A Guide to Project Management

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1 A Guide to Project Management The purpose of this website is to provide a job aid for project management procedures using the IPECC project management model. The information will be provided in a summarized form with activities and deliverables to guide any project. Quality management procedures will also be outlined in this job aid. All content on this site has been summarized from Lynch, M.M. & Roecker, J. (2008). Project managing e-learning: A handbook for successful design, delivery and management. New York: Routledge. Use the menu tabs at the top, right corner of the page to navigate to tasks and deliverables for each phase of the IPECC project management model. The acronym IPECC stands for: The IPECC model consists of five phases: Phase Summary Description 1. Initiating the project Vision and goals, define expectations and scope of the project 2. Planning the project* Refine scope, assemble project team, identify tasks and activities, develop project plan, schedule and budget 3. Executing the project* Build the project and implement the plan 4. Controlling the project* Monitor changes, make corrections and adjustments to the schedule as issues arise, adjust expectations and goals 5. Closing the project Deliver project, review results, assess success, and evaluate project and development effort *Phase 2, 3 and 4 are iterative Page 1 of 8

2 Initiating the Project The Initiating phase is the first phase of the IPECC project management model and sets the stage for the rest of the project. During this phase, data is collected for the project charter to support the business case, and the project team is formed. 1. Identify Stakeholders The project team/stakeholders must be identified early on in the project life cycle. Typical project team members and roles are documented in Table 1. Role Project Manager Sponsor Stakeholder Subject Matter Expert (SME) Customer Supplier Responsibility Executes the project plan Monitors and communicates the status of the project Leads the project team Provides executive oversight and authority for the project Provide feedback on design, development, or implementation of the project Provide guidance in their subject matter field of expertise The users of the project product/service and influences product/service development Provide the materials, product and/or services for the project Table 1: Typical Project Team 2. Identify High Level Resources This is accomplished using the Project Charter. The Project Charter explains what you will be doing, why you think it needs to be done, and how you plan to do it. 3. Develop High Level Milestones This is accomplished using the Preliminary Scope Statement and includes: initial project organization, project goals, key dates for project events, and budget and resource constraints. Project Charter (i.e. the contract between the project sponsor and project manager) Preliminary Scope Statement Potential Risks/Constraints Pay special attention to the triple constraints of the project. The triple constraints are the competing demands of the project and include: time, resources and scope. These need to be closely monitored. Tools/Resources Sample Project Charter template: Page 2 of 8

3 Planning the Project The Planning phase is of paramount importance and can make or break the project. During this phase, processes and procedures are identified that will complete the project, on time, on budget and with the agreed upon requirements. The main deliverable in this phase is the Project Management Plan, which will guide the project team throughout the lifecycle of the project. 1. Identify Requirements 2. Develop Project Management Plan 3. Develop Schedule 4. Develop Budget 5. Develop Staffing Plan 6. Develop Communication Plan 7. Develop Risk Management Plan 8. Develop Procurement Plan Project Management Plan includes: o Scope Definition o Work Breakdown Structure o Risk Management Plan o Change Management Plan o Schedule o Budget o Staffing Plan o Communication Management Plan o Procurement Plan Potential Risks/Constraints Pay special attention to the triple constraints of the project. The triple constraints are the competing demands of the project and include: time, resources and scope. These need to be closely monitored. Iterative Processes Plan updates; Communicating changes; Controlling the project Page 3 of 8

4 Executing the Project During this phase, the project plan is executed, progress is recorded and the project plan is updated. In this phase leading the project team and managing the expectations of the stakeholders are important tasks for the project manager. 1. Execution of the Project Plan Typical areas that are addressed and implemented during the Executing phase include: Design, Development and Deliver Infrastructure and Access Help Desk Security Logistics Component Testing and Integration Prototyping 2. Manage Scope Scope is the number one problem in the Executing phase of a project. The Project Manager must be aware of and manage possible scope creep (i.e. uncontrolled changes in the requirements that were not part of the original Project Plan). 3. Manage Schedule & Budget The Project Manager mitigates schedule conflicts that might occur such as budget overruns, and resource constraints. At this stage the Project Manager must also closely manage and monitor the budget to avoid budget overruns and not incur additional costs. 4. Manage Sponsor & Stakeholder Expectations The Project Manager must manage the expectations of the Sponsor and Stakeholders. The best way to accomplish this is through constant communication and project status updates. 5. Manage Risks The Project Manager continues to manage and control risks, using mitigation strategies when issues arise. Approved Requests for Change Approved Corrections Approved Preventive Activities Updated Project Management Plan Iterative Processes Plan updates; Communicating changes; Controlling the project Page 4 of 8

5 Controlling the Project During this phase, collection of status information, which includes progress made, percent completed, indicators of when activities will be completed, along with the monitoring and managing of scope, schedule, budget, sponsor and stakeholders expectations, and risks take place. It is generally a good idea in this phase to get input from the project team about dependency changes, and whether activities should be added or removed from the plan. There is also overlap between this phase and the Executing phase. All issues must be identified, documented, communicated, and tracked to resolution. 1. Monitor Scope (scope constraint) 1 Uncontrolled changes in the requirements can cause scope creep such as cost and time overruns. The Project Manager must continue to work with the project team and stakeholders to control and manage changes to the Project Charter and Plan that will incur scope creep. 2. Monitor Schedule (time constraint) Time constraints are an important variable that needs to be monitored. Thus, the Project Manager must monitor the baseline schedule while tracking progress on a regular basis (especially those activities identified on the critical path) to keep the delivery on schedule. 3. Monitor Budget (resources constraint) Continue to track the expenses against the original budget to ensure that there are no cost overruns. 4. Manage Sponsor & Stakeholder Expectations Continue communication and project status updates to Sponsor and Stakeholders. Follow the Communication Plan when addressing issues to manage Sponsor and Stakeholder expectations. Any changes to the agreed delivery date, budget and quality must be communicated to the Sponsor. 5. Monitor Risks Continue to manage and control risks, using mitigation strategies when issues arise. Check for potential risks, respond to risks that did occur, and identify new potential risks. Approved Requests for Change Approved Corrections Approved Preventive Activities Updated Project Management Plan Iterative Processes Plan updates; Communicating changes; Controlling the project 1 Note, if scope increase due to uncontrolled changes in requirements, then time and resources will also increase, and therefore the cost of the project will also increase to accommodate the increased scope (i.e. a ripple effect will occur). Page 5 of 8

6 Closing the Project During this phase, the project is completed and the Project Manager and team go through the formal closure process. This is one of the most overlooked steps in the process. 1. Close Contracts Get sign off for all contracts with internal and external contractors and vendors. 2. Close Project Verify that all project contracts have been closed, deliverables have been delivered and accepted by the Sponsor and organization, review project records for success or failure, and review project plan to ensure all updates have been completed. 3. Document Lessons Learned Documenting Lessons Learned is part of the post-project review process. The information can be very valuable to guide future projects and for historical reference. 4. Record Requests for Change Future changes to the project that did not make it in to the original scope of work, can be documented on the Change Request Form (created in the Planning phase) and filed until a new project is initiated. 5. Record Identified Defects Document any expected or unexpected defects that did not get fixed during the Executing phase. 6. Evaluate the Process Conduct a post-closure evaluation of the project via the post-implementation review (PIR) process. This process typically takes place 6-12 months after the formal closure of the project and is used to determine whether the project achieved the benefits and outcomes outlined in the business case. Project Completion Steps 1. Hand off to the implementing organization 2. Ensure project deliverables meet stakeholder requirements 3. Close the project: i. close contracts ii. document lessons learned during the project 4. Release resources 5. Evaluate the project process 6. Celebrate! Updated Project Management Plan Closed Contracts Project Closure Report Page 6 of 8

7 Quality Management Quality Management involves implementing quality planning, quality assurance and quality control (i.e. checks and balances) for the project, and ties in with the Project Charter. A Quality Management Plan is used to validate the quality of the deliverables submitted throughout the project lifecycle. Scope Quality Time The triple constraints (Figure 1) are the competing demands of the project and include: time, resources and scope, with the addition of quality, and must be closely monitored throughout the lifecycle (i.e. planning, executing and controlling phases) of the project. Resources Figure 1: Triple Constraints 1. Identify Quality Materials Quality Materials are documents that might be used in the Quality Management Plan and includes: Standards Guidelines Checklists Templates Procedures Process User Guides Example Documents Methodology 2. Identify Quality Events Quality Events are used to review the quality of deliverables from each phase in the project management model and includes: Expert and Peer Review Multi-person Review Walk-through Formal Inspection Standard Audit Process Review 3. Develop the Quality Management Plan The following elements must be covered in the Quality Management Plan: The items that require a quality check (e.g. deliverables) Method to check the quality Timeline to carry out the quality check Responsible person(s) List of Quality Materials to be used Quality Management Plan Page 7 of 8

8 References Lynch, M.M. & Roecker, J. (2008). Project managing e-learning: A handbook for successful design, delivery and management. New York: Routledge. Project Managing E-Learning (2006). Resource templates. Retrieved April 27, 2014 from Page 8 of 8

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