1. Contract. A contract from the customer's acquiring organization is an input if the project is being done for an external customer.
2. Project statement of work. The statement of work (SOW) is a narrative description of products or services to be supplied by the project. For internal purposes, the project initiator or sponsor provides the statement of work, based on business needs, product, or service requirements. For external purposes, the statement of work can be received from the customer as part of a bid document, for example, request for proposal, request for information, request for bid, or as part of a contract. The SOW indicates
■ Business need. An organization's business need can be based on needed training, market demand, technological advance, legal requirement, or governmental standard.
■ Product scope description. Documents the product requirements and characteristics of the product or service that the project will undertake to create. The product requirements will generally have less detail during the initiation phase and more detail during later processes, as the product characteristics are progressively elaborated. These requirements should also document the relationship among the products or services being created and the business need or other stimulus that caused the need. While the form and substance of the product requirements document will vary, it should always be detailed enough to support later project planning.
■ A strategic plan. All projects should support the organization's strategic goals. The strategic plan of the performing organization should be considered as a factor when making project selection decisions.
3. Enterprise environmental factors. When developing the project charter, any and all of the organization's enterprise environmental factors and systems that surround and influence the project's success must be considered. This includes items such as but not limited to
■ Organizational or company culture and structure
■ Governmental or industry standards (e.g., regulatory agency regulations, product standards, quality standards, and workmanship standards)
■ Infrastructure (e.g., existing facilities and capital equipment)
■ Existing human resources (e.g., skills, disciplines, and knowledge, such as design, development, legal, contracting, and purchasing)
■ Personnel administration (e.g., hiring and firing guidelines, employee performance reviews, and training records)
■ Company work authorization system
■ Marketplace conditions
■ Stakeholder risk tolerances
■ Commercial databases (e.g., standardized cost-estimating data, industry risk study information, and risk databases)
■ Project management information systems (e.g., an automated tool suite, such as a scheduling software tool, a configuration management system, an information collection and distribution system, or Web interfaces to other online automated systems)
4. Organizational process assets. When developing the project charter and subsequent project documentation, any and all of the assets that are used to influence the project's success can be drawn from organizational process assets. Any and all of the organizations involved in the project can have formal and informal policies, procedures, plans, and guidelines whose effects must be considered. Organizational process assets also represent the organization's learning and knowledge from previous projects; for example, completed schedules, risk data, and earned value data. Organizational process assets can be organized differently, depending on the type of industry, organization, and application area. For example, the organizational process assets could be grouped into two categories:
Organization's processes and procedures for conducting work:
■ Organizational standard processes, such as standards, policies (e.g., safety, health, and project management policy), standard product and project life cycles, and quality policies and procedures (e.g., process audits, improvement targets, checklists, and standardized process definitions for use in the organization).
■ Standardized guidelines, work instructions, proposal evaluation criteria, and performance measurement criteria.
■ Templates (e.g., risk templates, WBS templates, and project schedule network diagram templates).
■ Guidelines and criteria for tailoring the organization's set of standard processes to satisfy the specific needs of the project.
■ Organizational communication requirements (e.g., specific communication technology available, allowed communication media, record retention, and security requirements).
■ Project closure guidelines or requirements (e.g., final project audits, project evaluations, product validations, and acceptance criteria).
■ Financial controls procedures (e.g., time reporting, required expenditure and disbursement reviews, accounting codes, and standard contract provisions).
■ Issue and defect management procedures defining issue and defect controls, issue and defect identification and resolution, and action item tracking.
■ Change control procedures, including the steps by which official company standards, policies, plans, and procedures or any project documents will be modified, and how any changes will be approved and validated.
■ Risk control procedures, including risk categories, probability definition and impact, and probability and impact matrix.
■ Procedures for approving and issuing work authorizations.
Organizational corporate knowledge base for storing and retrieving information:
■ Process measurement database used to collect and make available measurement data on processes and products.
■ Project files (e.g., scope, cost, schedule, and quality baselines, performance measurement baselines, project calendars, project schedule network diagrams, risk registers, planned response actions, and defined risk impact).
■ Historical information and lessons learned knowledge base (e.g., project records and documents, all project closure information and documentation, information about both the results or previous project selection decisions and previous project performance information, and information from the risk management effort).
■ Issue and defect management database containing issue and defect status, control information, issue and defect resolution, and action item results.
■ Configuration management knowledge base containing the versions and baselines of all official company standards, policies, procedures, and any project documents.
■ Financial database containing information such as labor hours, incurred costs, budgets, and any project cost overruns.
Was this article helpful?
What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.