Planning for Project Management Success

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Scope Phase
This is when the project is born and clearly defined as a project. In this phase the Project Manager documents the business needs in the scope document. Stakeholders agree to the details provided in the scope document and the project is authorized to proceed. At the completion of this phase everyone will know the “who, what, when, and why” related to the project.

Tasks Include:

* Identify Stakeholders
* Document Business Drivers & Needs
* Identify Mission, Goals, Objectives, & Scope
* Complete the Project Overview

Planning Phase
Planning is the major component of project management success. The use of appropriate project management tools to define and prioritize milestones is critical. The Planning phase includes project analysis, resource appropriation followed by design, development, testing, production, marketing, sales. During the Planning phase it is critical to assign resources (human and material) to tasks that need to be completed based according to a project schedule.

* Assign Resource Pool
* Review Schedule Parameters
* Create Milestones
* Create Tasks
* Identify inter-task relationships
* Develop reporting procedures for team

Planning is based on the project’s scope and will have a direct effect on the project’s success! (Success is defined as a project that is completed on time, within budget, and meets or exceeds customer expectation.)

Action Phase
During this phase everything you have committed to in your project plan plus all issues related to tasks or milestones is carried out. At the same time you measure variances and manage deviations through the project schedule to ensure that the project is delivered on time, within budget, and meets or exceeds expectations.

Additional Project Manager responsibilities include (will vary by type of business):

* Conduct Status Meetings
* Publish Status Report
* Manage Issues
* Manage Change Requests
* Perform Reviews
* Update Project Plan
* Document Lessons Learned
* Execute QA Plan
* Manage User Training
* Configure Environments
* Create Production Environments

Closeout Phase
This is the completion and resolution phase of the project. After the project team has implemented the deliverable, there is a transition from the project team to operations and / or support. New technology, applications and / or processes may include managing ongoing fixes and / or enhancement requests, as well as updating project documentation.

Tasks Include:

* Review Success Criteria
* Review Lessons Learned
* Conduct Final Meeting with Stakeholders
* Follow up on user satisfaction

Along The Way
Do not forget that your project team is built on positive relationships. You must trust the people you have working with you, and they must trust you. Let them know when they are doing well.
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