Project Management Articles
and maintaining a workable scheme
to accomplish the business need
that the project was undertaken
this process a project or phase
of a project is planned. The amount of planning performed should be
commensurate with the scope and
the usefulness of the information
planning process is two fold.
It involves developing the
core work plans – work activities,
business transition management,
resources, sequencing, and timing,
while at the same time developing
plans to control the project or
phase. Collectively, the plans represent what is
required to create the solution
and manage all aspects of the work. Depending on the business need, the technical
complexity, and who must be involved,
a project or phase may require more,
or possibly fewer plans to manage
and control the work execution.
The business and technical
complexity assessment in the Initiating
phase gives guidelines to determine
how much planning is recommended.
The project plan development takes
the results of the planning process
activities and puts them into an
integrated, consistent, and coherent
document to ensure that all of the
various elements of the work and
business transition efforts are
The planning activities may
include as an example developing
the work activities, schedule, budget,
communications, quality assurance,
training, business transition management,
and contracting plans.
(refer to the DEPARTMENTAL-Office
of Contracts & Procurement Contract
Process for additional information). The results of these activities are collected
into an Integrated
An Integrated Project Plan is a document or collection of documents
that should be expected to change
over time as more information becomes
available about the project.
To create an initial plan that is
focused upon the agreed scope, objectives
and problems that the project must
To obtain a common understanding
and agreement of the work and resources
required to creating a solution
and managing all aspects of the
phase or project including product
delivery and business acceptance.
To collectively obtain commitment
from the sponsor, project manager,
project team, and other affected
groups as to how the work activities,
roles and responsibilities, and
administrative aspects of the project
are to be assigned and performed.
To reiteratively update the project
plan as changes occur on the project
and as new information becomes available.
learned from skipping or poorly
executing the planning phase are:
Project strays from its original
Late discovery that there are inadequate
resources (funds, staff, facilities,
or tools) to deliver the expected
product or service.
Resources are over-committed on
the project or on other projects.
Lengthy, repetitive, and large meetings
to discuss what needs to be done
and how to coordinate.
Difficulty obtaining and coordinating
resources when they are needed.
Business, technical team, and consumer
frustration caused by poorly defined,
communicated, and coordinated work
Issues are not well understood and
decisions are repetitively re-opened
Input to Planning
The Project Charter is
discussed in 1.0 Initiating.
However, the importance of
the Project Charter is that it contains
the agreed upon level of planning
required for the project.
It should indicate the level
of formality required for each of
the plans discussed later in this
The available historical
information (e.g., estimating data,
lessons learned, activities required
on previous, similar projects) should
be considered when defining, estimating
and planning the project.
Any and all of the organizations involved in the project may have formal
or informal policies whose effects
must be considered. Organizational policies which typically
must be considered include, but
are not limited to:
Quality Assurance Review by a third
party on projects over $1,000,000.00.
(1 Million US Dollars) is recommended.
Financial Controls – time reporting,
expenditure and disbursement reviews,
accounting codes, standard contract
and procurement provisions.
Decision and Authority Policies
– Policies of the state, the organization,
and internal to the organization. These policies indicate who has authority
over what decisions are made in
regard to the project.
Constraints. The constraints
are discussed in 1.0 Initiating.
Assumptions. The assumptions
are discussed in 1.0 Initiating.
Planning -Process Activities
process is a course of proven actions
used to guide the organization through
the planning phase.
Performing these activities
has been proven to reduce the amount
of risk and rework in later phases
of a project.
It’s a work process – not document creation
Performing the process is the primary
effort, not creating a document.
Creating the document or
deliverable is secondary.
The processes are intended to obtain
a common understanding and agreement.
Writing the information down
informally (white board, e-mail,
notes) facilitates the evolution
of a common understanding and agreement. The written information serves as a communication
vehicle to the project team and
Once broad understanding is
obtained, formulating an accurate,
concise, and readable deliverable
from the information is appropriate.
Using a deliverable template
provides an organizationally consistent
method to document project information.
Remember - The
planning process overlaps other
It is important to remember that a
broad or preliminary plan may be
all that is needed or feasible at
the time to get started with some
of the execution work. Remember the planning process overlaps the
other processes as depicted below.
Many times it is necessary
to do some of the execution work,
(i.e. requirements, analysis, and
sometimes design) before a more
definitive plan can be put in place.
The planning is accomplished
over the course of the project by
progressively detailing the work
to be accomplished as each major
milestone is reached.
This approach is highly recommended
when working with staff and customers
who have low tolerance levels in
seeing work begin on the product.
Planning Process Activities Diagram
The process activities are diagramed
then followed by brief description
of each activity. The diagram is numbered to correspond to the
“Project Management – Overview Reference”
located in the Introduction of this
The description follows the diagram
and each process step is numbered.
A title is indicated in bold
in the left-hand column. In addition to the title, the recommended
template to document the outcomes
of the process step is indicated
in parentheses. In some cases the process step outcome is
recorded in a section of the “Integrated
Project Plan” template. In other cases the outcomes are recorded in
a separate planning template, i.e.
4. Develop Project Scope
(Integrated Project Plan)
Determine How Changes will be Managed
(Integrated Project Plan and Optionally Formal Change
Developing the Project Scope includes performing those activities required to ensure
that the project includes all the
work required, and only the work
required, to complete the project
successfully. This the work to develop the product and the
business transition processes to
ensure that the customer is ready
to accept the delivered product
and the end of the project.
A written scope statement is the basis
for future project decisions.
It documents the agreement
between the project team and the
project customer by making known
what is and is not to be part of
the project. Then the scope statement includes primary
objectives, major deliverable milestones,
assumptions, constraints and completion
These will be the criteria
used to determine if the project
or phase has been completed successfully.
If all the elements of the scope statement
are already available (e.g. a product
description may identify the major
deliverables, the project charter
may define objectives) this activity
may involve little more than physically
copying the information into the
integrated project plan document.
During the development of the scope
statement decisions must be made
as to how the project will manage
project and product scope or requirement
Product scope changes are
changes that impact the agreed upon
primary objectives and/or major
How product and project scope
changes will be managed is the basis
of the change management plan for
The change management plan
may be formal or informal. However it is completed it is a subsidiary
element of the “Integrated Project
Plan” and at a minimum should include
an assessment of the expected stability
of the scope (i.e., how likely is
it to change, how frequently, and
by how much).
The plan typically includes
agreements to a) evaluate changes
to determine if they are beneficial,
b) determine that a scope change
has occurred, and c) manage the
actual changes when and if they
The process and tools described in
the Project Change Management Plan
is the projects Change Control System.
For some projects, a very
rigorous change control system may
be referred to as either configuration
management or requirements management.
Requirements Management should
be used if the project risk requires
a documented procedure to apply
technical and administrative direction
and surveillance to:
- Identify and document
the functional and physical characteristics
of an item or system.
- Control any changes
to such characteristics.
- Record and report
the change and its implementation
- Audit the items
and system to verify conformance
5. Define and
(Integrated Project Plan – WBS)
Defining the project’s work activities
is done by subdividing the major
deliverables (as identified in the
scope statement) into smaller, more
manageable components in order to:
Improve the accuracy of cost, time,
and resource estimates.
Define a baseline for performance
measurement and control.
Facilitate clear responsibility
These activities should represent
the major deliverables and should
include all work activities including
the project management work activities
and work activities that are the
result of the other project plans,
i.e. the Quality Management Plan.
The decomposition of the major deliverable
into work activities and then tasks
is referred to as the Work Breakdown Structure.
are many methods to develop the
work breakdown structure. Please see “WBS Development Techniques” in
the “Tools and Techniques” section.
This reference points you
to the various standard lifecycle
the critical work dependencies sequences
these work activities in order to
support later development of a realistic
and achievable schedule. Initial assignment of the critical dependencies
can be done in the Integrated Project
Plan Template, WBS section.
More complex projects will
need to use a scheduling tool to
create a Project
projects attempt to define and sequence
the activities at the same time
they are building the project schedule.
Attempting to build a schedule
before activities have been defined
and sequenced has been repeatedly
proven to lengthen the time it takes
to develop an accurate schedule.
6. Estimate Activity
Durations and Determine Resource
(Integrated Project Plan)
At this point an initial estimate
of the likely duration of each of
the defined activities is obtained,
ideally, from a person or couple
of people who are most familiar
with the nature of work activity.
The duration estimate does
not take into account the number
of people expected to perform the
activity or task.
Often it is difficult to find someone
who is willing to or has the expertise
to do the duration estimate.
Under this scenario, a couple
people involved with the planning
need to make a duration estimate
using their best judgement.
Additional refinement of the estimate
is done during schedule development.
7. Determine How
Quality will be Managed
(Integrated Project Plan and optionally Formal Quality
Quality Planning involves identifying
which quality standards and/or metrics
are relevant to the project and
determining how to satisfy them.
Quality standards should
address both product quality and
Ideally the Quality Management
Plan must address how quality assurance
and control for the project will
The goal is to plan quality
into the project as opposed to auditing
quality into the project.
Quality Assurance identifies the activities
or tasks that must be performed
in the project to provide confidence
that the project will satisfy the
relevant quality standards.
Quality Control involves monitoring
both the products and process to
determine if the project is meeting
the quality standards as well as
identifying ways to eliminate causes
of unsatisfactory results.
On projects where the total cost of
the project is expected to exceed
$1,000.000 a third party is expected
to perform the Quality Management
Typically they would work
with the project management team
and the Department of Administrative
Services QA Analyst to create the
Quality Management Plan, determine
the appropriate quality assurance
activities and activity estimates,
and conduct the Quality Assurance.
8. Determine How
to Meet the Communica-tion Needs
(Integrated Project Plan and optionally Formal Communica-tion
Planning involves determining the
information and communication needs
of the stakeholders: who needs what information,
who will give it to them, how will
it be given, and when. The detail of the Communication Plan will
vary widely from project to project
and should be based on what is suitable
communication to enable project
and business transition success. A formal Communication Plan covers not only
who needs what information, when
will they need it, how will it be
given to them, and by whom, but
A collection and filing structure
which details what methods will
be used to gather, store, update,
and disseminate various types of
A distribution structure that details
to whom information (status reports,
data, schedule, documentation, news)
will flow and what methods/media
will be used to distribute them.
The method for closing the project
and filing or archiving the project
or phase information.
The method for how the communication
plan will be updated over the course
of the project.
9. Develop Schedule
(Integrated Project Plan and Optionally Scheduling Tool)
Schedule Development means determining
start and finish dates for the project
activities defined and allocation
of the resources to these activities. This process is iterated as the other planning
process steps provide the inputs
(especially activity definition,
duration estimating, resources requirements,
and cost estimating) prior to final
determination of the project schedule.
Developing the schedule can be done
informally in a table or spreadsheet
when the number of activities is
approximately 20, relationships
are not complex, and analysis of
critical path is fairly simple to
For moderate to complex projects a
scheduling tool is highly recommended
to do the critical path analysis
and resource allocation.
The tool typically combines
critical path analysis and resource
leveling based on the project calendar
to establish the start and end dates
for each activity.
Currently the department is using
Microsoft Project as the scheduling
tool and a basic project template
is available on the PMO Web site
Inputs to schedule development include
the WBS containing the activity
definitions, duration estimate;
resource needs and in more complex
projects a Project Network Diagram, which indicates the projects work activity
relationships in a diagram.
Other things to consider are the normal
or irregular work hours under which
the project will be scheduled.
What will the project calendar
Will it be Monday through
Friday 8-5, with holidays and vacations
exempted? Or will shift hours and weekends be open to
scheduling the work activities.
Other considerations are constraints,
such as imposed dates for completion
of certain deliverables and key
events or major milestones that
cannot be moved without great difficulty.
10. Estimate Resource
(Integrated Project Plan and Cost Estimate Spreadsheet
and/or Scheduling Tool)
Estimating resource costs involves
developing an approximation (estimate)
of the costs of the resources needed
to complete the project activities.
The question to be answered
is “how much will it cost the organization
to provide the product or service
Cost estimating involves identifying
and considering various cost alternatives. For example, will more work during the design
phase reduce the cost of the construction
Costs should be estimated for all
resources to be used on the project.
This includes all internal
and external labor, materials, supplies,
contracts, and special costs not
normally a consideration (i.e. facility
costs, legal costs, team training
Cost estimates should be expressed
This may require that costs
estimated in hours be converted
using a calculation to dollar costs. Generally, the calculation for internal staff
is average project staff salary
+ (average project staff salary
* 80% fringe and benefits).
If this estimate is required
care should be taken not to mix
internal labor hours with external
labor hours or other costs.
This will allow flexibility
to show the cost figures with and
without internal labor hours for
some of the stakeholders.
Finally, cost estimates are refined
during the course of the project
to reflect the additional detail
available as the project progresses.
The cost estimates should
be definitive just prior to construction.
There are three cost estimating techniques
available for estimating.
11. Organize and
(Integrated Project Plan and Setup Project Files)
Organizing the project includes identifying,
documenting, and assigning project
roles and responsibilities as they
relate to the work defined, as well
as acquiring the staff and setting
up the electronic and or hardcopy
project files and supporting procedures.
Role and responsibility assignments
may require developing a Responsibility
Assignment Matrix (RAM) and/or a
project organization chart with
descriptions of each of the roles. The purpose of developing these is to get
a common understanding of their
responsibilities for those assigned
to the project.
Staff acquisition may require negotiations
with the responsible functional
managers for the appropriate resources
or negotiations with other project
managers where resources will be
In some cases, internal staff
may be pre-assigned; in others the
project procurement process can
be used to obtain specific staff.
the project will manage project
documentation should be determined.
A standard electronic project
library structure is strongly recommended
for storing the various project
information. In many cases a hardcopy version of the final
draft is also maintained.
What to Procure and When
(Integrated Project Plan and Optionally Formal Procurement
Plan & SOWs)
Procurement planning identifies which
project needs can be best met by
procuring products or services outside
the project organization.
The questions to be answered
are whether or not to procure, how
to procure, what to procure, how
much to procure, and when to procure
it. A procurement plan communicates how all the
procurements/contracts will be managed
solicitation planning, solicitation,
and source selection, to contract
administration and contract closeout. The plan may be formal or informal, highly
detailed or broadly framed, and/or
based on the needs of the project
In addition to the procurement plan,
the procurement documents must be
prepared. The Statement(s) of Work (SOW) required should
be developed in sufficient detail
to allow a prospective vendor to
determine if they are capable of
providing the item.
SOWs generally fall into
two categories, one for contracting
for a specifically described product
or service, and the other for presenting
a problem that is to be solved.
Sometimes the second type
of SOW may be called a Statement
Other procurement documents that may
be needed are the Invitation to
Bid (IFB), Request for Proposal
(RFP), Request for Quotation (RFQ),
and Evaluation Criteria to rate
or score the proposals.
Generally, evaluation criteria
Understanding of the Need – as demonstrated
by the vendor’s proposal.
Overall Cost – Will the vendor’s
solution produce the lowest total
cost for implementation and ability
to maintain or operate?
Technical Capability – Does the
vendor have or has proven ability
to acquire the technical skills
and knowledge needed?
Management approach – Does the vendor
have or be reasonably expected to
use internal management processes
to ensure a successful project?
Financial Capacity – Does the vendor
have, or can they be reasonably
expected to obtain, the financial
a final note, these steps are all
part of procurement planning for
the project; the actual solicitation
process is part of the execution
phase. How early solicitation is performed in the
execution phase is determine by
the initial project plan that is
coordinating all project work activities
to be executed, including solicitation
Build Budget and Spending Plan
(Integrated Project Plan and Optionally Formal Cost Management
Plan and/or scheduling tool)
Most projects will develop some level
of budget information and some will
also develop a spending plan. Project budgeting involves assigning all the
cost estimates to individual work
activities or tasks on the project
schedule to establish a cost baseline.
By assigning the estimates
to the schedule a time-phased budget
or spending plan can be created
to show budget by month. For example, by allocating to the major categories
in the cost estimating step:
All internal labor – Internal staff
within The Department.
All external labor – Staff external
to the Department, but not contracted.
Materials and Supplies.
Contracts – All contract costs including
Special Costs—Those not normally
a consideration (i.e. facility costs,
legal costs, or team training costs).
A budget by month and by cost category
can be established and utilized
later to track actual cost against
14. Identify Risk
& Create Risk Response Plan
(Integrated Project Plan and Optionally Risk Management
Risk planning involves determining
Which risks are likely to affect
Evaluating the risks to assess range
of possible outcomes, and
How the risks will be mediated if
they occur or defining how the planned
work activities will be modified
and at what cost to avoid selected
risks from occurring.
Common sources of risk include:
Insufficient business transition
Changes in requirements
Design errors, omissions, and misunderstandings.
Poorly defined or understood roles
Poor estimates or unsupported estimates.
Insufficiently skilled staff.
Impossible time frames.
(Integrated Project Plan)
Integrating the Project’s Plans uses
the outputs of the previous steps
re-iteratively to create a consistent,
coherent document that can be used
to guide both project execution
and project control.
This step maybe iterated
several times, for example the initial
draft may include generic resources
and undated durations while the
final plan reflects specific resources
and explicit dates.
The Integrated project plan
is used to:
Guide project execution.
Guide business acceptance and preparation.
Document project planning assumptions
and decision regarding work alternatives
Facilitate communication among stakeholders.
Provide the baseline information for progress or performance measurement and
Integrated Project Plan is a document
or collection of documents that
should be expected to change over
time, as more information becomes
available to the project.
The baselines are controls
that will, in general, change only
intermittently and then usually
only in response to an approved
Output From Planning
Integrated Project Plan – as
defined is step 15 of this chapter.
Updated Project Charter -
The Project Charter is discussed
in 1.0 Initiating.
However, the Project Charter
is likely to have been updated with
additional commitments on staff,
plans, and controls during the planning
Supporting Detail –
- Outputs from other
planning processes that are not
included or referenced in the
integrated project plan.
- Additional information
or documentation generated during
development of the project plan
(e.g. constraints and assumptions
that were not previously known).
- Technical documentation;
such as, a history of all research,
assessments, requirements, designs.
- Documentation of
Tools and Techniques
Project Planning Methodology
WBS Development Techniques