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Executive Summary

Standardizing Project Management

Many organizations operate in a state of mild chaos because of poor project


management processes. This summary will provide the business case for
implementing a formalized project management policy, methodology, and toolset.
Review the Action Plan to obtain 11 downloadable templates and tools to assist you
with creating your own customized project management procedure.

Benefits of Structured Project Management:

• Increased Visibility - reporting project status, milestones, and deliverables


are planned, documented, communications that can be viewed anytime.

• Reduced Risk - by implementing scheduled project checkpoints, quality is


assured and failing projects are quickly identified and crashed. Additionally,
the risk of key project team members leaving is mitigated through the use of
formalized project communication documents.

• Better Allocation of Resources - scheduling work, prioritizing multiple


projects, and managing costs and human resources become much simpler
when all projects follow a consistent methodology for changes & approvals.

• Effective Scope & Time Management - every executive can relate to


projects that 'creep' in scope as they progress. Documenting changes to
project scope and deliverables, and adjusting budgets and timelines, cannot
be done effectively without using proper project management tools.

• Clear Organizational Development - if you can effectively implement a


standardized project management process, your successor will certainly thank
you. Establish a baseline project management capability, and benchmark
improvements to your maturity level by using industry standards like PMBOK.

Project Management Methodology & Tools:

• Complete a Project Request Form – the Project Request Form documents


the project overview; strategic goals & objectives; impact of non-completion;
stakeholders; project timelines; anticipated resources required; and how
results will be measured.

• Achieve Approval from Project Sponsor - determine which senior


executive will champion this initiative and be accountable for project results.
Consult the Project Priority Index to determine the level of urgency.

© 2009 Demand Metric Research Corporation


Executive Summary

• Identify an Appropriate Project Manager - Using our Job Description,


select a project manager who will be responsible for gathering business
requirements, managing communications, assuring quality, and reporting to
the project sponsor.

• Develop the Project Charter – The Project Charter organizes the project by
documenting the purpose of the project, scope, and project plan. The project
plan includes: project title; start date; end date; project team;
communication tools & plan; project deliverables; milestones; anticipated
budget; and cost/benefit analysis. Obtain sign-off before proceeding.

• Complete Work Breakdown Structure – Using the Project Work


Breakdown Structure tool, organize project tasks and deliverables into the 5
project stages: Initiation, Planning, Execution, Control, and Closure. Estimate
costs, effort (hours), and identify internal/external resources that will be
required for each task.

• Produce a Project Schedule - determine start/end dates to create a master


schedule for delivery of each task. Ensure your resources will be available for
your project and obtain sign-off by the project manager and project sponsor.

• Kick-off the Project - assemble the project team and hold a project kick-off
meeting to communicate the Project Charter, Work Breakdown Structure, and
Project Schedule. Ensure that team members understand their role.

• Manage Scope Changes - Use the Project Change Request Form to ensure
that all changes to project scope are documented and approved.

• Communicate at Regular Intervals - draw from the Communications Plan


in the Project Charter to develop a schedule for reporting on project progress.

• Finish the Project - complete final deliverables and have stakeholders


approve quality. Determine if there are any outstanding items to resolve.

• Conduct a Post-Project Evaluation - use the Post-Project Evaluation


template to assess: overall project success; scope management; quality of
deliverables, key accomplishments; opportunities for improvement; future
considerations; and develop and formalize business process best practices.

• Complete Project Closure Checklist - use the Project Closure Checklist to


ensure that all tasks were completed results have been measured and
communicated.

© 2009 Demand Metric Research Corporation


Executive Summary

Action Plan:

1. Discuss Project Management with Senior Management - communicate


the value of standardized project management. Get commitment for formal
project management within your department and share your toolset.

2. Establish a Policy & Methodology - use Demand Metric's downloadable


Project Management Policy template as a starting point.

3. Identify Project Managers - formalize the project manager role in your


organization by creating a Project Manager Job Description. Make this
template available to other departments who may wish to use it.

4. Learn Best Practices - consider certification from the Project Management


Institute, or at the very least, start researching their Project Management
Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) to learn how to improve your maturity level.

5. Customize your Toolset - use Demand Metric's core project management


toolset to get started with the creation of standard department tools:

• Project Request Form


• Project Priority Index
• Project Priority & Status Report
• Project Charter
• Project Schedule
• Project Work Breakdown Structure tool
• Project Change Request Form
• Project Closure Checklist
• Post-Project Evaluation template
• Project Management Portfolio

6. Start Managing Projects - now that you have a standardized methodology


and toolset, analyze each project using the Project Priority Index and re-
prioritize as necessary. Communicate this new strategy to your team and post
your tools to a portal or intranet for easy access.

7. Evaluate the Process - once you have completed a few projects using this
methodology, re-evaluate the process and make any tweaks to your toolset to
increase efficiency or fine-tune the procedure.

Bottom-Line:

Organizations that do not take a structured approach to project management are


asking for trouble. Get your team on-board and establish a formal project
management policy, methodology, and toolset.

© 2009 Demand Metric Research Corporation