Documenting the Project Management Plan

The purpose of most processes is, of course, to produce an output. Outputs are usually a report or document of some type or a deliverable. In this case, you end up with a document—the project management plan—that describes, integrates, and coordinates baselines and subsidiary plans for the processes you've determined to use for the project. The project management plan can be detailed or it can be a high-level summary based on the needs of the project.

According to the PMBOK® Guide, the project management plan defines how the project is executed, how it's monitored and controlled, and how it's closed. It also documents the outputs of the Planning group processes, which I'll cover over the next several chapters. The project management plan should include or discuss the following elements:

■ Processes you'll use to perform each phase of the project

■ The life cycle you'll use for the project and for each phase of the project if applicable

■ The tailoring results the project team defines

■ Methods for executing the work of the project to fulfill the objectives

■ Change management plan describing methods for monitoring and controlling change

■ Configuration management

■ Methods for determining and maintaining the validity of performance baselines

■ Communication needs of the stakeholders and techniques to fulfill those needs

■ Management reviews of content, issues, and pending decisions

In addition to the elements just listed, the subsidiary plans that are associated with the processes you'll be using for this project should be documented in the project management plan. Each of these subsidiary management plans might contain the same elements as the overall project management plan does, but they're specifically related to the topic at hand. For example, the cost management plan should define how changes to cost estimates will be reflected in the project budget and how changes or variances with a significant impact should be communicated to the project sponsor and stakeholders. The schedule management plan describes how changes to the schedule will be managed, and so on.

The subsidiary plans might be detailed or simply a synopsis, depending on the needs of the project. I've listed the subsidiary plans along with a brief description next. I will cover each of these plans in more detail throughout the remainder of this book. According to the PMBOK® Guide, the subsidiary plans are as follows:

Scope management plan Describes the process for determining project scope, facilitates creating the work breakdown structure (WBS), describes how the product or service of the project is verified and accepted, and documents how changes to scope will be handled.

Requirements management plan Describes how requirements will be analyzed, documented, traced, reported, and managed throughout the project.

Schedule management plan Describes how the project schedule will be developed and controlled and how changes will be incorporated into the project schedule.

Cost management plan Describes how costs will be managed and controlled and how changes to costs will be approved and managed.

Quality management plan Describes how the organization's quality policy will be implemented. It should address and describe quality control procedures and measures, quality assurance procedures and measures, and continuous process improvement.

Communications management plan Describes the communication needs of the stakeholders, including timing, frequency, and methods of communications.

Risk management plan Describes how risks will be managed and controlled during the project. This should include risk management methodology; roles and responsibilities; definitions of probability and impact; when project management will be performed; and the categories of risk, risk tolerances, and reporting and tracking formats.

Procurement management plan Describes how the procurement processes will be managed throughout the project. This might include elements such as type of contract, procurement documents, and lead times for purchases.

The project management plan is not limited to the subsidiary plans listed here. You might include other plans and documentation that help describe how the project will be executed or monitored and controlled. Perhaps you're working on a project that requires precise calculations and exact adherence to requirements. You could include a plan that describes these calculations, how they'll be monitored and measured, and the processes you'll use to make changes or corrections.

The project management plan also includes other project planning documents, such as these:

■ Milestone list

■ Resource calendar

■ Schedule baseline

■ Cost baseline

■ Quality baseline

■ Risk register

■ Scope baseline

I'll talk about each of these documents in the remaining chapters as well.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

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.

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