mardi 30 octobre 2012

The Top 5 Project Deliverables

A lire sur:  Method 123

Every project is different and this is especially true when you cross industry lines. A Construction project is going to be substantially different than an IT project and a Marketing project will have little in common with a Training project. However, there are similarities that transcend all project types. These are the:
The Top 5 Project Deliverables
The five deliverables outlined below must be present in any project that is undertaken in order for it to be successful.
Deliverable 1 - The Work Breakdown Structure
The Work Breakdown Structure or WBS is a critical project deliverable for any project that is being managed. The WBS details the scope of the entire project and answers the question "what are we building here". The top-down, hierarchical nature of the WBS is an excellent tool that ensures nothing is missed in the planning process. It can be compared to starting with an entire picture of something and then turning it into a puzzle with it's component pieces.
Once the WBS is created it is useful for planning, communicating, and tracking the progress of your project. The WBS allows you to assign durations and resources for each task that comprises your project. This is then used as the basis for communicating what needs to be done to the team as well as monitoring and tracking the progress of your project.
Deliverable 2 - The Project Charter The project charter is another critical project deliverable that transcends industries. The biggest value a project charter provides is that it ultimately serves as the green light that a project needs in order to get started. Along with this green light approval it bestows upon the project manager the authority and approved budget necessary to bring the project to completion.
The project charter also serves as a reference for project vision, objectives, scope, deliverables, known risks, issues and assumptions. This project deliverable will not include the high level of detail that will be generated in other project documents later, but it will provide enough information to give project stakeholders a 30,000 foot overview of what this project will accomplish and a general direction of how it will be done.
Deliverable 3 - The Project Schedule
The project schedule is the third deliverable that can be used across multiple industries. This is the document that breaks down what needs to be built into tasks, dependencies, timelines, and resource assignments. The project schedule is where the rubber meets the road because it drives the implementation, execution, and control of the project that is underway.
One point of clarification when it comes to the project schedule. You may frequently hear people say "we need a project plan to make sure we meet our dates". That is a true statement. However, a project plan is much more than just the project schedule. The project plan includes every project document such as a communications plan, risk management plan, procurement plan, and resource plan to name a few. The project schedule is a component of the project plan. You may want to receive clarification from the requestor to ensure you understand their definition of a project plan as compared to a project schedule.
Deliverable 4 - Escalation Plan
Something else that transcends all industries are obstacles that get thrown in the way of a project. These obstacles can include technical difficulties, resource issues, and a host of problems in between. It is the savvy project manager that will anticipate the fact that obstacles will present themselves and have a plan in place for their resolution.
This project deliverable doesn't have to be very long nor complicated. It essentially states that when certain conditions exists (such as a task being a certain percentage behind in the schedule) then these are the people that will be notified for assistance. The people that are on the escalation path need to have enough influence and authority that they can do something about the problem. This may include anything from throwing more resources at the problem to notifying the customer that the timeline may need to be extended.
Deliverable 5 - Lessons Learned
Last but not least is the lessons learned document. It's important to take a moment and reflect on what went right, what went wrong, and what can be done better on the next project. You will find that even if you move from one industry to the next, there are many lessons that were uncovered in one that can be applied to the next.
Unfortunately, this project deliverable is one that is often overlooked or neglected. The value that is derived from this deliverable is immeasurable. Take the time to reflect on your project and the time you save on future projects will dwarf this small investment.
The top 5 project deliverables above will allow you to scope, authorize, direct, clear the way, and reflect on your projects regardless of your industry.

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