All projects have certain key features; it is important that these are clearly defined before commencing a new project:
- A project is a unique undertaking with a defined scope.
- A project has specific objectives to achieve.
- Projects require resources.
- Projects have budgets.
- Projects have schedules.
- Projects require the effort of people.
- Measures of quality will apply.
The key responsibilities of a project manager are as follows:
- Reports to supervisor; this may be his line manager, the Managing Director and/or Customer.
- Initiates project
- Analyses requirements
- Assesses feasibility
- Estimates costs and durations
- Identifies and manages risk
- Supports work breakdown/delegation
- Supports tendering bidding and contracting processes
- Setting up project organization
- Planning (including but not limited to scheduling)
- Facilitating communications and negotiations and managing staff
- Setting up and operating control systems for measuring earned value with costs and time.
- Setting up and operating a quality assurance system appropriate to the scope of the project and any contractual requirements
- Configuration management for all project products
- Closing project tidily (and/or early)
- Reviewing and improving the management process
The project manager is responsible for the preparation of Project Plans;
each plan within the compass of the project will be reviewed by the project
team and, where appropriate, be submitted to the customer for approval
prior to issue.
Project plans should address the following generic requirements:
- Purpose of the plan
- Identifies products of plan (reports, hardware, software etc.).
- Specifies activities needed to produce them.
- Schedules the activities.
- Divides project into stages and splits the products and activities between stages
- Takes account of time resource and budget constraints.
- Provides reference points against which progress can be measured.
- Specifies how quality requirements will be met.
- Covers full life of project.
- Feasibility study
- Project scope
- Project constraints (cost, time)
- Resource availability
- Risk assessment
- Control framework including reporting periods and milestones
- Technical Plan
- Resource Plan
- Quality Plan
- Supporting documents (Product Descriptions, Activity Network etc.)
- Project organization (names of individuals)
Milestone Plan; a version of the complete project PERT chart showing milestones, with descriptions of major activities to be completed, key dates and a summary report i.e.: has the stage been completed and received customer approval.
- Project responsibility chart
- who does what and when
- who needs to be informed of progress
- who takes decisions
- who is available to advise.
- Progress reports presented as required, generally this should be at monthly
- Project Reviews; a detailed presentation of Project progress will identify:
- Consequence for Milestone Plan (will the dates be met?)
- Detailed activities and schedules
- Personnel responsible
- Description of problems
- Cause of problems
- Possible consequences
- Suggested actions
Project plans like any other aspect of the business, are subject to the rigours of quality improvement. The quality improvement cycle adopted at Nomogen follows the classic EPDCA sequence:
- Evaluate and define objectives
- Plan to achieve those objectives
- Do – implement plans
- Check that objectives are being met
- Act if corrective action is needed