A successful project requires a detailed and well-planned Project Management Plan. Start planning with our Project Plan Template. This Project Management Plan template is a good starting point for planning your project; however, be sure to check out our Subsidiary Management Plans for areas which need more focused management. If you want to know what is a project plan, be sure to go to our blog and read the blog entry titled, "What is a Project Plan?".
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|Project Management Plan|
The Introduction provides a high level overview of the project and what is included in this Project Management Plan. This should include a high level description of the project and describe the projects deliverables and benefits. Excessive detail is not necessary in this section as the other sections of the project plan will include this information. This section of the project plan template should provide a summarized framework of the project and its purpose. Look back at the Project Charter for information to include in this section.
Total Software Incorporated (TSI) has recently approved the SmartVoice project to move forward for project initiation within the research and development (R&D) group. This project will result in the development of new voice recognition software and supports TSI’s corporate strategy of providing progressive solutions to clients which improve productivity in both the workplace and home environment. While voice recognition software is currently available, TSI believes that new technological developments will enable our team to develop a solution far superior to what is currently available.
TSI has been successful in gaining market share because of its aggressive pursuit of product quality, ease of use, flexibility, and customer service. Additionally, customers understand that our products may be applied to a wide range of uses for business and personal functions. By leveraging our reputation for superior quality and user-friendly products, and capitalizing on new technology, TSI can position itself as the premier provider of effective and easy to use voice recognitions software in today’s marketplace.
Project Management Approach
This section of the Project Plan is where you outline the overall management approach for the project. This section should describe, in general terms, the roles and authority of project team members. It should also include which organizations will provide resources for the project and any resource constraints or limitations. If there are any decisions which must be made by specific individuals—for example authorizing additional funding by the project sponsor—this should also be stated here. It should be written as an Executive Summary for the Project Management Plan.
The Project Manager, Joe Green, has the overall authority and responsibility for managing and executing this project according to this Project Plan and its Subsidiary Management Plans. The project team will consist of personnel from the coding group, quality control/assurance group, technical writing group, and testing group. The project manager will work with all resources to perform project planning. All project and subsidiary management plans will be reviewed and approved by the project sponsor. All funding decisions will also be made by the project sponsor. Any delegation of approval authority to the project manager should be done in writing and be signed by both the project sponsor and project manager.
The project team will be a matrix in that team members from each organization continue to report to their organizational management throughout the duration of the project. The project manager is responsible for communicating with organizational managers on the progress and performance of each project resource.
State the scope of the project in this section of the Project Management Plan. The scope statement from the project charter should be used as a starting point; however, the project plan needs to include a much more detailed scope than the charter. This detail should include what the project does and does not include. The more detail included in this section, the better the product. This will help to clarify what is included in the project and help to avoid any confusion from project team members and stakeholders.
The scope of TSI’s SmartVoice project includes the planning, design, development, testing, and transition of the SmartVoice voice recognition software package. This software will meet or exceed organizational software standards and additional requirements established in the project charter. The scope of this project also includes completion of all documentation, manuals, and training aids to be used in conjunction with the software. Project completion will occur when the software and documentation package has been successfully executed and transitioned to TSI’s manufacturing group for production.
All SmartVoice project work will be performed internally and no portion of this project will be outsourced. The scope of this project does not include any changes in requirements to standard operating systems to run the software, software updates or revisions.
Provide a summary list of milestones including dates for each milestone. Include an introductory paragraph in this section which provides some insight to the major milestones. This section of the project plan template should also mention or discuss actions taken if any changes to the milestones or delivery dates are required.
The below chart lists the major milestones for the SmartVoice Project. This chart is comprised only of major project milestones such as completion of a project phase or gate review. There may be smaller milestones which are not included on this chart but are included in the project schedule and WBS. If there are any scheduling delays which may impact a milestone or delivery date, the project manager must be notified immediately so proactive measures may be taken to mitigate slips in dates. Any approved changes to these milestones or dates will be communicated to the project team by the project manager.
Schedule Baseline and Work Breakdown Structure
This section of the Project Management Plan should discuss the WBS, WBS Dictionary, and Schedule baseline and how they will be used in managing the project’s scope. The WBS provides the work packages to be performed for the completion of the project. The WBS Dictionary defines the work packages. The schedule baseline provides a reference point for managing project progress as it pertains to schedule and timeline. The schedule baseline and work breakdown structure (WBS) should be created in Microsoft Project. The WBS can be exported from the MS Project file. Be sure to consult our Work Breakdown Structure Template.
The WBS for the SmartVoice Project is comprised of work packages which do not exceed 40 hours of work but are at least 4 hours of work. Work packages were developed through close collaboration among project team members and stakeholders with input from functional managers and research from past projects.
The WBS Dictionary defines all work packages for the SmartVoice Project. These definitions include all tasks, resources, and deliverables. Every work package in the WBS is defined in the WBS Dictionary and will aid in resource planning, task completion, and ensuring deliverables meet project requirements.The SmartVoice Project schedule was derived from the WBS and Project Charter with input from all project team members. The schedule was completed, reviewed by the Project Sponsor, and approved and base-lined. The schedule will be maintained as a MS Project Gantt Chart by the SmartVoice Project Manager. Any proposed changes to the schedule will follow TSI’s change control process. If established boundary controls may be exceeded, a change request will be submitted to the Project Manager. The Project Manager and team will determine the impact of the change on the schedule, cost, resources, scope, and risks. If it is determined that the impacts will exceed the boundary conditions then the change will be forwarded to the Project Sponsor for review and approval. The SmartVoice boundary conditions are:
CPI less than 0.8 or greater than 1.2
If the change is approved by the Project Sponsor then it will be implemented by the Project Manager who will update the schedule and all documentation and communicate the change to all stakeholders in accordance with the Change Control Process.
The Project Schedule Baseline and Work Breakdown Structure are provided in Appendix A, Project Schedule and Appendix B, Work Breakdown Structure.
Change Management Plan
This part of the Project Plan should describe your change control process. Ideally, this process will be some type of organizational standard which is repeatable and done on most or all projects when a change is necessary. Changes to any project must be carefully considered and the impact of the change must be clear in order to make any type of approval decisions. Many organizations have change control boards (CCBs) which review proposed changes and either approve or deny them. This is an effective way to provide oversight and ensure adequate feedback and review of the change is obtained. This section of the project plan template gives you an place where you should also identify who has approval authority for changes to the project, who submits the changes, how they are tracked and monitored.
For complex or large projects the Change Management Plan may be included as an appendix to the Project Management Plan or as a separate, stand-alone document. We have a detailed Change Management Plan Template available on our website.
The following steps comprise TSI’s organization change control process for all projects and will be utilized on the SmartVoice project:
Step #1: Identify the need for a change (Any Stakeholder)
Any team member or stakeholder may submit a change request for the SmartVoice Project. The SmartVoice Project Sponsor will chair the CCB and any changes to project scope, cost, or schedule must meet his approval. All change requests will be logged in the change control register by the Project Manager and tracked through to completion whether approved or not.
Communications Management Plan
The purpose of the Communications Management Plan is to define the communication requirements for the project and how information will be distributed to ensure project success. You should give considerable thought to how you want to manage communications on every project. By having a solid communications management approach you’ll find that many project management problems can be avoided. In this section you should provide an overview of your communications management approach. Generally, the Communications Management Plan defines the following:
For larger and more complex projects, the Communications Management Plan may be included as an appendix or separate document apart from the Project Management Plan. We have a detailed Communications Management Plan Template available on our website.
This Communications Management Plan sets the communications framework for this project. It will serve as a guide for communications throughout the life of the project and will be updated as communication requirements change. This plan identifies and defines the roles of SmartVoice project team members as they pertain to communications. It also includes a communications matrix which maps the communication requirements of this project, and communication conduct for meetings and other forms of communication. A project team directory is also included to provide contact information for all stakeholders directly involved in the project.
The Project Manager will take the lead role in ensuring effective communications on this project. The communications requirements are documented in the Communications Matrix below. The Communications Matrix will be used as the guide for what information to communicate, who is to do the communicating, when to communicate it, and to whom to communicate.
Project team directory for all communications is:
Cost Management Plan
The Cost Management Plan clearly defines how the costs on a project will be managed throughout the project’s lifecycle. It sets the format and standards by which the project costs are measured, reported, and controlled. Working within the cost management guidelines is imperative for all project team members to ensure successful completion of the project. These guidelines may include which level of the WBS cost accounts will be created in and the establishment of acceptable variances. The Cost Management Plan:
For complex or large projects the Cost Management Plan may be included as an appendix to the Project Plan or as a separate, stand-alone document. In addition to this project plan template we have a detailed Cost Management Plan Template available on our website.
The Project Manager will be responsible for managing and reporting on the project’s cost throughout the duration of the project. The Project Manager will present and review the project’s cost performance during the monthly project status meeting. Using earned value calculations, the Project Manager is responsible for accounting for cost deviations and presenting the Project Sponsor with options for getting the project back on budget. All budget authority and decisions, to include budget changes, reside with the SmartVoice Project Sponsor.
For the SmartVoice Project, control accounts will be created at the fourth level of the WBS which is where all costs and performance will be managed and tracked. Financial performance of the SmartVoice Project will be measured through earned value calculations pertaining to the project’s cost accounts. Work started on work packages will grant that work package with 50% credit; whereas, the remaining 50% is credited upon completion of all work defined in that work package. Costs may be rounded to the nearest dollar and work hours rounded to the nearest whole hour.
Cost and Schedule Performance Index (CPI and SPI respectively) will be reported on a monthly basis by the Project Manager to the Project Sponsor. Variances of 10% or +/- 0.1 in the cost and schedule performance indexes will change the status of the cost to yellow or cautionary. These will be reported and if it’s determined that there is no or minimal impact on the project’s cost or schedule baseline then there may be no action required. Cost variances of 20%, or +/- 0.2 in the cost and schedule performance indexes will change the status of the cost to red or critical. These will be reported and require corrective action from the Project Manager in order to bring the cost and/or schedule performance indexes back in line with the allowable variance. Any corrective actions will require a project change request and be must approved by the CCB before it can be implemented.
Earned value calculations will be compiled by the Project Manager and reported at the monthly project status meeting. If there are indications that these values will approach or reach the critical stage before a subsequent meeting, the Project Manager will communicate this to the Project Sponsor immediately.
Procurement Management Plan
The Procurement Management Plan should be defined enough to clearly identify the necessary steps and responsibilities for procurement from the beginning to the end of a project. The project manager must ensure that the plan facilitates the successful completion of the project and does not become an overwhelming task in itself to manage. The project manager will work with the project team, contracts/purchasing department, and other key players to manage the procurement activities.
For larger projects or projects with more complicated procurement management requirements, you can include the Procurement Management Plan as a separate document apart from the Project Management Plan. In addition to this Project Plan Template we have a detailed Procurement Management Plan Template available on our website.
The Project Manager will provide oversight and management for all procurement activities under this project. The Project Manager is authorized to approve all procurement actions up to $50,000. Any procurement actions exceeding this amount must be approved by the Project Sponsor.
While this project requires minimal or no procurement, in the event procurement is required, the Project Manager will work with the project team to identify all items or services to be procured for the successful completion of the project. The Project Manager will then ensure these procurements are reviewed by the Program Management Office (PMO) and presented to the contracts and purchasing groups. The contracts and purchasing groups will review the procurement actions, determine whether it is advantageous to make or buy the items or resource required services internally, and begin the vendor selection, purchasing and the contracting process.
In the event a procurement becomes necessary, the Project Manager will be responsible for management any selected vendor or external resource. The Project Manager will also measure performance as it relates to the vendor providing necessary goods and/or services and communicate this to the purchasing and contracts groups.
Project Scope Management Plan
It is important that the approach to managing the projects’ scope be clearly defined and documented in detail. Failure to clearly establish and communicate project scope can result in delays, unnecessary work, failure to achieve deliverables, cost overruns, or other unintended consequences. This section provides a summary of the Scope Management Plan in which it addresses the following:
We have a detailed Scope Management Plan Template available on our website which can be included as an appendix to the Project Management Plan for larger or more complex projects. Be sure to review it and determine if it's necessary for managing your project.
Scope management for the SmartVoice Project will be the sole responsibility of the Project Manager. The scope for this project is defined by the Scope Statement, Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and WBS Dictionary. The Project Manager, Sponsor, and Stakeholders will establish and approve documentation for measuring project scope which includes deliverable quality checklists and work performance measurements.
Proposed scope changes may be initiated by the Project Manager, Stakeholders or any member of the project team. All change requests will be submitted to the Project Manager who will then evaluate the requested scope change. Upon acceptance of the scope change request the Project Manager will submit the scope change request to the Change Control Board and Project Sponsor for acceptance. Upon approval of scope changes by the Change Control Board and Project Sponsor the Project Manager will update all project documents and communicate the scope change to all stakeholders. Based on feedback and input from the Project Manager and Stakeholders, the Project Sponsor is responsible for the acceptance of the final project deliverables and project scope.
The Project Sponsor is responsible for formally accepting the project’s final deliverable. This acceptance will be based on a review of all project documentation, testing results, beta trial results, and completion of all tasks/work packages and product functionality.
Schedule Management Plan
This section of the Project Plan provides a general framework for the approach which will be taken to create the project schedule. Effective schedule management is necessary for ensuring tasks are completed on time, resources are allocated appropriately, and to help measure project performance. This section of the Project Plan should include discussion of the scheduling tool/format, schedule milestones, and schedule development roles and responsibilities.
Be sure to check out the detailed Schedule Management Plan Template available on our website. The separate Schedule Management Plan is suitable for larger projects or projects where the schedule management is more formalized. The Schedule Management Plan can be broken out as an appendix to the Project Plan.
Project schedules for the SmartVoice Project will be created using MS Project 2007 starting with the deliverables identified in the project’s Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). Activity definition will identify the specific work packages which must be performed to complete each deliverable. Activity sequencing will be used to determine the order of work packages and assign relationships between project activities. Activity duration estimating will be used to calculate the number of work periods required to complete work packages. Resource estimating will be used to assign resources to work packages in order to complete schedule development.
Once a preliminary schedule has been developed, it will be reviewed by the project team and any resources tentatively assigned to project tasks. The project team and resources must agree to the proposed work package assignments, durations, and schedule. Once this is achieved the project sponsor will review and approve the schedule and it will then be base lined.
In accordance with TSI’s organizational standard, the following will be designated as milestones for all project schedules:
Roles and responsibilities for schedule development are as follows:
The project manager will be responsible for facilitating work package definition, sequencing, and estimating duration and resources with the project team. The project manager will also create the project schedule using MS Project 2007 and validate the schedule with the project team, stakeholders, and the project sponsor. The project manager will obtain schedule approval from the project sponsor and baseline the schedule.
The project team is responsible for participating in work package definition, sequencing, duration, and resource estimating. The project team will also review and validate the proposed schedule and perform assigned activities once the schedule is approved.
The project sponsor will participate in reviews of the proposed schedule and approve the final schedule before it is base lined.
The project stakeholders will participate in reviews of the proposed schedule and assist in its validation.
Quality Management Plan
This portion of the Project Plan Template discusses how quality management will be used to ensure that the deliverables for the project meet a formally established standard of acceptance. All project deliverables should be defined in order to provide a foundation and understanding of the tasks at hand and what work must be planned. Quality management is the process by which the organization not only completes the work, but completes the work to an acceptable standard. Without a thorough Quality Management Plan, work may be completed in a substandard or unacceptable manner. This section should include quality roles and responsibilities, quality control, quality assurance, and quality monitoring.
For larger or more complex projects, the Quality Management Plan may be included as an appendix or separate document from the Project Management Plan. A detailed Quality Management Plan Template is available for use on our website.
All members of the SmartVoice project team will play a role in quality management. It is imperative that the team ensures that work is completed at an adequate level of quality from individual work packages to the final project deliverable. The following are the quality roles and responsibilities for the SmartVoice Project:
The Project Sponsor is responsible for approving all quality standards for the SmartVoice Project. The Project Sponsor will review all project tasks and deliverables to ensure compliance with established and approved quality standards. Additionally, the Project Sponsor will sign off on the final acceptance of the project deliverable.
The Project Manager is responsible for quality management throughout the duration of the project. The Project Manager is responsible for implementing the Quality Management Plan and ensuring all tasks, processes, and documentation are compliant with the plan. The Project Manager will work with the project’s quality specialists to establish acceptable quality standards. The Project Manager is also responsible for communicating and tracking all quality standards to the project team and stakeholders.
The Quality Specialists are responsible for working with the Project Manager to develop and implement the Quality Management Plan. Quality Specialists will recommend tools and methodologies for tracking quality and standards to establish acceptable quality levels. The Quality Specialists will create and maintain Quality Control and Assurance Logs throughout the project.
The remaining member of the project team, as well as the stakeholders will be responsible for assisting the Project Manager and Quality Specialists in the establishment of acceptable quality standards. They will also work to ensure that all quality standards are met and communicate any concerns regarding quality to the Project Manager.
Quality control for the SmartVoice Project will utilize tools and methodologies for ensuring that all project deliverables comply with approved quality standards. To meet deliverable requirements and expectations, we must implement a formal process in which quality standards are measured and accepted. The Project Manager will ensure all quality standards and quality control activities are met throughout the project. The Quality Specialists will assist the Project Manager in verifying that all quality standards are met for each deliverable. If any changes are proposed and approved by the Project Sponsor and CCB, the Project Manager is responsible for communicating the changes to the project team and updating all project plans and documentation.
Quality assurance for the SmartVoice Project will ensure that all processes used in the completion of the project meet acceptable quality standards. These process standards are in place to maximize project efficiency and minimize waste. For each process used throughout the project, the Project Manager will track and measure quality against the approved standards with the assistance of the Quality Specialists and ensure all quality standards are met. If any changes are proposed and approved by the Project Sponsor and CCB, the Project Manager is responsible for communicating the changes to the project team and updating all project plans and documentation.
Risk Management Plan
This part of the Project Plan provides a general description for the approach taken to identify and manage the risks associated with the project. It should be a short paragraph or two summarizing the approach to risk management on this project.
Since risk management is a science in itself, we have many risk management templates available on our website. Look for the detailed Risk Management Plan Template, Risk Register Template along with our article on how to perform a risk assessment meeting.
The approach for managing risks for the SmartVoice Project includes a methodical process by which the project team identifies, scores, and ranks the various risks. Every effort will be made to proactively identify risks ahead of time in order to implement a mitigation strategy from the project’s onset. The most likely and highest impact risks were added to the project schedule to ensure that the assigned risk managers take the necessary steps to implement the mitigation response at the appropriate time during the schedule. Risk managers will provide status updates on their assigned risks in the bi-weekly project team meetings, but only when the meetings include their risk’s planned timeframe.
Upon the completion of the project, during the closing process, the project manager will analyze each risk as well as the risk management process. Based on this analysis, the project manager will identify any improvements that can be made to the risk management process for future projects. These improvements will be captured as part of the lessons learned knowledge base.
The Risk Register for this project is provided in Appendix C, Risk Register.
Staffing Management Plan
Here the Project Plan Template discusses how you plan to staff the project. This section should include discussion on matrixed or projectized organizational structure depending on which is being used for this project. This section of the project plan should also include how resources will be procured and managed as well as the key resources needed for the project.
The SmartVoice Project will consist of a matrix structure with support from various internal organizations. All work will be performed internally. Staffing requirements for the SmartVoice Project include the following:
Project Manager (1 position) – responsible for all management for the SmartVoice Project. The Project Manager is responsible for planning, creating, and/or managing all work activities, variances, tracking, reporting, communication, performance evaluations, staffing, and internal coordination with functional managers.
Senior Programmer (1 position) – responsible for oversight of all coding and programming tasks for the SmartVoice Project as well as ensuring functionality is compliant with quality standards. Responsible for working with the Project Manager to create work packages, manage risk, manage schedule, identify requirements, and create reports. The Senior Programmer will be managed by the Project Manager who will provide performance feedback to the functional manager.
Programmer (1 position) – responsible for coding and programming for the SmartVoice Project. All coding and programming tasks will be reviewed by the Senior Programmer prior to implementation. Responsibilities also include assisting with risk identification, determining impacts of change requests, and status reporting. The Programmer will be managed by the Project Manager and feedback will be provided to the functional manager for performance evaluations by the Project Manager and Senior Programmer.
Senior Quality Specialist (1 position) – responsible for assisting the Project Manager in creating quality control and assurance standards. The Senior Quality Specialist is also responsible for maintaining quality control and assurance logs throughout the project. The Senior Quality Specialist will be managed by the Project Manager who will also provide feedback to the functional manager for performance evaluations.
Quality Specialist (1 position) – responsible for assisting the Project Manager and Senior Quality Specialist in creating and tracking quality control and assurance standards. The Quality Specialist will have primary responsibility for compiling quality reporting and metrics for the Project Manager to communicate. The Quality Specialist will be managed by the Project Manager who will provide feedback, along with the Senior Quality Specialist to the functional manager for performance evaluations.
Technical Writer (1 position) – responsible for compiling all project documentation and reporting into organizational formats. Responsible for assisting the Project Manager in Configuration Management and revision control for all project documentation. Responsible for scribing duties during all project meetings and maintaining all project communication distribution lists. The Technical Writer will be managed by the Project Manager who will also provide feedback to the functional manager for performance evaluations.
Testing Specialist (1 position) – responsible for helping establish testing specifications for the SmartVoice Project with the assistance of the Project Manager and Programmers. Responsible for ensuring all testing is complete and documented in accordance with TSI standards. Responsible for ensuring all testing resources are coordinated. The Testing Specialist will be managed by the Project Manager who will also provide feedback to the functional manager for performance evaluations.
The Project Manager will negotiate with all necessary TSI functional managers in order to identify and assign resources for the SmartVoice Project. All resources must be approved by the appropriate functional manager before the resource may begin any project work. The project team will not be co-located for this project and all resources will remain in their current workspace.
Include a Resource Calendar as part of your project plan. The resource calendar identifies key resources needed for the project and the times/durations they'll be needed. Some resources may be needed for the entire length of the project while others may only be required for a portion of the project. This information must be agreed to by the Project Sponsor and Functional Managers prior to beginning the project.
The SmartVoice Project will require all project team members for the entire duration of the project although levels of effort will vary as the project progresses. The Project is scheduled to last one year with standard 40 hour work weeks. If a project team member is not required for a full 40 hour work week at any point during the project, their efforts outside of the SmartVoice Project will be at the discretion of their Functional Manager.
This section of the Project Plan Template contains the cost baseline for the project upon which cost management will be based. The project will use earned value metrics to track and manage costs and the cost baseline provides the basis for the tracking, reporting, and management of costs.
The cost baseline for the SmartVoice project includes all budgeted costs for the successful completion of the project.
This section of the Project Management Plan should include the quality baseline for the project. The purpose of this baseline is to provide a basis for ensuring that quality can be measured to determine if acceptable quality levels have been achieved. It is important for all projects to clearly define and communicate quality standards and the quality baseline serves this purpose. This is why the quality baseline is included in the Project Management Plan Template.
The SmartVoice Project must meet the quality standards established in the quality baseline. The quality baseline is the baseline which provides the acceptable quality levels of the SmartVoice Project. The software must meet or exceed the quality baseline values in order to achieve success.
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