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Why Write This Booklet and Who Wrote It?

Ron Rosenhead is Managing Director of Project Agency. He believes the modern day manager needs project management skills to deliver the organisations agenda. He therefore decided to write this book to help s pport them. !he writing of this !ips "ooklet fits nicely with the company motto ()e*p%ng organ%"at%on" 'e*%+er project" e&&ect%+e*y., !he word project can be misleading. Many people think of large scale b ilding works or changes in information technology. #o r project may not be as big as those $ oted% preparing and writing a report& developing an internet prod ct alongside marketing and sales plan& relocating an office. !hey all need caref l planning. !his tips booklet is based on the ni$ e Project Agency Project Management 'ystem ( PM'. )t has been sed in many organisations and is a tried and tested and very fle*ible model. !his booklet will help yo in many ways+ Providing yo with a str ct re to manage yo r projects ,iving practical advice based on over -. years of r nning workshops and projects Answering many of the $ estions posed by people involved in projects /sing it to check c rrent project management practices in yo r organisation

#o & the reader may be a one person b siness or working in a global company with many tho sands of workers. !his book is written for all of yo 00 1e mention senior managers. )f yo work alone& yo are the senior manager0 Please adapt the content to fit yo r sit ation. Ron has worked in the project and change management field for many years. He is passionate abo t project management and formed Project Agency in -223. 'ince then& he has written articles and spoken at conferences and r n many many project management events for a vast array of organisations. Project Agency r n a wide variety of training events aro nd the world& so do go to for f rther information or contact s on ,ood l ck with all yo r projects and we wo ld be delighted to receive feedback abo t the content of this booklet as well as how yo have managed to apply it. Happy Reading

ary 8..9

- .on .o"enhea'/ Project Agency 5er+ 6. 7ebr

Th%" T%p" Boo9*et ha" been pro'uce' &or open '%"tr%but%on to anyone. P*ea"e &ee* &ree to pa"" %t onto &r%en'" or co**eague". :e wou*' be 'e*%ghte' to hear how you u"e' th%" boo9 an' how u"e&u* %t ha" been %n "upport%ng the 'e*%+ery o& your project. I& you want "ometh%ng more %n;'epth try our e;boo9< De*%+er That Project/ a Step; by; Step Tra%n%ng =u%'e. =o to www.'e* or "en' an ema%* to e+ent"> !%na**y/ goo' *uc9 w%th a** o& your project". :e wou*' be 'e*%ghte' to ta*9 w%th you about any project management %""ue" you may ha+e. Do ca** 122 34564 72# 88## or ema%* e+ent">

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Project Management Tips

Getting Started Initiation
-. Develop a solid b siness case for yo r projects. 1here appropriate& ens re yo obtain senior managers agreement before yo start the project. Research points o t that too many projects are started witho t a firm reason or rationale. Developing a b siness case will identify whether it is worth working on. :ns re yo r project fits with the key organisational or departmental agenda or yo r personal strategy. )f not& why do it; 'tick to priority projects. <arry o t risk analysis at a high level at the initiation stage. Avoid going into great detail here = more an overview foc ssing on the key risks. )dentify at this early stage key stakeholders. <onsider how m ch yo need to cons lt or involve them at the b siness case stage. 'eek advice if necessary from senior managers 1here appropriate& involve finance people in p tting the b siness case together. !hey can be great allies in helping cr nch the n mbers which sho ld give credibility to yo r b siness case.

8. 6. >.


Defining o!r Project

9. Prod ce a written project definition statement ?sometimes called P)D@ and se it to inform stakeholders = see point -6. !his doc ment is Ayo r contract to carry o t the project and sho ld be circ lated to key stakeholders. /se the project definition statement to prevent creep. /se it to prevent yo going beyond the scope of the project thro gh its se in the review process. )dentify in detail what will and will not be incl ded in the project scope. Avoid wasting time by working on those areas which sho ld not be incl ded = identify these in the P)D. )dentify who f lfils which roles in yo r project. Doc ment them on the P)D. )ncl de a paragraph to show what each person does. )dentify who has responsibility for what in the project e.g. project comm nications is the responsibility of AD. !his helps red ce do bt early in the life of the project. !hink A!eam 'election = give some tho ght to who sho ld be in yo r team. Analyse whether they have the skills re$ ired to enable them to carry o t their role; )f not& ens re they receive the right training. <heck they are available

B. C.

2. -..


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for the period of the project. DE!:+ this incl des any contactors yo need to se -8.


7orm a gro p of Project Managers. !he Project Manager role can sometimes be very lonely0 ,ive s pport to each other by forming a gro p of Project Managers. )dentify who the "ta9eho*'er" are for yo r project = those affected and Aimpacted by the project. !his sho ld be an in( depth analysis which needs pdating reg larly. Recognise early in the life of the project what is driving the project. )s it a drive to %mpro+e ?ua*%ty/ re'uce co"t" or hit a part%cu*ar 'ea'*%ne@ You can only have 1. Disc ss with the sponsor what is driving the project and ens re yo stick to this thro gho t the project. Feep Gthe driverH in mind especially when yo monitor and review. Hold a kick off meeting ?'tart p 1orkshop@ with key stakeholders& sponsor& project manager project team. /se the meeting to help develop the P)D ?see !ip 9@. )dentify risks and generally plan the project. )f appropriate hold new meetings at the start of a new stage. :ns re yo review the project d ring the Defining #o r Project 'tage = involve yo r sponsor or senior manager in this process. Remember to check progress against the b siness case.





Deli"ery Planning
-B. <reate a work breakdown str ct re ?1"'@ for the project. A 1"' is a key element yo will need to develop yo r plan. )t lists o t all of the activities yo will need to ndertake to deliver the project. Post it notes can be a great help in developing yo r 1"'. ,ro p tasks nder different headings once yo have a list. !his will enable yo to identify the ch nks of work that need to be delivered& as well as p t together the ,antt chart and milestone chart. )dentify dependencies ?or predecessors@ of all activities. !his will let yo p t together the ,antt and milestone charts. :ns re yo write them down otherwise yo are trying to carry potentially h ndreds of options in yo r head. :stimate how long each activity will take. "e aware that research points o t we are notoriously bad at estimating. #o estimate a task will take 6 days. )dentify how confident yo are that yo can deliver in 6 days by sing I e.g. )m only >.I certain ) can deliver in 6 days. #o sho ld aim for C.I. )f yo do not believe yo can achieve C.I then re(calc late




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)dentify the critical path for the project. !he critical path identifies those activities which have to be completed by the d e date in order to complete the project on time. <omm nicate& comm nicate& comm nicate0 Delivering a project effectively means yo need to spend time comm nicating with a wide range of individ als. " ild a comm nication plan and review it reg larly and incl de it in yo r ,antt chart. Are yo involved in a major change project; )f yo are& think thro gh the implications of this on key stakeholders and how yo may need to infl ence and comm nicate with them. <ond ct Risk Assessment = carry o t a f ll risk analysis and doc ment it in a risk register. Reg larly review each risk to ens re yo are managing them& rather than them managing yo . Appoint a person to manage each risk. Develop a ,antt chart and se it to monitor progress against the plan and to involve key stakeholders in the comm nications process. Draw p a milestone plan. !hese are stages in the project. #o can se the milestone dates to check the project is where it sho ld be. Review whether activities have been delivered against the milestone dates and take a look forward at what needs to be achieved to deliver the ne*t milestone.




83. 89.

Project Deli"ery Monitoring and #e"ie$ing Go"ernance&


o!r Project %Project

Have a clear project management monitoring and reviewing process = agreed by senior managers ( the project sponsor and the project "oard& if yo have one. :ns re yo r organisations corporate governance str ct re and yo r project management monitoring and control str ct re are compatible. )f yo do not know whether this is the case then seek senior management involvement. "e aware early in the project what will be monitored& how they will be monitored and the fre$ ency. Feep acc rate records of yo r project not only for a dit p rposes b t to ens re yo have doc ments which enable yo to monitor changes. /se a Planned v. Act al form. )t is easy to create = it allows yo to monitor how yo are progressing with specific tasks = time and money. Jink these forms into milestone reviews.


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)dentify with yo r sponsor the type of control that is needed = loose or tight or a variation of these& e.g. tight at the start& loose in the middle& tight at the end. :ns re the system yo develop reflects the type of control intended. Agree a system for project changes = have an agreed system for monitoring and approving changes. /se change control forms and obtain formal sign off ?agreement@ by the sponsor& before action a change. Jook for the impact of the change on the project scope as well as the Gkey driverH ( $ ality& and cost and time. Appoint someone to be responsible for project $ ality especially in larger projects. Review $ ality formally with the client at agreed milestone dates. Make certain yo have agreed who can sanction changes in the absence of yo r sponsor. )f yo havent agreed this& what will yo do in their absence; 'et a time limit for project meetings to review progress. Have an agenda with times against each item and s mmarise after each item at the end of the meeting. Prod ce action points against each item on the agenda and circ late within 8> ho rs of the meeting. /se these action points to help in the creation of yo r ne*t agenda. Review the items on the critical path checking they are on sched le. Review risks& review yo rs stakeholders and yo r comm nication plans and whether yo are still on track to deliver on time& to b dget and to the re$ ired $ ality standard. 'et a tolerance fig re and monitor e.g. a tolerance fig re of K3I means as long as yo are within the 3I limit yo do not have to formally report. )f e*ceed the 3I limit ?cost or time@ then yo need to report this to the agreed person = probably yo r sponsor Report progress against an end of a stage = are yo on sched le; !ime& cost or $ ality; :ns re that if something is off sched le the person responsible for delivering it s ggests ways to bring it back on time& within b dget or to hit the right $ ality standard. Develop an iss es log to record items that may be ca sing concern. Review at yo r project meetings. 'ee whether yo are still delivering the original project benefits when reviewing yo r project. )f not& consider re(scoping or if appropriate abandoning the project. Do not be afraid of abandoning a project. "etter to abandon now rather than waste val able time& money& and reso rces working on something no longer re$ ired. )f yo close a project early = hold a project review meeting to identify learning.


6>. 63. 69.





>-. >8.

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>6. >>.

Prod ce one(page reports highlighting key iss es. Agree the areas to incl de with the 'ponsor before writing a report. /se a series of templates to s pport the monitoring process& e.g. milestone reporting& change control& log& planned v. act al. <ontact for more information. Apply traffic lights to ill strate how yo are progressing = red& amber and green. /se these in conj nction with milestone reports. :ngender honest reporting against specific deliverables& milestones& or a critical path activity. )f yo do not have honest reporting imagine the conse$ ences.

>3. >9.

'losedo$n and #e"ie$

>B. >C. Agree well in advance a date to hold a post project review meeting. P t this onto the ,antt chart. )nvite key stakeholders& sponsor& and project team to the post project review. )f the date is in their diary well in advance it should make it easier for them to attend 7oc s yo r meeting on learning = identifying what yo can se on the ne*t project. 'hare the learning with others in the organisation. <heck whether yo have delivered the original project objectives and benefits and not gone o t of scope. Make s re that yo have delivered against b dget& $ ality re$ irements and the end deadline. /nderstand how well yo managed risks and yo r key stakeholders. /se $ estionnaires to obtain feedback. Prepare a list of nfinished items. )dentify who will complete these after the project and circ late to any stakeholders. Hand over the project formally to another gro p ?it is now their day job@ ( if appropriate. #o may need to b ild this into the project plan and involve them early in the plan and at different stages thro gho t the project. 1rite an end of project report and circ late. )dentify in the report key learning points. <lose the project formally. )nform others yo have done this and who is now responsible for dealing with day to day iss es.

>2. 3.. 3-. 38. 36. 3>.

33. 39.

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<elebrate s ccess with yo r team0 Recognise achievement& there is nothing more motivating.

General Tips
3C. But what %" a project@ 1hy worry whether something is a project; 1hy not se some of the project management processes& e.g. stakeholder analysis or se of traffic lights to manage yo r work; !hey key principle is to deliver the piece of work sing the appropriate tools. 1e se the term project ba"e' wor9%ng to describe this approach. ,et trained0 Research points o t that only 9-I of people have received any project management training. <ontact Project Agency on !elephone Do+ L>> ?.@ 8.C >>9 BB99 or email for more information. :ns re yo have the b y(in of senior managers for yo r project. #o need to work hard to infl ence pwards and get their s pport. will


9.. 9-.

1hat abo t the day job; Projects get in the way and the day job gets in the way of projects0 Many people have fo nd that by applying project based working to day to day activities and by being more rigoro s on project work& more is achieved. )dentify early on in the life of the project the priority of yo r projects. )nevitably there will be a clash with another project or another task. /se yo r project management skills to deliver and yo r senior management contacts to check o t the real priority of the project. Discover how project management software can help. " t& yo will need to develop the b siness case& prod ce a project definition alongside planning what will go into the software. Many project managers se simple :*cel spreadsheets or charts in word to help deliver their project.



Good l!ck in deli"ering yo!r project(

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)*o!t Project )gency

Project Agency was formed to help people and organisations deliver projects effectively. )ts philosophy was developed early in o r history and is still with s today. 1e work in organisations+

demystifying project management with professionals at all levels developing core skills = of project managers& their teams and project sponsors providing written g idelines and protocols for staff to deliver projects in consistent and effective way helping those involved in the project management process to recognise the need to f rther develop their people skills as well as their project management skills.

1e have a range of staff who s pport s in delivering the above philosophy. !hey are all well trained and work fle*ibly with clients.

What does the Project )gency do?

1e list below a range of services to o r clients. Please note that we c stomise m ch of what we do to meet organisational and individ al needs. E r services incl de+

Delivering practical project management training+

designed to ens re project managers and project team members nderstand the processes and skills to deliver effectively c stomised to meet specific needs = really targeting organisational needs working with project teams foc sing on delivering a specific project = alongside developing their team skills r nning PR)D<:8 $ alification programmes or PR)D<:8 training workshops Developing in(ho se project management systems i.e. a c stomised project management system ens ring consistency of approach ( complete with templates R nning training sessions for project sponsors and project board members = to help develop their role effectively <arrying o t a dits of projects = after project completion& end of stage or an a dit of internal project management approaches.

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Erganising and r nning start p workshops for gro ps pre project = ens ring projects get off to a really effective start Developing effective b siness cases. :ffective project leadership training. 1orking with senior managers identifying the key projects for the organisation and their priority )ndivid al coaching s pport to project managers and project sponsors Developing programme management strategies and establishing project ?programme@ s pport offices

Do get in to!ch to disc!ss yo!r needs+

By telephone+ By fax: By email: By mobile: L>> ?.@ 8.C >>9 BB99 L>> ?.@ 8.C >>9 9B.2 L>> ?.@ B2B6 B63.BC

Th%" T%p" Boo9*et ha" been pro'uce' &or open '%"tr%but%on to anyone. P*ea"e &ee* &ree to pa"" %t onto &r%en'" or co**eague". :e wou*' be 'e*%ghte' to hear how you u"e' th%" boo9 an' how u"e&u* %t ha" been %n "upport%ng the 'e*%+ery o& your project. I& you want "ometh%ng more %n;'epth try our e;boo9< De*%+er That Project/ a Step; by; Step Tra%n%ng =u%'e. =o to www.'e* or "en' an ema%* to e+ent"> !%na**y/ goo' *uc9 w%th a** o& your project". :e wou*' be 'e*%ghte' to ta*9 w%th you about any project management %""ue" you may ha+e. Do ca** 122 34564 72# 88## or ema%* u" on e+ent">

Version 3: November 200

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