This is a post in a series where I will write down what I learned about project management.
Integration is making choices about where to concentrate resources and effort, anticipating potential issues, dealing with issues and coordinating work for the overall project.
The project charter is the document that formally authorizes a project and is issued by the project initiator or sponsor (internal or external).
It answers the Why? question.
It contains normally (some can be optional):
- the business needs, high-level project description
- the project justification or purpose, the business case including the return on investment
- the high level requirements that satisfy the sponsor, the key objectives
- the assigned project manager
- the summary budget
- eventually a draft schedule with milestones
- eventually the functional organization
The Project Charters Inputs are:
- the contract (when an external customer)
- the Statement Of Work (SOW), for example for an internal project (contains the business need or the strategic plan)
- Standards as governmental or industry ones, regulations, etc.
- Organization processes, such as standards, policies, guidelines, templates, knowledge from previous projects, etc.
The scope is the definition of the project, what needs to be accomplished.
It answers the What?
It contains usually:
- product acceptance criteria
- constraints, boundaries
- initial defined risks
- initial organization
- initial schedule
- initial WBS
- initial cost estimate (order of magnitude)
The inputs are the same as for the project charter.
The plan (not to be confused with just a Gantt chart or a list of tasks) contains all the actions necessary to achieve the requirements and defines how the project is executed, monitored, controlled and closed.
- which processes and the level of implementation
- tools and techniques
- how the work will be executed
- how changes will be monitored and controlled
- how configuration management will be performed
- the project life cycle and the phases
- detailed plan (milestone lists, resource calendar, schedule baseline, etc.)
The inputs for the project plan are the same as for the project charter plus the processes (described in the next knowledge area).
The project execution relates to all actions necessary to:
- accomplish the objectives
- select sellers, obtain offers or proposals
- staff and train the team members
- obtain and manage the resources
- implement the planned methods and standards
- create and validate the deliverables
- manage risks
- manage sellers
- adapt approved changes into the scope and plans
- establish and manage the communication channels
- collect data and report the progress and status information
- collect and document the lessons learned
Inputs for the project execution are the plan, the approved changes, the methodologies, tools and information systems.
- the project deliverables (any unique and verifiable product, result or service planned and produced by the project effort),
- the project requested changes (the approved changes modifies the project scope),
- the project information (progress, costs, lessons learned and so on)
The monitor and control process is performed to track the project progress and take the necessary corrective actions through actions like:
- comparing actual performance against the plan
- determine corrective or preventive actions as necessary
- analyze and track the risks
- maintain and report the project information
Inputs are the plan, the project metrics, tools and methodologies (as for example the earned value technique).
Outputs are recommended corrective and preventive actions, forecasts.
The change control process is necessary to manage all the changes happening during the project life (seldom a project runs exactly as specified in the initial plan).
Actions for the process are:
- identify / collect the required changes
- review and approve or reject the changes
- incorporate in the plan and then continuously manage the approved changes
- update the scope, cost, budget, schedule and quality requirements according to the approved changes.
- document the impact of the changes.
Inputs are the original plan and the requested changes.
Outputs are the approved changes, the rejected changes, updates to the plan, scope and deliverables.
The process finalizes all activities completed, collect the project records, gather lessons learned, archive the relevant information and transfer the completed or cancelled project.
Inputs are the plan, the initial contract documentation and the deliverables.
Outputs are the final product, service or result; the project files; the closure documentation and historical information.