Planning

BUSIN ESS CASE O RGAN ISAT IO N PLAN N IN G BRILLIAN T SERVICE RISK DO CUMEN T CO N T RO L CH AN GE CO N T RO L

CO N T RO LLIN G A ST AGE

ST AGE APPRO VAL ST AGE APPRO VAL ST AGE Invest APPRO VAL ST AGE APPRO VAL ST AGE APPRO VAL ST AGE APPRO VAL

REGIST RAT IO N
Registration

LAUN CH
Commitment to Launch

IN VEST
Deploy Commitment

to Invest

DELIVER
Commitment to Deliver

DEPLO Y
Agreement to Deploy

CLO SE
Close / Benefits Realisation

MAN AGIN G PRO J ECT DELIVERY AN D APPRO VAL

The planning process provides information to everybody involved in the project on what is required, how it will be achieved, what resources will be used and when things will happen.

Planning is a repeatable process and plays an important role in many of the project processes and elements.

Product Based Planning enables the planning process to be implemented through Product Breakdown Structures, Product Flow Diagrams and the creation of Product Descriptions. It promotes the idea of starting planning by thinking of the products to be produced.

The notes that follow detail how the underlying construction of the Practice Guide embeds planning into the project methodology.

There are also guidelines that will ensure that Project Managers have the right arrangements in place to ensure that our projects are planned effectively.

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Why this is important Planning introduces control into everything we do and ensures we deliver a quality product on time. Plans are the backbone of the management information system that is required for any project. This document provides the detail for the different levels of plans that are required and the approvals required before plans are put into action.

The time taken in planning throughout the project cycle is offset by not having to rework products or activities further down the line. A robust plan will ensure the quality of products meets requirements and that the delivery schedule is realistic. It also enables tracking throughout the project lifecycle against a defined baseline, hence progress can be monitored and escalated if required. A baseline for the next stage is agreed and approved at each approval stage. By using this planning approach it breaks the project into manageable stages for more accurate planning (detailed plans). This series of plans can be tailored to the size and needs of each project.

An effective plan identifies if targets are achievable, the resources required, the activities needed, any external dependencies and identifies risks and issues.

Key Stakeholders will also feel far more comfortable if they can interrogate a plan at a detailed level for the next approval phase. The high level overview details the key products, activities and milestones that are scheduled at later stages. It is recommended stakeholders are involved in a Planning Workshop to develop initial plans, plans are signed off by all activity owners and plans are reviewed on a regular basis. This will not only allow stakeholders to see how the plan is created but also give them an insight into the complexity that usually exists in a project and the inter-dependencies within the plan.

Finally, having uncovered the planning risks, issues and dependencies the project will need to manage these through the control log and ensure regular arrangements are in place to update the plan status with actuals for monitoring purposes. The plan will identify deliverables, resource requirements, costs and major control points such as stage boundaries.

Product Based Plans are a Top Down approach providing a logical and controlled descent into detail and this will help to identify any grouping of products and associated activities that might usefully be treated as a separate workstream.

How do we judge a plan From a business perspective, a project plan is usually judged on the following criteria:     Is the plan feasible? Was the project completed on time / are we on schedule? Was the project completed within budget / are we on schedule to achieve forecasted cost? Have we met all the planned project milestones?

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Did all products meet the needs of the business when they were delivered?

From a technical perspective a project plan is usually judged as:      Does the plan identify all products that contribute a product based planning approach? Are all activities identified to create the products and scheduled in the correct sequence? Are all dependencies identified in the plan and all tasks allocated to a resource? Does detailed planning exist for the next project stage and hi-level plans exist to completion? Are all supplier plans reflected accurately in the project plan?

Overview of Planning

Planning Products and Process See Diagram Below

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Planning Product Structure See Diagram Below

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Planning Tool(s) Use MSP as the planning tool wherever possible and inputs on resource/cost estimates from the Business Subject Matter Experts, Workstream Leaders, Suppliers or developed by the Project Manager themselves. Follow the sequence below : * * Identify the Products and define in a Product Description. Identify Product Dependencies

* Generate Activities Project Element - Planning - v0 4 200509.doc

* * * *

Estimate Effort Create a Schedule Assess the Risks Write the Plan Narrative

Excel / Visio

Planning Definition of Terms You may see these terms used throughout the Practice Guide Term Definition The High Level plan of a project will include the tasks that are required to complete the full project including approval stages and key milestones. It is not neccesary to assign a resource at this level (although if it is known for the whole task, it can be added). It is not Hi-Level Plan required to break high level tasks such as Launch Approval to the detail of sub-tasks such as create documents, issue for approval, hold teleconference, receive approvals, add to team room. This level of plan is used for Stakeholder Management and Communication purposes to understand the totality of the work to be undertaken. This level of plan will cover a discrete period of time between decision points. A detailed plan will show high level tasks broken to sub-tasks with defined durations, constraints and dependencies. Each sub-task will be assigned to a defined resource. Actual status will be Detailed Plan indicated for each sub task. This level of plan is used for assigning resources, progress monitoring and scheduling. This will give a level of detail required for day-to-day management of a project by the Project Manager. A plan of Test Events and Test Materials for a project aligned to the overiding Test Strategy Test Strategy Plan Activity Based Planning agreed by the Steering Group for the project. The traditional task based planning methodology rolled up to a produce a Gant Chart view of events. Prince 2 recommended planning methodology using a product based approach to create a Product Structure which is then converted to a Product Flow Diagram and then a plan Product Based Planning detailing the required activities for product delivery. This is a structured approach that determines the products which a project is to create and assigns responsibility for the products to a defined owner with responsibility for its delivery. A Top-Down view of all the products which a project is to generate with each product broken Product Breakdown Structure down to its constituent components in a hierarchical structure. Product Flow Diagram A Product Structure indicating how a collection of products come together to produce a top

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level product (the delivery of which is the project) which is then placed in a time-based sequence A Product Description is a text document with a defined format with all the information about Product Description a product required by Project members. The activities of a plan that do not have any contingency in relation to the overall project plan timescales. These are the critical activities that if delayed will impact milestones and delivery Critical Path schedule and subsequently require change control of the baseline. Useful in Project Stage Management.

Tasks within a plan that have a dependency may require a predecessor to be completed Dependencies before they can begin or if they are a predecessor to a subsequent task will affect that task if delayed. Useful in Project Stage Management. Resource List Constraints Recurring Tasks A list of Project Resource that can be assigned tasks in the project plan. Tasks that may be constrained such as Must Start After a certain date. Other constraints can apply such as Must Be Before a certain date etc. Tasks that recur throughout a phase of the project in a cyclic nature (weekly etc)

Milestones

A Key Event on the project plan usually associated with a delivery of a product.

A Plan approved through the normal governance process against which project performance is monitored. It is fundamental that work only commences on a stage after approval and to Baseline Plan the agreed schedule and cost outlined in the plan. Any deviation to a baselined plan will require approval through the change control process.

Current status of a task at a given time indicating how much of the task has been completed, usually expressed as a percentage of the whole task. The plan is updated to reflect the latest understanding of the project. This is part of the Managing A Stage process and performed Actuals on a cyclic basis on a frequency agreed with the Sponsor or when an “issue” triggers the requirement as it is known the issue will impact schedule. Microsoft Project

The recommended software tool for Project Planning.

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Planning Materials The following are examples of planning materials that might be used in a Plan Planning Materials Description Standards are instruction documents that detail how a particular aspect of the project Standards must be undertaken. There can be no deviation from Standards unless a formal variation process is undertaken, and approval granted.

Unlike Standards, Guidelines are not compulsory. They are intended to guide a project Guidelines rather than dictate how it must be undertaken. Variations do not require formal approval.

Checklists

Checklists are lists that can be used as a prompt when undertaking a particular activity.

Templates are blank documents to be used in particular stages of a project. They will Templates usually contain some examples and instructions.

Procedures outline the steps that should be undertaken in a particular area of a project Procedures such as managing risks, or managing time.

A description of how something works. It is different to a Procedure in that a Procedure is Process a list of steps - the what and when. A Process contains explanations of why and how. User Guides provide the theory, principles and detailed instructions as to how to apply the procedures to the project. They contain such information as definitions, reasons for User Guides undertaking the steps in the procedure, and roles and responsibilities. They may also have example templates. These are examples from prior projects that are good indicators of the type of information, and level of detail that is required in the completed document.

Example Documents

A methodology is a collection of processes, procedures, templates and tools to guide a Methodology team through the project in a quality manner.

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Planning Events The events described below can be used to plan a project effectively Planning Events Description

Usually held to create the initial baselined plan for a project or a project stage involving all stakeholders who can identify the required products and activities and accurately estimate the duration or resource requirement for that task.

Planning Workshop

This provides a view of the overall cost and time required to complete a plan. It follows identification of all the activities and precedes scheduling. It is an iterative

Estimating

process. It is a two stage approach, identifying resource types (including skill level) and estimating effort required for each activity by resource type

Puts together the activities in a plan to form a schedule and shows the ultimate feasibility of achieving the plans objective. It matches available resource to identified

Scheduling

activities in a defined sequence with dependencies included. From this resource usage can be managed and smoothed. Usually displayed as a Gantt Chart.

A Quality Review of a plan conducted by experts, plan approvers or a peer group. It ensures the plan meets it quality requirements, is robust, feasible and well

Plan Review

understood. The plan should show all facets identified in the definitions section above.

Baselining a Plan

Setting a baseline plan at approval stage against which progress will be monitored

Updating a Plan with Actuals

Updating the task information with current status and reviewing if the task completion date is still feasible. If it is no longer feasible Re-Planning should be invoked.

Invoked if the actuals indicate a slippage of schedule to show the overall impact of the known slippage. If the re-planning effects the delivery of the baseline products

Re-Planning

and milestones then change control should be invoked to seek approval of a new baseline.

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Planning Activities Role Activities
   

Facilitate Planning Workshops Create Project Plan Review Project Plans and monitor actuals Create Quality Plan and Communication Plan Submit plans as part of required approvals Manage plan risks, issues, and dependencies Manage Project Stage Plans (detailed plans) Assign resource for project plan Communicate to all Stakeholders on plan status Escalate any impact to baselined plan to stakeholders and invoke change control Manage Plan Workstream assigned to them Report progress to Project Manager Escalate any slippage, risks, issues and dependencies to Project Manager Complete assigned tasks to cost and schedule Escalate any slippage, risks, issues and dependencies to Project Manager or Workstream Lead

Project Manager

      

Workstream Lead

  

Plan Resource

Review Plans as part of QA Review for approvals Provide coaching on planning, Microsoft project and template usage. Work with Project Manager to review plans during Stage Management Support Project Manager in planning Review Project Plans as part of approval process Work with Project Manager to review plans during Stage Management

PMO

   

Change Leader

Manage Plan Workstreams assigned to them Report progress to Project Manager Escalate any slippage, risks, issues and dependencies to Project Manager Manage Plan Workstreams assigned to them Report progress to Senior Supplier Escalate any slippage, risks, issues and dependencies to Senior Supplier or Project Manager Ensure all plans indicate required product deliveries at an acceptable time schedule Escalate any slippage, risks, issues and dependencies to Project Manager Support Project Manager in planning Review Project Plans as part of approval process

Senior Supplier

  

Supplier

  

Senior User

 

Project Sponsor

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Planning links between Elements and Project Stages Stage Registration What you can expect to see happening
 

Mandate for the project indicating expectations for timescales and key milestones. Defining a Detailed Plan indicating all products and activities between Launch and Invest as part of approval request.

Launch

High Level Plan indicating all products and hi-level activities for the duration of the project and the key milestones (including all approval stages) produced using a Product Based Planning approach.

 

This ensures a firm baseline for the project exists. Defining a Detailed Plan indicating all products and activities between Invest and Deliver as part of approval request. Indicating all completed tasks prior to Invest and

Invest

current status of any ongoing tasks.

High Level Plan indicating all products and hi-level activities for the duration of the project. Also showing the key milestones (including approval stages) indicating those already achieved prior to Invest.

Defining a Detailed Plan indicating all products and activities between Deliver and Deploy as part of approval request. Indicating all completed tasks prior to Deliver and current status of any ongoing tasks. This is likely to include a detailed test plan at this

Deliver

stage. High Level Plan indicating all products and hi-level activities for the duration of the project. Also showing the key milestones (including approval stages) indicating those already achieved prior to Deliver.

Defining a Detailed Plan indicating all products and activities between Deploy and Close as part of approval request. Indicating all completed tasks prior to Deploy and

Deploy

current status of any ongoing tasks. High Level Plan indicating all products and hi-level activities for the duration of the project. Also showing the key milestones (including approval stages) indicating those already achieved prior to Deploy.

High Level Plan indicating all products and hi-level activities for the duration of the project. Also showing the key milestones (including approval stages) indicating those already achieved prior to Close and any follow on activities agreed post project Close.

Close

Managing Project Stages

Detailed Plan Status (actuals) indicating the status of all products and activities between stages should be conducted on a continual basis during Managing Project Stages. Indicating all completed tasks and milestones. If actuals indicate a schedule slippage the impact of this on the critical path should be reviewed and if required a replan should be conducted against the baseline. If the baseline plan is impacted then Change Control should be invoked to reflect the impact on schedule and cost.

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Completed products should be accepted through a formal quality review.

Any changes to a baselined plan will require approval through the normal Change Control process.

Change Control

Any request for change input to the Change Control process should indicate the impact of the change on all relevant plans.

Any Change Control assessment should ensure the changes to all relevant plans are fully understood prior to approval.

Summary
TEMPLATES / NOTES / GUIDES Mandatory Owner PM PM PM PMO PMO PMO PMO GCC Toolkit UK Specific

No 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Description Project Plan Quality Plan Communication Plan Project Plan example Quality Plan example Communication Plan example Planning Guidance Notes

        

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