Saturday, April 21, 2012

Project Maintenance Checklist

Read this once each week during your project. Depending on the type of project, the following activities may apply.
  • Update your project schedule at least every other day.
  • Review the project charter periodically to make sure it is still in alignment.
  • Understand the project financials fully each week.
  • Deliver a status report each week
  • Make sure that your issues and action items are up to date.
  • Vigilantly pursue project issues and action items each day
  • Meet with your team at least once a week.
  • Make sure that your project risks are up to date.
  • Make sure invoices are processed.
  • Check the tidiness of the network folder and files.
  • Update project accomplishments at least once a week.
  • Update the project journal or diary at least once a week.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

What's in a Good Work Plan

Many people throw around the terms Project Plan and Work Plan. Sometimes when people say project plan, they're really referring to the project schedule. Personally, I use Work Plan and Project Plan synonymously, and the Project Schedule is a very specific item and only one element of a successful project. A Work Plan should essentially tell you how this project is going to get done, across many topics. I have a Work Plan template that I'd like to share here. It incorporates the following elements:

  • Project Objectives

  • Success Criteria

  • Overall Project Strategy

  • Project Scope

  • What's In Scope

  • What's Out of Scope

  • Project Phases – High-level descriptions

  • Key Project Deliverables

  • Communication Plan Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

  • Project Schedule

  • Risk Management Plan

  • Project Organization & Staffing

  • Team Organization Model & Core Responsibilities

  • Individual Roles & Responsibilities

  • Deliverable Review Matrix

  • Technical Overview

  • Project Budget

Any of the above might refer out to a supporting document as needed.

Project Start-up Checklist

Read this before you start your project. Depending on the type of project, the following steps may be useful.

  • Help transition your team members onto your project appropriately.
  • Develop a project charter and obtain sign-off(s) from the appropriate people.
  • Deliver all necessary documentation to the vendor for knowledge transfer.
  • Start a physical project notebook.
  • Review post-project reviews (aka a “post-mortem” or “sunset” meeting) from past similar projects, with a focus on: what worked well? what did not work well? what was suggested to improve the next project?
  • Seek out individuals for background information
  • Open the project accounts to billing. Make sure team members know the reference billing numbers.
  • Make sure all non-internal labor (contractors) know how to invoice.
  • Make sure all non-labor costs have been accounted for. These costs may include: photography cost, hardware and software costs, project expenses
  • Make sure a solid project schedule baseline is established and reflects the most accurate picture of the project. Make sure major milestones are clear.
  • Make sure your budget workbook accurately reflects all project labor costs
  • Start a list of issues and action items
  • Create a communications plan
  • Create a risk management workbook
  • Establish the templates to be used on the project
  • Establish a well-organized project folder on the network
  • Inform marketing and the rest of company of the project to generate enthusiasm. For marketing purposes, prepare a couple paragraphs on the overview of the project that includes the project overview and the importance of the project
  • Hold a well-organized kick-off meeting