Introduction to Step Wise project planning

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This chapter describes a framework of basic steps in project planning and control upon which the following chapters build. There arc many different techniques that can be used in project planning and this chapter gives an overview of the points at which these techniques can be used during project planning. Chapter 4 will illustrate how different projects need different approaches, but this framework should always apply to the planning process used.

The framework described is called the Step Wise method to help to distinguish it from other methods such as PRINCE 2. PRINCE 2 is the set of project management standards that have been published by the Central Computing and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) for use on British government IT projects. The standards are also widely used on non-government projects in the United Kingdom. Step Wise should be compatible with PRINCE 2. It should be noted, however, that Step Wise covers only the planning stages of a project and not monitoring and control.

In order to illustrate the Step Wise approach and to show how it might have to be adapted to deal with different circumstances, two parallel examples are used.

Appendix A adds some further details about the PRINCE 2 approach. There is also some use of PRINCE 2 in the Netherlands and Australia.

Let us assume that there arc two former Computing and Information Systems students who have now had several years of software development experience.

Case study examples: Brlghtmouth College Payroll and International Office Equipment Group Maintenance Accounts

Brigette has been working for the Management Services department of a local government authority when she sees an advertisement for the position of Information Systems Development Officer at Brightmouth College. She is attracted to the idea of being her own boss, working in a relatively small organization and helping it to set up appropriate information systems from scratch. She applies for the job and gets it. One of the first tasks that confronts her is the implementation of independent payroll processing! (This scenario has already been used as the basis of some examples in Chapter I.)

Amanda works for International Office Equipment (IOE), which manufactures and supplies various items of high-technology office equipment. An expanding area of their work is the maintenance of IT equipment. They have now started to undertake maintenance of equipment for which they were not originally the suppliers. A computer-based batch processing system deals with invoicing on a job-by-job basis. An organization might have to call IOE out several times to deal with different bits of equipment and there is a need to be able to group the invoice details for work done into 'group accounts' for which monthly statements will be produced. Amanda has been given her first project management role, the task of implementing this extension to the invoicing system.

In Table 2.1 we outline the general approach that might be taken to planning these projects. Figure 2.1 provides an outline of the main planning activities. Steps I and 2, 'Identify project scope and objectives* and "Identify project infrastructure*, may be tackled in parallel in some cases. Steps 5 and 6 will have to be repeated for each activity needed to complete the project.

A major principle of project planning is to plan in outline first and then in more detail as the time to carry out an activity approaches. Hence the lists of products and activities that arc the result of Step 4 will be reviewed when the tasks connected with a particular phase of a project arc considered in more detail. This will be followed by a more detailed iteration of Steps 5 to 8 for the phase under consideration.

2.2 Step 0: Select project

Chapter 3 discusses This is called Step 0 because in a way it is outside the main project planning project evaluation in more process. Projects arc not initiated out of thin air - some activity has to take place detail. before deciding that this project rather than another is worth undertaking. This project evaluation may be done on an individual basis or as part of strategic planning.

Tabic 2.1 An outline of Step Wise planning activities

Step Activities within step

0 Select project

1 Identify project scope and objectives

I. I Identify objectives and measures of effectiveness in meeting them

1.2 Establish a project authority

1.3 Identify all stakeholders in the project and their interests

1.4 Modify objectives in the light of stakeholder analysis

1.5 Establish methods of communications with all parties

2 Identify project infrastructure

2.1 Establish relationship between project and strategic planning

2.2 Identify installation standards and procedures

2.3 Identify project team organization

3 Analyse project characteristics

3.1 Distinguish the project as either objective- or product-driven

3.2 Analyse other project characteristics

3.3 Identify high level project risks

3.4 Take into account user requirements concerning implementation

3.5 Select general lifecycle approach

3.6 Rev iew overall resource estimates

4 Identify project products and activities

4.1 Identify and describe project products (or deliverables)

4.2 Document generic product flows

4.3 Recognize product instances

4.4 Produce ideal activity network

4.5 Modify ideal to take into account need for stages and checkpoints

5 Estimate effort for each activity

5.1 Carry out bottom-up estimates

5.2 Revise plan to create controllable activities

6 Identify activity risks

6.1 Identify and quantify activity-based risks

6.2 Plan risk reduction and contingency measures where appropriate

6.3 Adjust plans and estimates to take account of risks

7 Allocate resources

7.1 Identify and allocate resources

7.2 Revise plans and estimates to account for resource constraints

8 Review/publicize plan

8.1 Review quality aspects of project plan

8.2 Document plans and obtain agreement

9 Execute plan

10 Lower levels of planning

Figure 2.1 will be revisited in subsequent chapters where we will highlight and describe the individual steps in the Step Wise framework.


Identify project infrastructure

Analyse project characteristics

Review activities r

Identify project infrastructure

Analyse project characteristics

/ Identity the products and

Review activities

/ Identity the products and


/Estimate ettofttof activity

delĂ - J



/ Identity activity risks

For each activity

Figure 2.1 An overview of Step Wise.

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  • colin watt
    What is a stepwise plan?
    4 years ago
  • Gundahar Button
    What is project planning and evaluation chapter vise?
    4 years ago
  • awate
    What are the steps in project planning in spm?
    4 years ago
  • mikael
    What is step wise planning with example?
    4 years ago
  • S M
    What is step wise project planning?
    3 years ago
  • keith
    What are the objectives of step wise project planning?
    3 years ago
  • Malva
    What is step wise planning model?
    3 years ago
    What is software project . explain stepwise project planning?
    2 years ago
  • sami
    What is the next step of estimate effort for each activity in step wise planning?
    1 year ago
  • tomba
    What are steps involved in step wise planning?
    2 months ago

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