Saturday 30 November 2019

Closing: Closure Plan

There are various reasons of why a project would close
  • It has completed the objectives as stated in the project plan.
  • Management has pulled the plug for one reason or another
regardless the reason there needs to be a project closure plan. The goal of the closure plan is to ensure that all of the project objective have been achieved, the deliverables where delivered, resources reassigned to other projects or operations, lessons learned and best practices are captured. Project closure can be viewed as a mini sub project. The closure plan consists of
  • Confirm all work of the project has been completed 
  • Update project documents to indicate the final status, and store them in a shared repository 
  • Turn over deliverables to the customer and/or to operations, and obtain approval to close the project 
  • Assign resources to other project or operational work 
  • Capture lessons learned and best practices for the benefit of future projects 
  • Celebrate the team and project success

Thursday 21 November 2019

Execution: Change Control Process

Changes to a project can occur:

  • Scope
    • Add/Remove features or functions
    • Add/Remove deliverables 
    • Add/Remove requirements 
    • Add/Remove activities 
  • Budget
    • Add/Remove money to budget 
  • Schedule 
    • Extra time to deliver project
    • extra time for deliverables 
    • extra time for milestones
Change order is a form that details the change, the buiness impact and reason for the change, its approval or rejection follows a procedure:
  1. Change Order comes from any source internal or external to team
  2. Change order is submitted to the PM or Change Control Board
  3. Change order is logged in the Change control log
  4. Change order is reviewed by PM and Change Control Board
  5. If Change order is rejected or put on hold
    1. Rejection is logged 
    2. Change order initiator is notified 
  6. If change order is considered
    1. PM & Team analyse the change and impact to
      • Scope
      • Work Effort
      • Time Required 
      • Resources
      • Quality
      • Risks
    2. Change Control board reviews analysis and decides to accept or reject chang
      • Rejected
        • initiator notified
        • change logged
      • Accepted
        • initiator notified 
        • baseline changed
        • project docs updated
        • new baseline communicated to stakeholders

Monday 18 November 2019

Execution: Control

the goal of controlling a project is to pay attention to the various metrics of the project and ensure that the project is being delivered as closely as possible to the baselined plan. if the performance begins to veer off the original plan then the PM must institute corrective measures. If process improvements are identified they should be implemented money and time saved for one activity could be needed by another.

If poor project health is identified using the CPI or SPI then the PM needs to analyse what the cause is:

  • Poor original estimates
  • Personal lack expertise 
  • Unforeseen Risks or issues
  • More expensive resources then anticipated 
  • Scope Creep
  • etc
any number of things could veering the project off kilter, however when the culprit is identified the PM must implement corrective measures, if these corrective measures bring the budget or schedule outside the acceptable variance levels then a change order has to be requested to the Project sponsor and stakeholders. 

Change orders are not a cure all for poor planning or performance, each change order takes personnel away from their tasks costing more time and money on the project. they should be used sparsely and only when necessary. an abundance of change orders is generally a sign of poor planning.

to keep the project on track the PM must review project KPI's regularly and handle discrepancies sooner rather then later.

Thursday 7 November 2019

Execution: Calculations

Now that we've established:

  • Planned Value: is the amount we planned to spend up until the current point in time
  • Actual Cost: is the amount we spent up to the current point in time
  • Earned Value: is the amount we planned to spend on the completed activities.
  • Budget at Completion: is the amount we spent when to project is completed

we can use these values to calculate values that indicate project health

Cost Variance = EV - AC indicates the budget surplus or deficit.

  • CV >  0 we've earned more value than expected for the cost we incurred; budget surplus
  • CV  = 0 we've earned as much value as we planned for the cost; budget is on-target
  • CV < 0 we've earned less value then expected for the cost we incurred; budget-deficit

Schedule Variance = EV - PV indicates if the project is ahead or behind schedule

  • SV > 0 we've earned more value than expected: ahead of schedule
  • SV = 0 we've earned the planned value: on-schedule
  • SV < 0 we've earned less value than expected: behind-schedule

Cost performance index = EV / AC indicates the health of our budget

  • CPI > 1 we've earned more value than expected meaning we're under-budget
  • CPI = 1 we've earned as much as we planned meaning we're on-budget
  • CPI < 1 we've earned less value than expected meaning we're over-budget.
Schedule performance index = EV / PV indicates the health of our schedule 
  • SPI > 1 we've earned more value than expected up to this point in time: ahead of schedule
  • SPI = 0 we've earned the panned value up to this point in time: on-schedule
  • SPI < 1 we've earend less value than expected up to this point in time: behind-schedule
The CPI and SPI can be used to forecast the expected project cost based on our current performance, if the projected cost is within the variance all is well, if it's not then corrective measures must be implemented.

Estimate to complete = (BAC - EV) / CPI how much money is required to complete the project

Estimate at completion = ETC + AC how much money the entire project will cost.

Tuesday 5 November 2019

Execution: Earned Value

Earned Value
is the the industry standard for measuring progress, earned value is the Actual cost of the activities that we've completed. It gives us an accurate depiction of how much money we've spent accomplishing our tasks. Earned value provides us with:

  • Progress of status of work being done 
  • Comparison of planned schedule and cost to, actual schedule and cost based on the work completed 
  • Objective data from the baseline compared to actual progress 
  • A forecasting method for estimating project completion 
  • Comprehensive insight into cost and schedule portions of the project
Earned Value Terminology 
  • Planned Value (PV): the amount you planned to spend based on your baseline estimates up to the current point in time.
  • Budget at Completion (BAC): the amount you planned to spend on the entire project.
  • Actual Cost (AC): the amount you've actually spent on the project up to the current point in time.
  • Earned Value: the value of what you've accomplished based on your original estimates, what the cost should be based on how much work is accomplished. 
the relationships between these values will indicate the health of a project
  • EV = PVon schedule, earned the value planed up to this point in time
  • EV = ACon budget, earned the value for the cost planned up to this point in time
  • EV < PVBehind schedule, accomplished less then planned up to this point in time
  • EV < ACOver budget, paid more for the value than planned up to this point in time
  • EV > PCAhead of schedule, earned more then planned up to this point in time
  • EV > ACUnder budget, earned more value for our cost then planned up to this point in time
there are various methods for determining "Earned Value", the one(s) selected should be defined in the Quality plan. 
  • 0/100 Rule: an activity is either complete, or not complete. You've earned 100% of the value or 0% of the value.
  • 50/50 Rule: the project earns 50% of the value when the activity starts and 100% when it's complete.
  • Proportional rule: the value earned is based on the activity status, so if an activity is 25% done then you earn 25% of it's value.

Friday 1 November 2019

Execution: Monitoring

Once the project plan is complete and baselined, it's time for the execution phase. This is where we leverage the plan we've so meticulously put together, it is the PM's responsibility to ensure that during the execution phase the work get's completed as defined in the project plan. It is the PM's responsibility to:
  • Ensure that the resources required are available as scheduled 
  • The budget, scope, and schedule are aligned with the Activity list\
  • The communication plan is followed as defined.
  • If risks occur the strategies are implemented as designed 
  • Issues are handled
  • Contracts with suppliers or providers are managed 
  • Project & Product quality are ensured
  • Deliverables are signed off by the customer
In essence the PM must ensure that the project follows the plan as it was laid out.

As we execute the plan, we monitor our KPI's are we meeting our estimates, both for time and money, as we collect these measurements we monitor them, we analyse what we monitor and we control our items, and act on the information we collect to execute our plan.

there's an over used quote "If you fail to plan, plan to fail" without planning out our project the team will wander around solving problems that may not need to be resolved delivering features that may or may not be used, which will most likely fall short of customer expectations. Project management is all about delivering the right thing, for the right price at the right time.

While we execute our plan we need to monitor our progress to ensure that we are staying as close to our project plan as we can, we constantly need to analyse our metrics that we defined in our quality plan and act on the information to keep the project on time, budget and scope.

We consolidate our metrics into something called a "Project status report" this is usually done weekly and reviewed by the PM and team. the report captures:
  • project KPI's; their history and variance, 
  • high priority risks and issues, 
  • Change Order summary, 
  • Milestone achievement, 
  • deliverable acceptance by the customer.