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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)

Expectation Management May 10, 2008

Posted by Coolguy in Service Delivery.
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1 comment so far

In day-to-day life people manage expectations at work,friendships and family. Management is about managing expectations too. You manage expectations of you boss and you set expectations of your staff.

Success of any project/initiative depends active expectation management of stakeholders. The way stakeholders interact with IT services reflects their expectations on what IT can or cannot deliver.

Expectations change over time.Proactive expectation management is about staying in tune with the changes in stakeholder expectations.Stakeholders with negative and unreasonable expectations may need special attention.

For projects, requirements, budgets, timeline are typically the explicitly stated expectations. Implicitly stated objectives could include career goals for team involved etc.

Expectation management involves three stages: Setting expectations, capturing and monitoring expectations and influence expectations.

  1. Know your stakeholders. Review my article on stakeholder identification and management
  2. Communication is the key for expectation management.
  3. Be approachable. Let the business know that they can approach you with issues or to bounce ideas.
  4. Use both formal and informal communication to understand expectations and to manage them
  5. Be open and honest in your assessment on what IT can and cannot deliver. Deliver bad news as soon as you know.
  6. Actively seek feedback on department / project performance. Survey’s over regular intervals are a good measure of progress or otherwise.
  7. Meet with key stakeholders regularly, preferably monthly to discuss new initiatives, progress on key projects and general IT issues.
  8. Where possible on projects, document key decisions etc using meeting minutes or other means

Here are other articles on the subject. Link1 and Link2

Rational RequisitePro provides ability to explicitly track and map expectations to features of a product. A good article demonstrating is here.

Solution Delivery April 30, 2008

Posted by Coolguy in IT Career, Service Delivery.
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Solution Delivery is high level management function which leverages people, processes and technologies to ensure successful project/product delivery.

Key skills required to succeed in a Delivery Management role are:

  1. Collaboratively working on end-to-end solutions
  2. Client relationship,satisfaction and value management
  3. Communication management
  4. Quality management
  5. Scope and expectation management
  6. Vendor and procurement management
  7. Time and cost management
  8. Process Management
  9. Risk management
  10. Metrics management
  11. Leadership
  12. Taking initiative
  13. Strategic thinking
  14. Innovation skills
  15. Technical experience
  16. Web experience (if relevant for the role)
  17. People management

Here is a good article on the skills sets.