The Project Management Office uses a phased approach to manage projects as outlined in the diagram below.
Once the Identify phase of a project is complete, the following steps are taken to plan the project. This phase is very important because decisions made here will dictate how the rest of the project will be managed.
Depending on the level of service provided by the PMO, the tasks below may be performed by the Project Manager, the Project Executive, or a Project Team Member. For more information on project roles and responsibilities, navigate to the Roles and Responsibilities page.
Project Kick Off
A Project is normally kicked off with a meeting of the major project team members. In the Project Kickoff, the Charter is reviewed, roles and responsibilities confirmed, and steps to be followed to complete the Plan phase are established. This is often a good time to ensure that all team members are clear on the the objective of the project and their role within it.
Details are obtained through interviews and documented in the Requirements Gathering document. Until the necessary information is gathered the project cannot proceed.
Work Breakdown Structure
The Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) provides a visual breakdown of the work to be done in order to meet the project requirements. The WBS is the first step to establishing the work that will be performed in the following phases of the project.
The next step is to create the Project Schedule. The project schedule takes the work packages, assigns resources to them, estimates times for each work package, and considers dependencies between work packages. The output from these steps is a Project Schedule which can then be used to estimate the project duration.
Project Management Plan
The Project Management Plan is the document that defines how a project will be managed. It is usually created by the Project Manager with input from all relevant project team members. Typical sections for a Project Management Plan are:
- Project Scope
- Project Approach
- Roles & Responsibilities
- Detailed Risk & Requirements
- Project Governance
- Project Deliverables
- Quality Criteria
When all planning activities have been completed and approved, the project can move to the following phases.
Design / Build / Test Phase
All project tasks or work packages were established during the planning phase. The job of the Project Manager/Project Executive during this phase is to ensure that these are being assigned to the correct project team members so that they are executed at the right time and in the right order.
The next step is to create the Test Plan. This will be used to verify and ensure that the system meets its design specifications and other requirements.
Training & Communication Plan
The Training & Communication Plan is the road map for communications and training deliverables for your project.
During this phase, the Project Manager will have to report project progress to the Project Executive and Project Steering Group. Typical reporting includes:
- Status reporting - regular status reports to all interested stakeholders, usually using a traffic light (red, yellow, green) indicator for overall project health, upcoming milestones and work completed since last report. High impact risks and issues may be listed in this also.
- Project management plan & schedule
- Weekly high level project reports for senior management
The above activities are performed until all of the project outputs are delivered as planned. Once this happens, the project can move to the Implement Phase.
Once all the project objectives have been completed (or the project is stopped for any other reason), the final phase in delivering a project is the Implement phase. In this phase the project is wound down in a controlled manner, and the activities below are undertaken.
Project Closure Report
At the completion of a project, one of the tasks for the Project Manager is to complete and distribute the Project Closure Report to the Project Sponsor and Stakeholders. The Project Closure Report is where the project is reviewed and measured against the project objectives. All post project activities are also documented in the Project Closure Report.
Project Closure Meeting
A final meeting is held for the project sponsor and stakeholders to review the project closure report and agree on closure and post closure activities. A final sign-off from the sponsor is to confirm that the project has delivered the agreed outputs, and can be formally closed.
Customer Satisfaction Survey
A measure of how well the completed project met or surpassed the sponsors expectation is conducted. The data is used for continued improvement.
Archive all Project Artifacts
The final activity completed by the Project Manager is to ensure that all project artifacts are archived as per the approved project archival system.