Although this video focuses on community projects, the questions presented in the video apply to for any type project. I recommend that you develop a project charter prior to developing your project plan. Here’s a checklist to help you with your project plan.
Have you left anything out of your project plan? Check out this project plan checklist to help you identify the baselines and plans that will be most helpful to each of your projects.
I like to keep my project plans as simple as possible. For many project plans, I will only have three or four of the items in this checklist. But I like to make sure that I’ve not skipped something that was needed.
As I define my baselines and plans, I strive for clarity, brevity, and simplicity. My aim is the create a project plan that is easy to understand and that helps me and the project team achieve the project objectives.
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Project Plan Checklist
Project Scope Statement – describe product(s), project work, major deliverables, assumptions, and constraints
Work Breakdown Structure – create a hierarchical decomposition or outline of the scope of work to achieve the project objectives and to create the deliverables
Work Breakdown Structure Dictionary – provide the detailed information about the deliverables, activities, cost estimates, and scheduling information for each item in the WBS
Schedule Baseline – approved version of the schedule
Cost Baseline – approved version of the project budget
If you were asked to describe project managers with one word, what would it be? Planner? Leader? Organizer?
These are all great descriptors, but I’d like to offer my favorite — Integrator.
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The word “integrate” means to “combine (one thing) with another so that they become a whole.” Like a child putting Lego pieces together to build a house, project managers put the project pieces together to create unique products and services, transforming their organizations.
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We see integrators in many facets of life. General contractors integrate foundations, walls, roofs, windows, doors, electrical systems, heat and air systems, and water systems to create houses. Coaches integrate ball players with different skills and experience to create winning teams. How do businesses deliver products and services? Operational managers assimilate people, processes, technologies, and external resources, which are interdependent, one with another.
Practically speaking, how do project managers perform integration management?
What tool do you use to capture and manage your to-do list?
Some organizations lack clarity about who approves the project change requests. On one project, the sponsor tells the project manager to make the decisions. On other projects, the sponsor makes the decisions. And yet, in other cases, senior management gets involved.
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Your project may morph into a two-headed monster without an integrated change control process, resulting in adverse impacts to schedule, cost, and scope. It’s critical that you define how change requests will be reviewed, approved or declined.
So, who should approve project change requests? There’s no one right answer.
Several variables should be considered when determining who will approve change requests such as:
Size of project
Complexity of project
Number of external parties
Enterprise environmental factors
If your organization has a Project Management Office (PMO), consult this group for standards and change control processes. If not, you basically have three options.
Have you ever had a budget crisis due to the lack of a management reserve? Unforeseen work comes knocking at your door. You look at your budget, but you don’t have the funds to handle this work.
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There is a better way to handle the unexpected. You can — assuming that your organization supports the concept of reserves — create a management reserve when estimating the cost of your project. Let’s dig a little deeper.