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Scope management May 12, 2008

Posted by Coolguy in PMP, Project Management, Service Delivery.
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Inputs Project scope management is one of the key knowledge areas addressed by PMP. Its also a key skills for successful solution delivery.

Key Stakeholders involved in the scoping activities include:

  • Project Sponsor / Executive
  • Business Process Owner and SME for business area
  • IT Management supporting this business area

Project Scope Management of PMP includes processes to ensure that all and only the work required by the project is done on any project. The key processes for this area in PMP are:

  1. Scope Planning
  2. Scope Definition
  3. Creating Work Breakdown Structure / Product Breakdown Structure
  4. Scope Verification
  5. Scope Control

Scope Planning

Elaborate ,formal and time consuming scope planning activities are often necessary for critical projects. Decisions on scope are typically documented in a scope management plan. This plan contains information on:

  • How the project scope will be defined
  • Define a WBS from Project Scope
  • How the scope will be verified
  • How the scope will be kept in control

Scope Definition

Scope definition and decomposition involve the activities to size the proposed project so that estimates can be made of costs, resources requirements and project duration. This phase builds on the initial Project Scope statement. Assumptions, constraints on the project are elaborated in this phase. Dependencies of the project are identified and documented. The output of this phase is a Project Scope Document which typically has:

  • Business objectives and high level requirements
  • Strategic alignment describing how the initiative fits with organizational direction or mission.
  • Project Description: Characteristics of the product/service being developed.
  • Project Objectives : Key success criteria which include time/cost constraints, quality targets etc. Each objective can have a metric like dollars for cost.
  • Project Boundaries: Including context diagrams to provide a visual model of the scope of the project
  • Project Deliverables
  • Initial constraints, assumptions, dependencies and risks
  • Project team organization
  • Important Project Milestones
  • Initial cost and time estimates
  • Project Configuration management details

Creating a WBS/PBS

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), is a decomposition of work that is required to complete a project to accomplish the business objectives. It is typically deliverable-oriented and hierarchical in nature. The WBS describes the total scope of the project work to be performed. A Product Breakdown Structure (PBS)
is a decomposition of the components of the product. The PBS describes the total scope of the product or service to be delivered.

Creation of a WBS(or PBS) is the next step after completion of a Project Scope Document. In this phase deliverables are divided into manageable components of work until deliverables until they are defined into a work package level. Cost and schedule should be reliably estimated from work packages.

A WBS dictionary can be created to support the WBS.

Scope Verification

This phase involves obtaining stakeholders formal approval to the completed project scope.

Scope control

This is to assure that all changes to the scope are processed through established change control processes. Scope changes can be

  • Request for new items to be added in projects scope
  • Request to modify deliverables
  • Removal of deliverables from project scope. (de-scoping)

Programs & Portfolios July 23, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in PMP.
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Program: A groups of projects managed collectively to obtain benefits that cannot be obtained by managing them individually

E:g Construction Program, New Car program

Portfolio: Collection of projects or programs grouped together to achieve a strategic business goal. Projects in a portfolio need not be inter-related.

E:g Process Improvement

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Programs & Portfolios July 23, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in PMP.
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Program: A groups of projects managed collectively to obtain benefits that cannot be obtained by managing them individually

E:g Construction Program, New Car program

Portfolio: Collection of projects or programs grouped together to achieve a strategic business goal. Projects in a portfolio need not be inter-related.

E:g Process Improvement

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Interpersonal Skills important for PM July 23, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in Project Management.
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Effective Communication
Influencing the organization
Conflict Management
Problem Solving

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Project Management Knowledge Areas July 23, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in PMP.
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  1. Integration Management
  2. Scope Management
  3. Time Management
  4. Cost Management
  5. Quality Management
  6. Human Resource Management
  7. Communications Management
  8. Risk Management
  9. Procurement Management

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Introduction to PMBOK July 23, 2007

Posted by Coolguy in PMP.
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Project Characteristics:

  1. Temporary
  2. Unique products or services
  3. Progressive elaboration

Projects are distinctively different from operations. Objective of Operations is to sustain the business. Objective of project is to achieve specific goals & terminate where are operations are ongoing.

Projects provide a way of executing activities that typically cannot be executed thru operations.

Process Overview September 14, 2005

Posted by Coolguy in PRINCE2.
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  • It all starts with an when someone in company has a idea for a project. It could be a marketing drive, technical project etc
  • He/She can start talking to immediate manager and start refining it
  • They then need approval or backing of the director or VP
  • Together they prepare a BOD
  • BOD is equivalent to project mandate in PRINCE2
  • BOD has details like:
  • Opportunity Description.
  • Who will sponsor it?  
  • What existing products or services does this opportunity impact
  • What categories does this opportunity fall  E.g: Business Risk, Revenue Generating, Value Add, Cost Saving etc
  • Primary benefits of exploiting this opportunity.
  • Primary risks of exploiting this opportunity.
  • Market research in support
  • What existing strategies does this opportunity support? E.g.: customer satisfaction. Improved productivity
  • Are there any internal deadlines or external events that impact the time-frame in which the opportunity should be exploited?
  • All technology BOD’s go to TSC(which has representation from business leaders of all streams, CIO,CFO etc)
  • TSC separates wheat from chaff, put a priority on it
  • It gets passed onto the appropriate department. (Telecom, Operations, Networking /Infrastructure, Development)
  • A PM gets allocated to the project and a steering committee is formed.
  • Steering committee has PM, BA , Tech Lead, Sponsor or delegate
  • Project Brief, PID

Typical Factors That Make Offshore Project Management Tricky September 13, 2005

Posted by Coolguy in IT Offshoring, Project Management.
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Well-Known Issues

  • Language barriers
  • Time zones
  • Distance
  • Culture differences
  • Communication styles
  • Etiquette
  • Security problems
  • Quality discrepancies

Less Obvious Issues

  • Inherent beliefs and prejudices
  • Built-in hierarchies
  • Attitude (e.g., attention to detail)
  • Work processes
  • Work practices
  • Labor laws
  • Respect for IP rights
  • Bad management

Techniques that help project managers improve the odds of success when working with an offshore team

  • Define expectations up front
  • Utilize e-tools for better communication
  • Meet regularly
  • Provide proper training
  • Conduct quality reviews
  • Document everything

Define Expectations Up Front

  • Nothing sets up projects for failure quicker than requirements and expectations that are not established and communicated to both parties in advance.
  • Detail clear and precise programming requirements.
  • Determine timelines for each project deliverable.
  • Define reports for communicating project status
  • Develop a procedure for managing project changes
  • Document procedures for escalation emergencies

Utilize E-Tools for Better Communication

  • Voice over IP (VoIP) and other infrastructure capabilities, instant messenger service, email, and organized video sessions between onshore and offshore teams are powerful ways to compensate for less face time
  • Setting up a regular call schedule
  • Taking advantage of instant messaging, email, and chat sessions
  • Instituting periodic project reviews
  • Providing face-to-face feedback, rewards, and recognition

Meet Regularly

  • To make sure that team members communicate with one another, schedule regular meetings even if just to get a status update
  • Keeping your distributed team apprised of what’s happening is crucial. When all team members are located on site, it’s easy to grab everyone and have a quick meeting in a conference room. When people are distributed across the East Coast, West Coast, and Russia, keeping the team in the loop is not as easy
  • Simple, short communications can boost the productivity and performance of the global team and should be encouraged. They supply team members with a way to demonstrate interest and ownership in the project’s outcome and to recognize problems before they escalate.

Provide Proper Training

  • Conduct knowledge transfer that includes coding standards, product
    architecture, special tools, and hardware and software environments.
  • Technical training. How to use tools, applications, or proprietary software.
  • Process training. How to handle technical support calls and follow escalation procedures.
  • Company-specific training. How to achieve brand-specific messaging and consistent interactions with high-value customers
  • Responsibility based training. How to train people based on their roles. For example, IT architects need training in listening to business users.
  • For example, employees in the United States understand the U.S. healthcare system, such as HMOs and co-pays, even if they don’t work in the industry. This basic understanding of the U.S. healthcare system cannot be expected from offshore resources. Therefore, if you’re outsourcing the development of a healthcare application to India, basic education about the U.S. healthcare system will need to occur before the Indian IT professionals can start.

Conduct Quality Reviews

  • Unstructured, free-form status reports are the enemy of project quality.
  • Use a standard report that clearly spells out how the project is going with respect to different milestones
  • Whenever a task is reported as completed, an onshore team member should check that the corresponding deliverables are accurate, accessible, and documented correctly. Depending on what skills you need to check (such as programming code, offshore project management, or testing routines), make sure to actually review the deliverables.

Document Everything

  • Onshore project managers should confirm that requirements for documentation are understood by the offshore team, including technical specifications, deliverables, due dates, and problem-resolution procedures.
  • With escalating attrition rates in many low-cost locations, make sure that the offshore team also has documented training manuals and escalation procedures for recurring problems


  • Communication is the key.
  • Meet Regularly
  • Clear written requirements and good documentation
  • Train the staff properly
  • Have a proper in-house team to manage the relationship
  • Use technology to bridge the communication gap
  • Understand culture: Housewife, reluctance to challenge authority
  • Overcome time differences
  • Complete one full cycle quickly
  • Agree on the processes
  • Budget for offshore visits
  • Maintain constant contact

Change Management Process A September 7, 2005

Posted by Coolguy in Project Management.
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  • Any person involved in the project effort, can initiate a change request.
  • Change requests are dealt with in accordance with an overall project Guiding Principle of “minimal change”.
  • Change requests generally arise as a result of an issue on the project
    and would be captured in the project Issue Log.
  • Possible reasons might include the discovery of a problem, the need to accommodate changing business processes, or a suggestion for general improvement.
  • The change request is then assigned a unique reference number and change evaluation commences.


  • All change requests must be referred to the Project Management Team and/or the Project Board as appropriate.
  • The Project Manager will assign the Change Request to the appropriate person(s) for evaluation and recommendation for action.


  • Once the evaluation has been completed and the impact of a change request is understood, the Project Management Team (or Project Board if appropriate) will either approve or reject the change.

Change Management Process C September 7, 2005

Posted by Coolguy in Project Management.
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  • Change control process should be strictly adhered to while interfacing with all stakeholders.
  • The scope of overall engagement is initially defined in the Project Contract that is signed off before project commencement.
  • Client may request specific changes to the original scope of work, at any time using a formal Change Request (CR).
  • The highlights of the change process are:
  • CRs are recorded in a Change Log•
  • CRs are analyzed in terms of its impact on the original scope of work, effort and application quality
  • Impact of increased scope of work on project schedules, planned resources and costs is assessed
  • CRs are implemented when mutually agreed .If the cost impact is substantial, submit a revised price. If it results in a lower cost the same is passed on to client.
  • If the change causes the execution model to be modified, it will be done with sufficient communication and understanding between both parties
  • If project schedule changes impact business performance, company quickly ramps up the project team with appropriately skilled resources from the pool