Agile PM Project Planning

A project can be defined as a temporary and non-reusable endeavour that has a common potential for increased business benefit.  A project should be carried out for at least one principal reason and should fit into a proper structure to maximise its benefits.  It’s a decision making process, not an excuse to procrastinate, there must be urgency, effectiveness, and a coherent strategy, a comprehensive project schedule must be in place.  Projects can be of a financial or functions nature.  Financial may be simple buy-out or leasing contracts, but functions should be complex and highly business-specific. As can be found on a agilepm course apmg uk.

A project is driven by a solid business objective, which at a high level might even be a new business opportunity or a process transition.  Project purposes are varied, from acquiring new customer sales, the implementation of a new system or operating procedure. Another is developing new and competitive products for the market or the development of a new package for different markets.  Developing new market revenues, cost savings, and increasing customer compliance are other practical examples.  Conversely, projects that are planned are “closure habits” and compromise replacement funding programmes. Opportunities that will benefit the future should be the main purpose.  These may be of an internal nature, such as cost reduction, employee development or some other business-critical nature, such as a need to upgrade their systems and network.

Project “Close-Out” Planning

The project schedule is often the collateral from the marketing pipeline and bank balance statements which are more often than not little to sell, yet the commitment levels are invariably much less than predicted.  Indeed, some estimates may be that 90% of all projects are over schedule and over-budget, and 50-VA projects are becoming an annual occurrence.  The key to timely delivery of the product or the transformation of the process is project planning, the nature and level of these projects determine the level of their planning.  An in-house studio fully staffed with flexible resource resources is seldom found as solutions are considered tightly.  Many companies seek solutions that are usually completely outsourced, with an asset sitting in a highly cost-effective location and costs that are reduced by round-the-clock project staff permanently devoted to the activity hoping that it will eventually gain a permanent capability to deliver a solution on-time.

In some cases projects are specified and allocated resources at the outset but during the planning process, the business landscape shifts, the solution you initially proposed might no longer fit the current requirements or the budget you wanted, or an unexpected roll-out of additional resources may not result in the required performance or the buy-in required from the core business.  There is no method that can ensure consistent resource delivery more than project planning.  If the plan is not part of the daily business curriculum, there may be a lack of availability of available resource or continuity in resource allocations, or members of the team may be over-committed and can only spend a fraction of the planned resource.

There are about 6 major types of project, and these and their definitions can be found in the PMBOK. When the project is complete it is important to review this schedule, to determine if the plan is being met, to ensure there are no outstanding issues or to revise the plan.  The key to a successful project is to ensure that all of the project stakeholders have a common understanding of the plans at the beginning, that if a particular implementing team is late in the schedule, the other projects must be met on time.

The tasks required in the project plan include:

o     downgrade of the project plan – where it no longer makes sense, due to red tape, political, logistical, resource or other issues

o    resume of the original plan – for review when the project is complete, to maximize the benefit of a future capability

o    plan for the creation of new plans – after a certain number of projects have been implemented may dictate the adoption of a new or revised plan.

o    project documentation, tasks and key details

o    budget releases -There should be a set of key milestone dates for the entire project which can be pared down if time tables require a reduction in the development to meet this date

o    post-implementation review related to the services or facilities provided to the client or changes made to specification should be scheduled to determine the effectiveness and the sustainability of the system of work that has been agreed.  Improvements must be made to agree the definition of good practice

o    provisions of managerial or supervisory authority with new responsibilities.