The Project Management Office
Project Plan Template
The Project Management Plan is central to PMBOK project management. We suggest you start with this template then use subsidiary management plans to further build out your project plan.Go to Template...
Templates Organized by Process Group
Project Charter Template
Every successful project starts with a good Project Charter. We have two Project Charter templates available, a short one page version and a longer more comprehensive version.Go to Template...
Business Case Template
Before starting a project many organizations require a formal business case to be developed. Our business case template will help you to get started.
Imagine Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark if he were “asleep at the switch.” How long would he survive? Just barely seconds into the film of course.
Fortunately, as a project manager, you normally don’t have to have the steady nerves Harrison Ford portrays so well in those steely eyes. Well, depending on your particular project, at least. Projects like that are out there. Realistic project managers know that their project life is continually presented with the unexpected, no matter how meticulously they have planned. In fact, it’s recognized that while having no plan is usually a guarantee of failure, any plan, no matter how perfect, will be continually challenged with curveballs and challenges and thus change.
You have stakeholders, managers, users, team members and so many others all wanting you to make seemingly minor changes to your project on almost a daily basis. They all seem to suddenly be your friend and looking out for your best interest. But they don't realize that the minor changes they want are actually scope changes to the project and will affect the schedule, cost or quality of the project. The best way to manage these requests is through a robust scope management plan. While we have an excellent scope management plan template available for free download, we would also like to highlight the five components we believe are key to the plan. The following five parts are key to an effective scope management plan:
The approach is an important part of the Scope Management Plan because it defines how the organization will manage the scope of a project and defines various aspects of the Scope Management Plan. Some of the information that should be contained in the approach is:
- Scope management responsibility and authority (i.e. project manager or other designee)
- How the scope of the project is defined
- How and when the project scope is measured and verified
- How changes in scope are conducted
- Who is responsible for final acceptance of project scope (i.e. sponsor or other designee)
The foundation of successful project management is the ability to communicate effectively. A large majority of a project manager’s time is spent on communications throughout all project phases. Additionally, project team members and stakeholders also share in the responsibility of communicating. Because of its importance, great care and planning must be used when developing a project’s Communications Management Plan as it sets the framework for how all communications will occur, by whom, how often, and in what methods.
- Determining Stakeholder Communication Requirements
Many projects fail because project managers and teams do not properly identify or manage stakeholders. Projects may have large numbers of stakeholders all with varying influence and interest. Project managers must take great care in understanding who these stakeholders are and what their requirements are for communication throughout the project. They may only want to be informed when milestones are met; or might wish to receive phone calls instead of emails; or want weekly updates until project completion. By understanding the communication requirements of every stakeholder, the project team can ensure they keep stakeholders involved with the appropriate level of detail and in the correct format (i.e. meetings, emails, phone calls).
In today’s world of dynamic and complex projects, a carefully developed Project Management Plan is more important than ever. The Project Management Plan is the foundation for all projects and the importance of careful and deliberate planning cannot be overstated. There’s an old adage that the more planning put into a project, the higher the likelihood of success. While no Project Management Plan can ever plan and account for every possible contingency, there are some areas of consideration that will help ensure your plan avoids some common pitfalls.
- The Project Management Plan is a Living Document
Project management planning is an iterative activity that is continuously performed throughout a project’s lifecycle. The Project Management Plan is no different. As the project moves forward and more detailed information becomes available, the project team should continue to add detail, refine project estimates, and continue to progressively elaborate until the project is complete.
Most people who have practiced project management for any length of time have undoubtedly seen examples of good and bad project managers. Successful project management stems not only from one’s individual knowledge, talent, and ability, but their interactions with teams, understanding of methodologies, and ability to use the project management tools they’ve learned over the years. Most would agree that project management is neither an art nor a science but a combination of both. While there is no perfect formula for what makes a successful project manager, there are certain characteristics that they have in common.
1) Team Builder: Successful project managers have the ability to gain consensus from a diverse group of people in order to work toward a common goal. While there is no one way to do this, successful project managers use their interpersonal skills to identify priorities among stakeholders, understand what is important, convey the importance of the project to all involved, and empower team members while gaining buy-in from stakeholders. Without collectively pulling the group together toward a common goal, the chances of a successful project are not very good.