conflicts. It has been shown in project management circles that lack of correct project sponsorship can be a major contributor to project failure. Conversely, an appropriately placed and fully engaged Sponsor can bring a difficult project to successful conclusion. The Sponsor’s responsibilities are: • Champion the project and the Project Team • Empower the Project Manager • Sell the project business case and ensure sustained buy-in • Ensure timely availability of resources • Clear roadblocks • Determine final funding and direction • Approve plans, schedules, and budgets • Review project progress • Serve as executive liaison to upper management Depending on the scope and visibility of the project, an Executive Sponsor may also be identified. The Executive Sponsor provides support for the Project Sponsor and the Project Manager and is the ultimate decision-maker regarding strategic direction, funding, scope, and approvals to proceed to each succeeding Project Phase. For CITC-funded projects, the Executive Sponsor would be the Associate Vice President for Computing and Chief Technology Officer. For projects funded outside of CITC, the Executive Sponsor could be a business unit head who is championing the initiative. 2.3.6 Ensure Alignment with Strategic Direction It is important that we engage in projects that effectively support the UNT business strategy. To ensure this, the alignment needs to be visible and understood by everyone involved. Using the business strategy and strategic objectives as a baseline during project initiation will save time and effort later. This works best when CITC’s business partners are an integral part of the process. Review the alignment of the proposed project with supporting documents such as: • UNT Five Year Strategic Plan • UNT / State of Texas mandates • CITC Strategic Directions • Current business and technical environment Page 13 6/3/2010
  14. 14. UNT Project Management Handbook 2.3.7 Define Project Scope Provide a concise statement of what the project will accomplish (in scope), and, where appropriate, what it will not try to accomplish (out of scope). There are two kinds of Scope: Product Scope and Project Scope. • Product Scope is a detailed description of the product or service that would be produced as an outcome of the project • Project Scope is a statement of the work required to create and implement the product or service as well as the work The Project Scope section of a Project Charter is generally written at a fairly high level and provides a basis for the detailed (product) scope statement in the Planning Review Gate of the CITC Project Management Framework. 2.3.8 Develop Preliminary Budget and Milestones The Business Justification/Initiation Review Gate of most projects is a time of uncertainty. While there may be general agreement on the scope of the project, specifics of implementation may not be available. For this reason, it may not be possible to provide anything more than a preliminary budget and a high level milestones, and even then only with fairly large confidence limits (e.g. +/- 20% or more). First, estimate the one-time development / acquisition / implementation costs (including contractors, hardware, software, etc.). CITC internal labor is considered a “sunk cost” and should not be included in the total cost estimate. Next, produce a milestone schedule for at least the high-level tasks of the project. Project Phase milestones (e.g., Business Justification/Initiation, Planning, etc.) should be included at a minimum. Milestones could include the typical steps of the System Development Life Cycle (e.g. gather requirements, create specifications, develop a test plan), and tasks specific to the project at hand (e.g. procurement, conversion, training for end-users, training for technical staff, post-implementation support, etc.). When planning for staged project implementation (e.g., implement a new general ledger first, then purchase and roll out accounts payable and payroll modules in subsequent stages), use only as many stages that provide improved management control over the program as a whole. There should be identifiable deliverables for each stage. Many late or over-budget projects deemed “failures” are actually only estimating failures. This can happen when estimates based on inadequate data (usually the case during Business Justification/Initiation) are published as “final”. One useful strategy is to re- estimate at the start of each Project Phase as more information is available. Page 14 6/3/2010
  15. 15. UNT Project Management Handbook 2.3.9 Identify Project Constraints and Assumptions All projects have constraints, and these need to be defined from the outset. Projects have resource limits in terms of people, money, time, and equipment. While these may be adjusted up or down, they are considered fixed resources by the Project Manager. Similarly, certain criteria relevant to a project are assumed to be essential. For instance, it is assumed that necessary budget appropriations will be made to fund a project. Project assumptions need to be defined before any project activities take place so that time is not wasted on conceptualizing and initiating a project that has no basis for funding, or inadequate personnel to carry it out. 2.3.10 Develop Project Organization (Governance) Project organization is used to define overall roles and responsibilities and coordinate the activity of the project. Project organization is needed for every project, and the Project Manager and Sponsor must always be identified. The Steering Committee or other governing body should be identified when applicable. This could be in the form of a simple Visio diagram depicting the project reporting hierarchy (e.g., Team reporting to Project Manager; Project Manager reporting to Sponsor, etc.). There is a distinction between a project reporting hierarchy and an organizational hierarchy. Organizational hierarchies are established primarily to manage people and are perpetual in nature. Project reporting hierarchies are established to manage processes that cross organizational boundaries and are short-lived. Teams report functionally to the Project Manager during the time they have been made available to the project by their Resource Manager (Administrative Supervisor). Once the project is closed, the project reporting hierarchy is dissolved. The larger the project, the more critical the organizational structure becomes. In a small project, a single team member may be responsible for several functions, whereas in a large project, each function might require full-time attention. Confusion and lack of productivity are the result of poor project organization. A good organization facilitates communication and clearly defines roles and responsibilities. Page 15 6/3/2010
  16. 16. UNT Project Management Handbook 2.3.11 Identify and Engage Key Stakeholders Stakeholders are all individuals, internal and external to CITC, who have a vested interest in the success or failure of the project. Key Stakeholders are a subset of Stakeholders, who, if were removed, may cause the project to fail. During Business Justification/Initiation, Key Stakeholders help define, clarify, drive, change, and contribute to the definition of scope and, ultimately, to the success of the project. To ensure project success, Key Stakeholders need to be defined early in the project. It is essential to determine their needs and expectations, and to manage and influence those expectations over the course of the project. Key Stakeholders who are not sympathetic to the goals of the project must be influenced in such a way that they either become supporters or bring themselves into a place of neutrality. If the project will have an impact on the business processes, work habits or culture of an organization, steps should be taken during Initiation to prepare for the process of Organizational Change Management. 2.3.12 Perform Initial Risk Evaluation A risk is any unplanned factor that may potentially interfere with successful completion of the project. A risk is not an issue - an issue is something you face now. A risk is the recognition that a problem might occur (e.g., unavailability of a particular resource due to their on-going production support demands). By recognizing potential problems, the Project Team can plan in advance on how to deal with these factors. During the Business Justification/Initiation Review Gate, a Risk Evaluation is performed via a simple questionnaire in order to identify the overall risk parameter associated with the project (i.e., Low, Medium, or High). A more detailed Risk Assessment will be performed during the Planning Review Gate. Page 16 6/3/2010
  17. 17. UNT Project Management Handbook 2.4 Deliverables As noted earlier, larger projects require more documentation about the risks, costs, opportunities, etc. than small projects. Appendix B details which project “artifacts” (documents, forms, data elements, etc.) are required for each project classification. 2.4.1 Project Plan The project plan includes details of activities 2.3.1 through 2.3.9. 2.4.2 Project Charter The Project Charter encompasses the Project Plan plus the remainder of the activities in the Business Justification/Initiation stage. It defines the scope, objectives, and overall approach for the work to be completed from the perspective of the delivering organization. It is a critical element for initiating, planning, executing, and assessing the project. It should be the single point of reference for project goals and objectives, scope, organization, estimates, work plan, and budget. Project Charters can appear in many forms depending on the size, complexity, importance and level of risk of the project. We generally will need to know more about large projects that represent a substantial investment (see Appendix B). 2.4.3 Sign-Offs Two approval procedures are required before a project can proceed to the Planning Review Gate: the approval of the Project Plan and the approval of the Project Charter. The first approval insures that a project is important enough and cost-effective enough to proceed with developing a full Project Charter. The approval of the Project Charter is done to insure that a business and management plan is in place to effectively bring the project to a successful conclusion. If final authorization is obtained to proceed (i.e., deliverables sign-off), the Business Justification/Initiation Review Gate is ended and the Planning Review Gate begins. The position/group with authority to approve the project at this stage (and other stages) is documented in Appendix A. Page 17 6/3/2010
  18. 18. UNT Project Management Handbook 3 PLANNING REVIEW GATE 3.1 Overview Project planning follows the Business Justification/Initiation Review Gate and is considered to be the most important stage in project management. Project planning is not a single activity or task. It is a process that takes time and attention. Project planning defines the project activities and describes how the activities will be accomplished. Time spent up- front identifying the proper needs and structure for organizing and managing projects saves countless hours of confusion and rework in the Implementation Review Gate of the project. The purpose of the Planning Review Gate is to: • More clearly define the product scope • Establish more precise cost and schedule estimates for the project • Obtain management approval • Provide a framework for review and control Without planning, a project’s success will be difficult, if not impossible. Team members will have limited understanding of expectations, activities may not be properly defined, and resource requirements may not be completely understood. Even if the project is finished, the conditions for success may not have been defined. Project planning identifies several specialized areas of concentration for determining the needs for a project. Planning will involve identifying and documenting product scope, tasks, schedules, risk, and staffing needs. The identification process should continue until as many of the areas as possible of the chartered project have been addressed. Inadequate and incomplete project planning is the downfall of many high-profile, important projects. An adequate planning process and Project Plan will ensure that resources and team members will be identified so that the project will be successful. The planning process includes (but is not limited to) the following steps: • Estimate the size of the project • Estimate the resources required • Identify and assess risks • Produce a schedule • Negotiate commitments Completion of these steps and others is necessary to develop the Project Plan. Typically, several iterations of the planning process are performed before a plan is actually completed. Page 18 6/3/2010
  19. 19. UNT Project Management Handbook 3.2 Critical Success Factors • Identification of Project Manager with a track record of success • Ensure that key resources are available as required by the Project Plan Page 19 6/3/2010
  20. 20. UNT Project Management Handbook 3.3 Activities The following is a list of key activities required to plan a project: 3.3.1 Develop Product Scope Statement The development of a product scope statement provides the basis for future project decisions. This statement is of singular importance to the project because it sets the final guidelines as to the breadth and depth of the product(s) delivered, customer acceptance criteria, and procedures to be followed. The content of this statement will include the following: • Specific product deliverables and their characteristics (high level specs) • Customer acceptance criteria • What type of processes will be used to manage the project 3.3.2 Develop Procurement Plan Document a procurement plan that identifies those needs of the project that need to be met by purchasing products or services from outside vendors. This should be done in cooperation with CITC Administrative Officers, Purchasing and Payment Services (PPS), and Legal where applicable. Refer to specific CITC procurement guidelines and policies as they relate to the Procurement Plan. NOTE: major information technology projects, defined in TAC 216, require a separate stage and more extensive documentation than other types of projects at UNT. The procurement plan deals with matters such as: • Implementation Services (i.e., contract labor) • Software Evaluations & Purchases • Hardware Purchases & Maintenance • Contract Types (e.g., Fixed Price; Not-To-Exceed; Time and Materials) • RFPs (in cooperation with PPS) Page 20 6/3/2010
  21. 21. UNT Project Management Handbook 3.3.3 Develop Resource Plan Every department has a limited number of resources to perform tasks. A Project Manager’s primary role is to find a way to successfully execute a project within these resource constraints. Resource planning is comprised of establishing a team possessing the skills required to perform the work (labor resources), as well as scheduling the tools and equipment (non-labor resources) that enable completion of the project. Identify Required Skills by Role It is helpful in the planning process to develop a list of skills required, first for execution of the project and then for execution of each task. This skills list may then be used to determine the type of personnel required for the task. Assign / Acquire Project Team A project needs to establish its own pool of available resources (in cooperation with CITC Resource Managers). The resource pool typically specifies the type, level (e.g., skill and experience), and time period that the resource is available. The Project Manager pragmatically assesses the skills of the available people on the project. The Project Manager’s job is to determine the risks associated with the available skills and to build a plan that realistically accounts for those skills. Unfortunately, skill level is not a yes / no factor. People have varying degrees of skill, and the Project Manager needs to determine the level of schedule adjustment that should be made based on the project staff skill level. Where staff with the necessary skills is largely unavailable for assignment on the project, an option (given funding) may be to go outside for the necessary talent or contract services to perform the work. Arrangements should be made to backfill assigned Team Members’ roles if necessary. Identify Other Resource Requirements All Project Teams require the tools to successfully perform the tasks assigned. In scheduling resources, the Project Manager must ensure that both people and the equipment necessary to support those people are available simultaneously. The need for adequate workspace is often overlooked when planning a project. Ideally, the team should be placed in contiguous space (co-located) to facilitate interaction and communication. Team spirit and synergy is enhanced and chances for project success are increased when everyone is close together. Ensuring the availability of equipment at critical points in the project is crucial to planning a successful project. It is also important to give each team member the right tools they need to do the job. For example, information exchange and communications tools should be provided for Project Team members and project Stakeholders. Page 21 6/3/2010
  22. 22. UNT Project Management Handbook 3.3.4 Create Schedule Develop a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) The WBS provides the capability to break the scope into manageable activities, assign responsibility to deliver the project scope, and establish methods to structure the project scope into a form that improves visibility for management. The WBS is based on a well- documented project scope. A WBS is a hierarchical representation of the products and services to be delivered on a project. Elements of scope are decomposed to a level that provides a clear understanding of what is to be delivered for purposes of planning, controlling and managing project scope. In its entirety, a WBS represents the total scope of a project. A WBS is neither a schedule nor an organizational representation of the project; instead, it is a definition of what is to be delivered. Once the scope is clearly understood, the Project Manager determines how it will be delivered and who will deliver it. Identify Tasks and Sequences One of the most important parts of the Project Planning process is the definition of tasks that will be undertaken as part of the project. Tasks are developed by first determining via the WBS what products need to be delivered to accomplish the project objective. The Project Manager is responsible for defining all top-level tasks driven by the WBS and then further decomposing them as planning continues. This is subjective and reflects the preferences and judgment of the Project Manager. As levels of the WBS become lower, the scope, complexity and cost becomes smaller and more accurate. The lowest-level tasks, or work packages, are the independent, manageable units that are planned, budgeted, scheduled (e.g., timeline) and controlled individually. Sequencing involves specifying the order of completion of tasks. Much of this has already been done within the process of creating the WBS. Top and mid-level WBS tasks are candidates for summary level tasks with the timeline. Estimate Duration / Effort There is no simple formula to define how detailed a task needs to be. There are, however, some helpful guidelines for completion: • Break down the work until the estimates of cost and resources needed to perform the task can be provided (i.e., easier to estimate, easier to assign, easier to track) • If the time period to complete a task is too long, an accurate project status in the Implementation Review Gate may not be possible • If the time period is too short, the task may actually be an activity (the “how” vs. the “what”) which is in essence “micro-managing” • An industry-standard rule of thumb is that a task should not be smaller than 8 labor hours or larger than 80 labor hours (typically translates into work packages between 1 and 10 days duration) Page 22 6/3/2010
  23. 23. UNT Project Management Handbook Determine Task Dependencies A schedule denotes a hierarchy of task relationships (e.g., Task “B” starts after Task “A” finishes). Task completion eventually rolls up into summary task completion, which ultimately results in project completion. Some task dependencies follow the natural sequence of tasks within the hierarchy whereas some tasks run in parallel (e.g., Task “C” and “D” both start after Task “B” finishes). There can also be relationships between tasks that are not within the outlined hierarchy (e.g., from other projects). These relationships need to be documented as well. If the tasks are not organized efficiently, it becomes difficult to schedule and allocate resources. Develop Project Schedule Following the definition of project tasks, they are associated with time and resources to create a project schedule. The project schedule provides a graphical representation of predicted tasks, milestones, dependencies, resources, task duration and deadlines. The project schedule should be detailed enough to show each work breakdown structure task to be performed, name of the person responsible for completing the task, start and end date of each task, and expected duration of the task. Be sure to verify that people assigned to the Project Team are all assigned a task. Establish Project Checkpoints To ensure that the project progresses satisfactorily, management checkpoints or milestones should be clearly defined with planned dates to measure progress. Checkpoints are high-level milestones. Key Stakeholders use them to approve the completion of a phase or milestone and as go / no-go decision points to proceed with the project. The checkpoints ensure that the products and services delivered meet the project objectives. 3.3.5 Refine Project Budget Budget planning is done in parallel with project schedule development. Budgeting, performed at the initial stages of Project Planning, is the determination of costs associated with the defined activities. Initial budgetary estimates are often based on availability of funds and may not coincide with the actual funds needed to perform the project. For this reason, budget estimates are refined in the Planning Review Gate until they are “base-lined” at the beginning of the Implementation Review Gate. Budgeting serves as a control mechanism where actual costs can be compared with and measured against the budget. When a schedule begins to slip, cost is proportionally affected. When project costs begin to escalate, the Project Manager should revisit the Project Plan to determine whether scope, budget or schedule needs adjusting. To develop the budget, the applicable cost factors associated with project tasks are identified (e.g., contract labor, software, hardware, travel). As mentioned previously, CITC internal labor is considered a “sunk cost” and should not be included in the overall figure. Page 23 6/3/2010
  24. 24. UNT Project Management Handbook 3.3.6 Perform Risk Assessment During the Business Justification/Initiation Review Gate, a simple Risk Evaluation was performed in order to identify the overall risk parameter associated with the project (e.g., Low, Medium, or High). As more information is gathered during the Planning Review Gate, specific project risks may begin to become apparent. It is advisable, especially for projects with an overall risk parameter of “Medium” or above, to perform a more detailed risk assessment in order to document potential risks and establish mitigation plans. A risk is not an issue - an issue is a situation that has already occurred. A risk is the recognition that a problem might occur. By recognizing potential problems, the Project Manager can attempt to avoid or minimize a problem through proper actions. Good risk management can be leveraged to prevent many risks from turning into real issues. Risk Management is of much greater concern to the technology Project Manager than to the non-technology Project Manager. For example, Technology Project Managers may be responsible for projects that are working with undeveloped or unproven technologies. 3.3.7 Develop Organizational Change Mgt Plan Some of the details related to organizational change management will not become apparent until the completion of the solution’s detailed design. Nevertheless, the expectation during the Planning Review Gate is to develop a high-level understanding of the impact of the project on the organization. Organizational Change Management Process: • Identify potential organizational changes and impact • Refine business process improvement opportunities • Identify training needs (e.g., magnitude) • Determine knowledge transfer resources and processes • Document all of this in the Organizational Change Management Plan 3.3.8 Develop Quality Management Plan The quality management process is the application of quality methods and tools to focus on business and project requirements and to manage work processes with the objective of achieving continuous improvements. During “Quality Planning” the Project Team: • Identifies those quality standards relevant to the project (e.g., programming) • Determines how best to meet those standards. The activities within the quality planning process basically translate existing quality policy and standards into a Quality Management Plan through a variety of tools and techniques. “Quality Assurance” requires that the Project Team evaluate overall project performance on a regular basis to provide confidence that the project will meet the relevant quality standards. This involves the use of quality audits to ensure that quality standards and the business and project requirements are met. Page 24 6/3/2010
  25. 25. UNT Project Management Handbook The Project Team conducts “Quality Control” by: • Monitoring specified project results to determine standards have been met • Discovering and implementing ways to eliminate unsatisfactory performance. Successful quality processes always strive to see quality through the eyes of the end user (customer). Customers are the ultimate judges of the quality of the product they receive. They will typically judge a project by whether or not their requirements are met. To ensure delivery of a quality product, the Project Team should ensure that requirements are addressed at each phase of the project. It is important to include a process that validates the currently defined requirements will be satisfactory to the customer. It is counterproductive to develop a system that meets a documented requirement if you and the customer know that the requirement has changed. The Scope Change Management process helps to control the number of such changes, but quality processes must be in place in order to make changes when they are necessary: • Define quality standards • Define quality management processes • Document these in the Quality Management Plan 3.3.9 Develop Communication Plan Communications planning involves defining the information needs of project Stakeholders and team members, as well as identifying which people need what information, when it will be needed (e.g., weekly, monthly, quarterly), and how they will get it (e.g., memo, e- mail, web). Communication is the cornerstone of how work gets done among different parties within a project. Communications planning is a process that overlays all other parts of Project Planning as well as the other project management phases. It addresses the way in which we transfer / share information about what needs to be done, how it will be done, when it needs to be done, who will do it, status reporting, issues management, problem resolution, etc. This information is documented in the Communication Plan. Page 25 6/3/2010
  26. 26. UNT Project Management Handbook 3.4 Deliverables As noted earlier, larger projects require more documentation about the risks, costs, opportunities, etc. than small projects. Appendix B details which project “artifacts” (documents, forms, data elements, etc.) are required for each project classification. 3.4.1 Project Plan The Project Plan is a formal, approved set of artifacts (compilation of text and stand- alone deliverables) used to manage and control project execution. The creation of the Project Plan commences with the Business Justification/Initiation Review Gate and is concluded at the end of the Planning Review Gate. The level of detail should be appropriate for the scope, complexity and risk of the project. The development of the Project Plan is an iterative process. Each element of the plan is regularly revisited for changes and refinements based on further analysis and decisions made in developing other plan elements. This refinement develops buy-in from the project Stakeholders. The following is a list of key components of the Project Plan: • Project Charter (from Business Justification/Initiation Review Gate) • (Product) Scope Statement • Procurement Plan • Resource Plan • Detailed Schedule • Refined Budget • Risk Assessment • Organizational Change Mgt Plan • Quality Management Plan • Communication Plan 3.4.2 Sign-Off Once the Project Manager completes the Project Plan, it should be reviewed and approved by the appropriate person/group (defined in Appendix A.) The level and extent to which the plan will be reviewed is based on the size or visibility of the project. Ultimately, the review process allows for management buy-in and approval. Once the Project Plan is approved and signed, the Project Manager is given the authority to complete the current project efforts and enter into the Implementation Review Gate. Page 26 6/3/2010
  27. 27. UNT Project Management Handbook 4 SOLICITATION AND CONTRACTING REVIEW GATE (MAJOR PROJECTS ONLY) 4.1 Overview For major information technology projects, defined in TAC 216, a separate review gate and more extensive documentation is required for procuring goods and services. 4.2 Activities See DIR Project Delivery Framework: http://www.dir.state.tx.us/pubs/framework/gate3/index.htm 4.2.1 Deliverables See DIR Project Delivery Framework: http://www.dir.state.tx.us/pubs/framework/gate3/index.htm 4.2.2 Sign-Off See DIR Project Delivery Framework: http://www.dir.state.tx.us/pubs/framework/gate3/index.htm Page 27 6/3/2010
  28. 28. UNT Project Management Handbook 5 IMPLEMENTATION REVIEW GATE 5.1 Overview A Project Manager’s responsibilities do not stop once the planning of the project is done. Because a Project Manager is responsible to internal and external Stakeholders, the Project Team, vendors, executive management and others, the visibility of the position is intensified because many of these people will now expect to see and discuss the resulting deliverables that were detailed in the Planning Review Gate. As a Project Manager, it is important to keep oneself from getting “down in the weeds,” especially on large projects. This will allow you to focus attention on enabling the Project Plans and processes and managing the expectations of customers and Stakeholders. Once a project moves into the Implementation Review Gate, the Project Team and the necessary resources to carry out the project should be in place and ready to perform project activities. The Project Plan should have been completed and “base-lined” by this time as well. The Project Team, and specifically the Project Manager’s focus, now shifts from planning the project efforts to participating in, observing and analyzing the work being done. The Implementation Review Gate ensures that planned project activities are carried out in an effective and efficient way while ensuring that measurements against specifications continue to be collected, analyzed and acted upon. Without a defined process, each Project Team would run projects using its own best practices, experience, and methods, while certain control, tracking and corrective action activities would be missed. It is important to note that project execution and control relies heavily on the plans developed in the Planning Review Gate. There is already enough work to do within the Implementation Review Gate of the project; having to reinvent ways of dealing with risk, change requests, training and resource issues, and other such obstacles to progress is impractical and undesirable at this point. Particular attention must be paid to keeping interested parties up-to-date with project status, dealing with procurement and contract administration issues, and monitoring project issues and risk. The Implementation Review Gate also includes project control activities. Project control involves the regular review of metrics and status reports in order to identify variances from the planned project baseline. The variances are determined by comparing the actual performance metrics from the Implementation Review Gate against the baseline metrics assigned during the Planning Review Gate. If significant variances are observed (i.e., variances that jeopardize the completion of the project objectives), adjustments are made by repeating and adjusting the appropriate Project Planning Review Gate strategies and documents. A significant variance from the plan does not explicitly require a change, but should be reviewed to see if preventive action is warranted. For example, a missed finish date may require adjustments to the current staffing plan, reliance on overtime, or trade-off between budget and schedule objectives. Page 28 6/3/2010
  29. 29. UNT Project Management Handbook 5.2 Critical Success Factors • Stakeholder Buy-In and Commitment • Stakeholder Participation • Management Support • Proactive Governance • Regular Checkpoints • Understood Requirements • Project is Specific • Project is Attainable • Project is Measurable • Detailed Project Plan • The Right People (Project Team!) • Quality Communication • Change Management Process • Issues Management Process • Risk Management Process Page 29 6/3/2010
  30. 30. UNT Project Management Handbook 5.3 Activities The following is a list of key activities required to execute a project: 5.3.1 Execute Procurement Plan As indicated in the Planning Review Gate of the CITC PM Framework, there will be times within the Implementation Review Gate when it is necessary to purchase products or services needed to deliver the project. In these cases, the project Procurement Plan will be put into action in cooperation with CITC Administrative Officers, Purchasing and Payment Services (PPS), and Legal. Procurement Plan execution includes, but is not limited to: • Developing solicitation documents • Conducting proposal evaluation and selection • Conducting contract negotiations • Submitting Purchase Orders 5.3.2 Manage Schedule It is important for the Project Team to understand at all times exactly where the project stands with respect to project schedule. The procedures used to determine status and then update schedules to depict current work efforts are crucial to ensuring that accurate schedules are maintained. Without these procedures, invalid data may cause inaccurate schedule performance reporting. Schedule data collection and validation involves the following: • Ensuring that start and end dates, etc. reflect reality • Ensuring integrity exists between tasks, sub-plans, and master schedules • Ensuring that schedules accurately depict the work being accomplished Schedule control is one of the most challenging but important activities within project control. The project schedule can be affected by any number of issues from resources to funding, vendors, and anything in between. The ability of a Project Manager to manage the schedule of a project and deliver it on time is a high-visibility concern for project success. Attributes of Schedule Control include: • Influencing the factors that create schedule changes • Ensuring that changes are beneficial • Determining that the schedule has changed • Managing the actual changes when and as they occur Schedule issues come from a variety of sources but there should be a single, focused method for dealing with schedule changes. If a potential schedule problem is discovered, the problem must be investigated and the cause uncovered as soon as possible. Once the problem is discovered, a plan should be created for correcting the problem in the shortest allowable time with the least impact. It is also advisable to bring forward alternatives and associated costs. Page 30 6/3/2010
  31. 31. UNT Project Management Handbook Schedule control is something that typically is managed at the project level by the Project Manager. However, it is very important to make the Stakeholders aware that a schedule change has occurred. Furthermore, the Stakeholders need to be made aware of what is being done to fix the issue and the impact it will have on the project’s performance and deliverables. It is standard practice to baseline the schedule at the start of the project. This allows all schedule changes to be displayed against the original project schedule. If schedule slippage becomes severe it may be advisable to re-baseline the project. It is a good idea for Project Managers to hold regular project schedule reviews. Large or complex technology projects may have several schedules being managed at a deliverable or functional level. Having the “owners” of these schedules meeting at regular intervals is of great benefit. The Project Manager is responsible for integrating these project schedules and making them understandable for all of the Stakeholders. 5.3.3 Document Work Results Results are the outcomes of the activities performed to accomplish the project and should be collected and reported. Information on work results consists of input on: • Which deliverables have been completed and which have not • To what extent customer obligations are being met • What costs have been incurred or committed General guidelines for documenting work results: • Utilize a central repository for tracking project deliverables • Maintain the inventory of project deliverables • Update the inventory with deliverable status and quality comments Page 31 6/3/2010
  32. 32. UNT Project Management Handbook 5.3.4 Manage Quality Quality assurance incorporates a process of evaluating overall project performance on a regular basis to provide confidence that the project will satisfy the relevant quality standards. Accordingly, while it is important that each team member be responsible for the quality execution of tasks, a quality team is typically included in the Project Team and plays an integral role in the execution of quality throughout the project. This team ensures that the quality plan is executed as planned. As an organization’s quality processes mature, the need for the external quality unit decreases. This quality team reports functionally to the Project Manager, but must also have a reporting chain outside the project to facilitate problem escalation. Problem escalation is the process of moving a problem to a higher management level if sufficient attention is not given by the Project Manager. The independent reporting chain provides a check and balance on the project. Quality control involves monitoring specific project results throughout the project to determine if they comply with relevant quality standards and identifying ways to eliminate causes of unsatisfactory results. Project results include both product results, such as deliverables, and management results, such as cost and schedule performance. Quality control is often performed by a quality control unit, or a similarly titled organization unit, although this is not a requirement. The Project Team should be aware of the following concepts: • Prevention – keeping errors out of the process • Inspection – keeping errors out of the hands of customers 5.3.5 Manage Costs Projects may fail to control costs, or go over budget, for many reasons. Often it is not a single problem but a series of small problems combined that permit cost control to be sacrificed and prevent the project from being completed within budget. Attributes of Cost Management include: • Influencing the factors that create budget changes • Ensuring that changes are beneficial • Determining that the budget has changed • Managing the actual changes when and as they occur Cost control is not simply a reporting process. It includes the searching out of the “why” for both positive and negative variances between the scheduled and actual costs. It must be thoroughly integrated with the other control processes (scope change control, schedule control, and others). For example, cost variances can cause schedule problems or produce an unacceptable level of risk later in the project. Cost control is a process highly valued by technology project Stakeholders. This is also an area where the unpredictability of technology can wreak havoc on the plans laid out within a project. A Project Manager must be able to monitor the actual budgets against the baselines as laid out in the Project Budget. The length and complexity of a project will have a direct impact on its potential to go over budget. Page 32 6/3/2010
  33. 33. UNT Project Management Handbook Setting budget limits and monitoring variances on budgets must be done early and often. Budget problems tend to compound themselves if left unattended. In many cases the budget is a fixed amount. In those cases, if other actions fail to bring the project’s costs into budget alignment, the scope must be reduced. General guidelines for Managing Cost: • Monitor cost performance to detect variances from the Project Plan • Ensure that all appropriate changes are recorded accurately in the Project Budget • Prevent inappropriate or unauthorized changes to the Project Budget • Inform Key Stakeholders of authorized changes 5.3.6 Manage Risks Risk identification, monitoring and resolution are key tools for successfully completing a project. Again, a risk is the recognition that a problem might occur. An issue is a situation that has already occurred. Part of controlling a project during the Implementation Review Gate is to have an established risk management process. This process may begin as early as the Business Justification/Initiation Review Gate and is kept current until the project Benefits Realization/Closeout Review Gate. General guidelines for managing risks: • Utilize a central repository for risk information • Assign a Risk Manager (either the Project Manager or a Team Member) • All Stakeholders submit risks for entry into the Risk Log • Present reports in regular status meetings for discussion, follow-up, and resolution • Provide ongoing evaluation of new risks Activities include: • Identifying a potential risk (e.g., support activities may impact resource availability) • Assessing the probability of the risk occurring • Assessing the impact of the risk if it occurs • Assigning a risk priority and assigning an “owner” • Determining the risk response including mitigation / contingency plans There are four things that can be done about a risk: • Do something to remove it (i.e., avoid it; e.g., use another resource) • Make someone else responsible (i.e., transfer it; e.g., the vendor) • Take actions to lessen the impact or chance of occurring (i.e., mitigate it; e.g., get written sign-off for the resource to be made available) • The risk probability or impact may be so small that time is better spent on other project activities (i.e., accept it) Page 33 6/3/2010
  34. 34. UNT Project Management Handbook There is also a positive side of risk. A risk may be seen as a potentially useful outcome that occurs because of some unplanned event. In this case, the Project Team can attempt to maximize the potential of these positive risk event should they occur. The Project Manager must ensure that project status meetings make time for the discussion of risks in the Risk Log. Short-life task forces may need to be convened for risks that affect a large number of Stakeholders. Page 34 6/3/2010
  35. 35. UNT Project Management Handbook 5.3.7 Manage Issues An issue is basically anything that might affect the project meeting its goals (e.g., technical, functional, financial). A risk is a potential occurrence whereas an issue is something that has actually occurred. The purpose of the issues management process is to provide a mechanism for organizing, maintaining and tracking the resolution of issues that cannot be resolved at the individual level. The approach consists of issue control mechanisms and a well- defined process that enables the Project Team to identify, address and prioritize issues. The Issue Management process should give everyone involved with or affected by the project a way to report issues or problems. A mechanism should be provided for documenting the problem, assessing the impact of the problem, making recommendations and determining the time required for resolving the problem. This process may begin as early as the Business Justification/Initiation Review Gate and is kept current until the project Benefits Realization/Closeout Review Gate. Typically, when the issue or problem has been resolved and verified, recording the actual date the problem was resolved and the approval authority closes the issue. Some issues may need executive management approval. The appropriate processes should be followed to update contracts and baseline documents. General guidelines for Managing Issues: • Utilize a central repository for the capture of project issues • Assign an Issues Manager (either the Project Manager or a Team Member) • All Stakeholders submit issues for entry into the Issue Log • Review issues on a regular basis (e.g., Project Status Meetings) • Track all issues until they are resolved • Update issues with resolution and status • Depending on the issue, obtain executive management approval • Update the appropriate processes and documents impacted by the issue resolution Activities include: • Recording the detailed description and impact of the issue • Recording the owner of the issue • Recording the due date of a resolution • Recording the on-going progress / status of the issue • Recording the resolution and date resolved The Project Manager must ensure that project status meetings make time for the discussion of issues in the Issue Log. Short-life task forces may need to be convened for issues that affect a large number of Stakeholders. Page 35 6/3/2010
  36. 36. UNT Project Management Handbook 5.3.8 Manage Scope Scope control is a straightforward concept. The intent of implementing a scope control process is to identify and manage all elements (e.g., people and requirements) inside and outside of the project that increase or decrease the project scope beyond the required or defined need of the original, agreed-upon Product Scope Statement. Attributes of Scope Control include: • Influencing the factors that create scope changes • Ensuring that the changes are beneficial • Determining that a scope change has occurred • Managing the actual changes when and if they occur Scope changes will come from the perceived need for a change in a project deliverable that may affect its functionality and in most cases the amount of work needed to perform the project. A scope change is a very crucial occurrence. A scope change most likely will require a change in project funding, resources and / or time. All scope change requests should be submitted in writing. A committee that consists of Stakeholders from all areas of the project should be willing to convene and discuss the potential change and its anticipated impact on the project and the department. This group of Stakeholders should be a predefined cross section of people that will have the ability to commit their interests at a strategic management level. Once a decision is made to increase or reduce scope, the change must be authorized by all members of the committee. Any changes that are agreed upon must be documented and signed as a matter of formal scope control. In addition, the impact of the scope change will be felt throughout the Planning Review Gate processes and documents. Documents such as the WBS and Project Schedule will have to be re-evaluated and updated to include the scope change impacts. Scope changes need to be communicated clearly and effectively to the Project Team by the Project Manager. Team members will want, and need, to understand how the scope change affects their area of responsibility. Scope control is extremely important within technology projects. It is not uncommon when team members are doing their development testing or implementation work for them to try to get creative or give the customer something other than, or in addition to, the original stated requirements. Doing any work that is outside or beyond the stated work, as called out in the original requirements, is considered “scope creep” or “expansion of scope”. Expansion of scope is much more subtle within technology projects because adding additional features (e.g., adding an extra icon or function to an application) does not appear to be as significant as adding something to a normal project (e.g., adding an extra mile of road to a highway construction project). Page 36 6/3/2010
  37. 37. UNT Project Management Handbook In both cases, the additional scope of work has an impact on other control mechanisms within the project. The scope creep (unnoticed additions or changes to the project from the agreed-upon requirements or specifications that increase the scope of the project) will most likely not be budgeted or scheduled, which means that any small scope change could have a large cost and schedule effect. Guidelines for Managing Scope: • Identify potential scope changes via a formal change request / request log • Evaluate the impact (i.e., additional project funds, resources, or time will be required) • Ensure that the scope change is beneficial • Discuss the potential change and anticipated impact with Key Stakeholders • If a decision is made to change scope, document and obtain sign-off • Update all elements of the Project Plan to reflect the scope change • Communicate scope changes clearly to all Stakeholders Activities include: • Identifying and documenting potential changes to scope (e.g., deliverables) • Determining the revisions to project artifacts needed due to the change in project scope (e.g., Budget, Schedule) • Obtaining approval for the scope change from Key Stakeholders • Revising impacted planning artifacts and communicating changes 5.3.9 Manage Organizational Change All departments that develop and execute projects have formal and informal policies that may affect Project Plan execution. Project Implementation may also lead to the realization of the need for new polices or alteration of existing policies. Any consideration for new CITC policies and procedures should be documented during the Implementation Review Gate and reviewed for implementation. General guidelines for managing Organizational Change: • Ensure that the Organizational Change Management Plan is executed as planned • Participate and endorse Organizational Change activities • Revise the Organizational Change Management Plan based on feedback received from Stakeholders and Project Team Members 5.3.10 Communicate Information The project Communication Plan is an important factor in the Implementation Review Gate. A large part of a Project Manager’s responsibility during this stage of the project is keeping the Stakeholders informed of project status. There are many facets to project communications. Joint project reviews are a good way to bring visibility to all areas of the project. They provide an opportunity to discuss important issues and make management decisions on the project with input from several sources. The frequency and topics covered at these meetings should be outlined in the Communications Plan. Page 37 6/3/2010
  38. 38. UNT Project Management Handbook The Project Manager may be requested to make monthly reports to the Steering Committee or other management group. Meeting minutes should be made available to Stakeholders along with any “to-do” lists that may have been generated during the meetings. All elements of the Project Plan should be accessible to the Stakeholders via shared storage, a project web site, or other means. The Communication Plan may specify that particular Stakeholders receive portions of the Project Plan in varying format, depending on their communication needs. The Project Manager should stay in constant communication with the Project Team, both formally and informally, and revise the Communication Plan based on feedback. Informal discussion is sometimes the best way to determine team morale, true project status, looming challenges, etc. 5.3.11 Conduct Status Review Meetings While the Project Manager is responsible for relaying project status to parties outside the Project Team, the Project Team is, in turn, expected to report status to the Project Manager. This includes communicating information on both a formal and informal basis. Formal mechanisms such as status reports, status meetings, and action item reviews can be very specific. Informal processes, such as hallway conversations, can be very helpful as well. Status reporting is an integral part of the project management process. It is the means by which the Project Team and executive management stay informed about the progress and key activities required to successfully complete the project. The purpose of the status report is to provide a standard format for the formal exchange of information on the progress of the project. The information shared in the status report should be in a consistent format throughout the project. Status reports typically detail activities, accomplishments, milestones, identified issues and problems. Mitigation strategies should be prepared for anticipated problems. Status meetings are conducted to discuss project status and to set direction and priorities for the project. The level of detail and objective of status reports and status meetings vary based upon the audience, project size and impact, and the risk associated with a project. The three primary status audiences are: Project Team For the Project Team, status reports and meetings cover the lowest level of detail. This is a forum for the Project Manager to discuss project progress and status with the team and to implement project direction and priorities as set by the Sponsor (and possibly the Steering Committee). Larger projects, which are divided into teams, will also conduct team status meetings. Project Status Meetings are typically conducted every week. Page 38 6/3/2010

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