Friday 25 October 2019

Baseline & Approval

Now that we've come up with all of the project documentation & planning
Project Charter: hi level list of objectives, deliverables, stakeholders, risks, etc
WBS: grouping of deliverables-> work packages -> activities
Activity List with estimations: list of activities with successors and predecessors identified
Network Diagrams: sequential diagram identifying the critical path and revealing if  smoothing or leveling is required.
Risk Plan: mitigation, avoidance, transfer or acceptance of risk with contingency funds
Quality Plan: strategy for ensuring that the project is following procedures and meeting expectations of objectives & deliverables
Communications Plan: plan of what communications go out when, to whom, how and who's responsible
Team Plan: selection of team members and strategy to get them to work cohesively together
Procurement Plan: a plan to procure personnel or other resources required
Stakeholder Plan: Identification of stakeholders along with their role, power & influence

Once the project plan is created it is time to seek approval from the key stakeholders, generally the sponsor, key client, and senior management paying for the project, once these parties have signed off on the project the project plan is complete and the execution phase may commence. The plan is what the execution performance will be measured against.

When the execution phase begins this does not mark the project plan as written in stone as the project progresses and change orders are approved the scope, schedule and budget will change.

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Stakeholder Planning

The stakeholder plan is in place to ensure that all stakeholders are identified along with their role, interest and influence into the project and a engagement strategy is in place.

Based on stakeholder role, interest & influence they may be a passive stakeholder, one who is supplied with status reports and kept in the loop as to the progress of the project or they may be an active stakeholder that is one who approves modification to the project plan, participates in status meetings and provides input and feedback throughout the project.

Saturday 12 October 2019

Team Planning

The purpose of team plan is to assemble the best team possible to ensure a successful delivery and to facilitate a positive working environment. throughout the planning phase we specified profiles required to complete activities as laid out in the activity list, schedule and budget, but now it's time to put names to those profiles with allocation percentages. During the team planning the dates when a team member is joining the team and leaving are also specified.

It is when assigning direct team members that the assessment of whether the appropriate skill and allocation levels are meeting what is required by each activity, if these values do not align then the activity duration may need to be revisited and the schedule adjusted as needed.

Team Environment

Training: Once the team is selected, then it's time to establish how to best work as a team. Any personnel training that is specific to the project should also be included as an activity and be factored into the project plan.
Recognition: recognition for a job well done is important and various milestones or for individual accomplishments employees and teams should be recognized with team events or individual bonuses, these must also come out of the budget and as such should be planned for.
Knowledge Sharing: the team requires one place for the truth a repository that they can go to that will house the latest specifications and documentation relevant to the project..
Synergy: To facilitate the construction of inter-personal relationships between team members, building a sense of trust and respect throughout the team through team events.

Procurement plan
Generally organizations have their own procurement procedures which a PM should be familiar with, during team planning it may turn out that a specific profile required for the project completion is not available, because of other project commitments by the company or because such a profile just doesn't exit within the company, in such a case the PM must either come up with a procurement plan either for a temporary consultant or to hire an employee for the purpose of the project.

Tuesday 8 October 2019

Communication Plan

The communication plan is a formal outline of:
  • What communications will go out
  • How often they will be communicated
  • How they will be communicated
  • Who's responsible for preparing and distributing the communication
the things being communicated could be:
  • Status reports
  • Meetings
  • Risk reports
  • Issue reports
  • change orders
  • performance data
  • audit reports 
  • meeting minutes 
  • quality reports
A Communication plan will often be in the form of a table

Item/Topic Purpose Audience Responsible Frequency Mechanism
What is being comunicated Why it is being comunicated Who is the target audience Who will distribute it how often or what intervals how will it be distributed

Saturday 5 October 2019

Quality Planning

The quality plan is made up of the processes and activities that are in place to ensure that the deliverable meet the requirements of the stakeholders & project objectives. The quality plan must also ensure that the project is running efficiently, the minimum quality metrics for a project are:
  • Schedule performance: are we on time
  • Cost performance: are we on budget
  • Scope performance: are we getting the work done
    • Based on deliverables
    • Deliverables 
    • Number of change requests 
  • Project Reviews
To manage the quality of a project metrics must first be established, typical metrics could be
  • Earned value analysis (add link): actual effort of activity vs estimated effort
  • Cost Performance based on Earned value analysis: actual cost of activity vs estimated cost
  • Requirements completion including test acceptance
  • Deliverable approval with test and customer acceptance
  • Rework hours or cost
  • Defects
  • Change orders with budget and scope impact
The metrics chosen should be easy to collect and provide valuable information as to the overall health of the project. 

The metrics selected must have a tolerance level, remember every project is different and no project plan is perfect it's normal for a %5 variance, depending on the metric and the project the variance could be greater or lower. If a metric is outside the accepted level of variance then the root cause must be identified. there are numerous approaches that can be taken to do this:

  • Cause and Effect Diagram: a decomposition technique that helps trace an undesirable effect back to its root cause.
  • Flowchart: the depiction in a diagram format of the inputs, process actions, and outputs of one or more processes within a system.
  • Checksheet: a tally sheet that can be used as a checklist when gathering data.
  • Pareto Diagram: a histogram, ordered by frequency of occurrence, that shows how many results were generated by each identified cause
  • Histogram: a special form of bar chart used to describe the central tendency, dispersion, and shape of a statistical distribution.
  • Control Chart: a graphic display of process data over time and against established control limits, which has a center line that assists in detecting a trend of plotted values toward either control limit.
  • Scatter Diagram: a correlation chart that uses a regression line to explain or to predict how the change in an independent variable will change a dependent variable.
Once the root cause of leaving the metric tolerance is established the PM must come up with an action plan to bring the project back within the acceptable tolerance, if this is not possible then the PM may have to submit a change request to cover the deviation in budget, schedule or scope. 

Project Reviews
It is in the quality plan that the project review meetings are defined, these meetings are used to monitor and control the quality performance and expectations of the project and its deliverable. common meetings are:

  • Management Reviews: typically a monthly summary level review of the quality metrics, the projects major accomplishments, and status. Can also include phase gate reviews.
  • Team Reviews: detail-level reviews of the quality metrics, project accomplishments, progress, and performance held as often as daily, however weekly is common.
  • Customer Reviews: summary level reviews with a focus on the production and acceptance of deliverables scheduled monthly or timed with the production of key deliverables.
  • Retrospective Reviews: used to collect feedback from Stakeholders as to what went well and what could be improved for future projects. A key outcome of this review is the collection of lessons learned and best practices that can be used in future projects.
Quality Audits
Project audits are typically performed by someone within the organization but not staffed on the project being audited, they are to provide 3rd party feed back as to the health and efficiency of the project as well as the level of compliance to internal processes.

Audits are completed to find ways of improving project performance this is why they are most valuable in the start of a project the sooner performance boosts are identified the longer the project will benefit from them. generally audits are completed near the end of the initiation and planning phases and at the start of the execution phase.

Tuesday 1 October 2019

Quantitative Risk Analysis

Once our risks are identified and prioritized, we develop risk response plans; these pans need to have contingency funds within the project budget. To determine this contingency budget we leverage an approach called "Expected Monetary Value" EMV.

to find our EMV we use our previously established probability and convert it to a percentage

  1. Won't happen
  2. Not likely to happen
  3. May or may not happen
  4. Likely to happen
  5. Definitely will happen
  • 0%
  • 25%
  • 50%
  • 75%
  • 100%
Once we correlate our probability values with percentages we can leverage our risk prioritization to figure out

RiskProbabilityEstimated CostEMV
Risk # 4
4 = 75%
Risk # 2
4 = 75%
Risk # 1
4 = 75%
Risk # 3
2= 25%
Total -$7200

as always our estimated cost is just an estimate and is only as valuable as its accuracy, once all the Estimated monetary values for each risk that you're going to cover are calculated their total is contingency budget, the amount of money you need set aside should the worst occur.

during the project when a risk is closed the funds for that risk can be released from the contingency fund.

Risk Monitoring and Control
As a project progress the probability of risks decreases however the impact increases. as the project progress and risks are closed that is there is no possibility of the risk occurring, while this happens new risks can be identified and those risks have to be logged in the "risk register". The "Risk Register" should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that risk status is tracked irrelevant risks are closed and new risks are identified an captured.