Successful projects start with effective Project Planning. A project is only successful when the needs of the stakeholders have been met. A stakeholder is anybody directly or indirectly impacted by the project. Integrated Technologies, Inc. (ITI) works interactively with our clients to develop effective project plans. Our project plans normally include nine integrated steps:
Step One: Define the project objectives in terms of problems and/or needs. The project definition should begin by identifying the project stakeholders. Stakeholder needs can be determined through individual interviews or with a stakeholder workshop. After the stakeholder needs are identified, the list of needs must be prioritized and consolidated in a needs statement. The needs statement is used to define the project objectives. Project objectives should be SMART – specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic, and time-based.
Step Two: Define the project deliverables and deliverable components that the project will produce. The deliverables should be based on the project goals and objectives and should be the minimum set necessary to achieve those goals and objectives. The deliverables should be defined both qualitatively and quantitatively.
Step Three: Develop a Resource Plan that describes the staffing resources needed for the project, the necessary skills, where the resources are coming from, etc. The plan also identifies the participants involved in the project and the roles they will fulfill on the project. Each stakeholder in the project should understand their role and responsibilities on the project. This includes the project manager, sponsor, steering committee, project team members, control board, etc. It can also specify the duration of their participation in the project and the percentage of their time to be devoted to participating on the project.
Step Four: Define the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and Project Schedule.
Step Five: Develop a Financial Plan that defines cost constraints on the project and the value of the project to the enterprise. Project cost constraints can take the form of an estimate of costs, an estimated range of costs, or a not-to-exceed estimate of costs. Statements of value can take the form of estimated ROI, compliance with regulatory or customer requirements, or reduced risk to the enterprise.
Step Six: Develop the Quality Management Plan, which should address all of the following elements:
- Management Responsibility – Describes the quality responsibilities of all project stakeholders.
- Enterprise Quality Management System – Provides the overall framework for project quality management and is the governing system if conflicts arise.
- Design Control – Specifies the procedures for Design Review, Sign-Off, Design Changes, and Design Waivers of requirements.
- Document Control – Defines the process to control Project Documents at each Project Phase.
- Procurement – Defines Quality Control and Quality Requirements for sub-contracting, purchasing, and materials control.
- Inspection Testing – Details the plans for Demonstration/Validation and Acceptance Testing.
- Nonconformance – Defines the procedures to handle any type of nonconforming materials, equipment, or work.
- Corrective Actions – Describes the procedures for taking Corrective Actions for any problems encountered during project execution.
- Quality Records – Describes the procedures for maintaining the Quality Records (metrics, variance reports, executed checklists, etc.) during project execution, as well as after the project completion.
- Quality Audits – An internal audit should be planned and implemented during each phase of the project.
- Training – Specifies any training requirements for the project team.
Step Seven: Develop a Risk Management Plan describing the project risks, how risks rank, how to respond to all major risks, contingency plans, risk management tools, risk management specialists on the project, etc. The purpose of the Risk Management Plan is to ensure that project risks are properly identified, analyzed, documented, mitigated, monitored, and controlled. It describes the approach that will be used to identify, analyze, prioritize, monitor, and mitigate risks.
Step Eight: Develop the Project Management Plan. This document contains the specific procedures for managing the schedule, communication, resources, conflicts, scope changes, risks, and quality.
Step Nine: Develop a Project Closure Plan. The project closure phase begins upon completion of all project objectives and acceptance of project by the customer. Project closure includes the following tasks:
- Release of project resources
- Closure of any financial issues, including open invoices, contracts etc.
- Collection and completion of all project records.
- Archiving of all project records.
- Documenting the issues faced in the project and their resolution.
- Conducting a lessons-learned workshop with the project team and documenting lessons learned to improve future projects.
Master Project Planning
As a more specialized service, Integrated Technologies, Inc. (ITI) can support complex project planning and/or integration of separate but related projects with Master Project Planning services. Master Project Planning provides a framework for anticipating, visualizing, and integrating short term, mid-term, and long-term projects.
Master Project Plans are like travel itineraries and roadmaps that chart the route, schedule, and cost of a complicated trip. An effective Master Project Plan is a critical tool for systematically managing the synergies and conflicts of interconnected projects. Master Project Planning can be used to manage and prioritize resource demands and conflicts of concurrent projects and/or sequential projects.