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Deliverables that meet the acceptance criteria are formally signed off and approved by the customer or sponsor. Formal documentation received from the customer or sponsor acknowledging formal stakeholder acceptance of the project’s deliverables is forwarded to the Close Project or Phase process.
When the performing organization is unable to provide the staff needed to complete a project, the required services may be acquired from outside sources. This can involve hiring individual consultants or subcontracting work to another organization
Active listening helps reduce misunderstandings and improves communication and knowledge sharing. Listening actively involves acknowledging, clarifying and confirming, understanding, and removing barriers that adversely affect comprehension.
Activities, distinct from milestones, have durations, during which the work of that activity is performed, and may have resources and costs associated with that work. Activity attributes extend the description of the activity by identifying the multiple components associated with each activity. The components for each activity evolve over time. During the initial stages of the project, they include the activity identifier (ID), WBS ID, and activity label or name, and when completed, may include activity codes, activity description, predecessor activities, successor activities, logical relationships, leads and lags (Section 188.8.131.52), resource requirements, imposed dates, constraints, and assumptions. Activity attributes can be used to identify the person responsible for executing the work, geographic area, or place where the work has to be performed, the project calendar the activity is assigned to, and activity type such as level of effort (often abbreviated as LOE), discrete effort, and apportioned effort. Activity attributes are used for schedule development and for selecting, ordering, and sorting the planned schedule activities in various ways within reports. The number of attributes varies by application area.
Activity cost estimates
Activity cost estimates are quantitative assessments of the probable costs required to complete project work. Cost estimates can be presented in summary form or in detail. Costs are estimated for all resources that are applied to the activity cost estimate. This includes, but is not limited to, direct labor, materials, equipment, services, facilities, information technology, and special categories such as cost of financing (including interest charges), an inflation allowance, exchange rates, or a cost contingency reserve. Indirect costs, if they are included charges in the project estimate, can be included at the activity level or at higher levels.
Activity duration estimates
Activity duration estimates are quantitative assessments of the likely number of time periods that are required to complete an activity. Duration estimates do not include any lags. Activity duration estimates may include some indication of the range of possible results.
The activity list is a comprehensive list that includes all schedule activities required on the project. The activity list also includes the activity identifier and a scope of work description for each activity in sufficient detail to ensure that project team members understand what work is required to be completed. Each activity should have a unique title that describes its place in the schedule, even if that activity title is displayed outside the context of the project schedule.
Activity resource requirements
Activity resource requirements identify the types and quantities of resources required for each activity in a work package. These requirements then can be aggregated to determine the estimated resources for each work package and each work period. The amount of detail and the level of specificity of the resource requirement descriptions can vary by application area. The resource requirements documentation for each activity can include the basis of estimate for each resource, as well as the assumptions that were made in determining which types of resources are applied, their availability, and what quantities are used.
Additional quality planning tools
Other quality planning tools are used to define the quality requirements and to plan effective quality management activities.
Existing lists of potential sellers often can be expanded by placing advertisements in general circulation publications such as selected newspapers or in specialty trade publications. Some organizations use online resources to communicate solicitations to the vendor community. Some government jurisdictions require public advertising of certain types of procurement items, and most government jurisdiction require public advertising or online posting of pending government contracts.
Affinity diagrams allow large numbers of ideas to be classified into groups for review and analysis.
Agile release planning
Agile release planning provides a high-level summary time-line of the release schedule (typically 3 to 6 months) based on the product roadmap and the product vision for the product's evolution. It also determines the number of iterations or sprints in the release, and allows the product owner and team to decide how much needs to be developed and how long it will take to have a releasable product based on business goals, dependencies, and impediments.
A procurement agreement includes terms and conditions, and may incorporate other items that the buyer specifies regarding what the seller is to perform or provide. It is the project management team’s responsibility to make certain that all agreements meet the specific needs of the project while adhering to organizational procurement policies. Depending upon the application area, an agreement can also be called an understanding, a contract, a subcontract, or a purchase order. Regardless of the document’s complexity, a contract is a mutually binding legal agreement that obligates the seller to provide the specified products, services, or results, and obligates the buyer to compensate the seller. A contract is a legal relationship subject to remedy in the courts.
Many schedule activities have alternative methods of accomplishment. They include using various levels of resource capability or skills, different size or type of machines, different tools (hand versus automated), and make-rent-or-buy decisions regarding the resource.
Alternatives generation is a technique used to develop as many potential options as possible in order to identify different approaches to execute and perform the work of the project. A variety of general management techniques can be used, such as brainstorming, lateral thinking, analysis of alternatives, etc.
Analogous estimating is a technique for estimating the duration or cost of an activity or a project using historical data from a similar activity or project. Analogous estimating uses parameters from a previous, similar project, such as duration, budget, size, weight, and complexity, as the basis for estimating the same parameter or measure for a future project. When estimating durations, this technique relies on the actual duration of previous, similar projects as the basis for estimating the duration of the current project. It is a gross value estimating approach sometimes adjusted for known differences in project complexity. Analogous duration estimating is frequently used to estimate project duration when there is limited amount of detailed information about the project.
Analytical techniques are applied in project management to forecast potential outcomes based on possible variations of project or environmental variables and their relationships with other variables.
Approved change requests
Approved change requests can include modifications to the terms and conditions of the contract, including the procurement statement of work, pricing, and descriptions of the products, services, or results to be provided. All procurement-related changes are formally documented in writing and approved before being implemented through the Control Procurements process.
Assessment of other risk parameters
The project team may consider other characteristics of risk (in addition to probability and impact) when prioritizing individual project risks for further analysis and action. These characteristics may include but are not limited to: Urgency, proximity, dormancy, manageability, controlability, detectability, connectivity, strategic impact, and propinquity. The consideration of some of these characteristics can provide a more robust prioritization of risks than is possible by only assessing probability and impact.
Assumption and constraint analysis
Every project and its project management plan are conceived and developed based on a set of assumptions and within a series of constraints. These are often already incorporated in the scope baseline and project estimates. Assumption and constraint analysis explores the validity of assumptions and constraints to determine which pose a risk to the project. Threats may be identified from the inaccuracy, instability, inconsistency, or incompleteness of assumptions. Constraints may give rise to opportunities through removing or relaxing a limiting factor that affects the execution of a project or process.
High-level strategic and operational assumptions and constraints are normally identified in the business case before the project is initiated and will flow into the project charter. Lower-level activity and task assumptions are generated throughout the project such as defining technical specifications, estimates, the schedule, risks, etc. The assumption log is used to record all assumptions and constraints throughout the project.
Every project and its plan is conceived and developed based on a set of hypotheses, scenarios, or assumptions. Assumptions analysis explores the validity of assumptions as they apply to the project. It identifies risks to the project from inaccuracy, instability, inconsistency, or incompleteness of assumptions.
An audit is a structured, independent process used to determine if project activities comply with organizational and project policies, processes, and procedures.
Autocratic decision making
In this decision-making technique, one individual takes the responsibility for making the decision for the entire group.
Basis of estimates
The amount and type of additional details supporting the cost estimate vary by application area. Regardless of the level of detail, the supporting documentation should provide a clear and complete understanding of how the cost estimate was derived.
Benchmarking involves comparing actual or planned practices, such as processes and operations, to those of comparable organizations to identify best practices, generate ideas for improvement, and provide a basis for measuring performance. The organizations compared during benchmarking can be internal or external.
Benefits management plan
The benefits management plan is the documented explanation defining the processes for creating, maximizing, and sustaining the benefits provided by a project.
Bid documents are used to solicit information, quotations, or proposals from prospective sellers.
Bidder conferences (sometimes called contractor conferences, vendor conferences, and pre-bid conferences) are meetings between the buyer and all prospective sellers prior to submittal of a bid or proposal. They are used to ensure that all prospective sellers have a clear and common understanding of the procurement requirements, and that no bidders receive preferential treatment. To be fair, buyers should take great care to ensure that all prospective sellers hear every question from any individual prospective seller and every answer from the buyer. Typically fairness is addressed by techniques such as collecting questions from bidders or arranging field visits in advance of the bidder conference. Responses to questions can be incorporated into the procurement documents as amendments.
Bottom-up estimating is a method of estimating project duration or cost by aggregating the estimates of the lower-level components of the WBS. When an activity cannot be estimated with a reasonable degree of confidence, the work within the activity is decomposed into more detail. The resource needs are estimated. These estimates are then aggregated into a total quantity for each of the activity’s resources. Activities may or may not have dependencies between them that can affect the application and use of resources. If there are dependencies, this pattern of resource usage is reflected and documented in the estimated requirements of the activity.
Brainstorming is a common data-gathering technique that derives input from individuals and groups usually perceived as subject matter experts.
The business case or similar document describes the necessary information from a business standpoint to determine whether or not the project is worth the required investment. It is commonly used for decision making by managers or executives above the project level. Typically, the business need and the cost-benefit analysis are contained in the business case to justify and establish boundaries for the project, and such analysis is usually completed by a business analyst using various stakeholder inputs. The sponsor should agree to the scope and limitations of the business case.
Business documents (business case and benefits management plan) are two key documents that are interdependent and initially developed prior to the project. The project manager is responsible for maintaining and iteratively updating business documents throughout the project.
Cause and effect diagrams
Cause-and-effect diagrams are also known as fishbone diagrams, why-why diagrams, or Ishikawa diagrams. This type of diagram breaks down the causes of the problem statement identified into discrete branches, helping to identify the main or root cause of the problem.
Change control tools
In order to facilitate configuration and change management, manual or automated tools may be used. Tool selection should be based on the needs of the project stakeholders including organizational and environmental considerations and/or constraints. Tools are used to manage the change requests and the resulting decisions. Additional considerations should be made for communication to assist the CCB members in their duties as well as distribute the decisions to the appropriate stakeholders.
A change log is used to document changes that occur during a project. These changes and their impact to the project in terms of time, cost, and risk, are communicated to the appropriate stakeholders. Rejected change requests are also captured in the change log.
Change management plan
The change management plan is a component of the project management plan that establishes the change control board, documents the extent of it's authority, and describes how the change control system will be implemented.
The completed deliverables that have not been formally accepted are documented, along with the reasons for nonacceptance of those deliverables. Those deliverables may require a change request for defect repair. The change requests are processed for review and disposition through the Perform Integrated Change Control process.
Check sheets are also known as tally sheets and are used to organize facts in a manner that will facilitate the effective collection of useful data about a potential quality problem. They are especially useful for gathering attributes data while performing inspections to identify defects; for example, data about the frequencies or consequences of defects collected.
Risk identification checklists are developed based on historical information and knowledge that has been accumulated from previous similar projects and from other sources of information. The lowest level of the RBS can also be used as a risk checklist. While a checklist may be quick and simple, it is impossible to build an exhaustive one, and care should be taken to ensure the checklist is not used to avoid the effort of proper risk identification. The team should also explore items that do not appear on the checklist. Additionally, the checklist should be pruned from time to time to remove or archive related items. The checklist should be reviewed during project closure to incorporate new lessons learned and improve it for use on future projects.
A checklist is a list of items, actions, or points to be considered. It is often used as a reminder.
Contested changes and potential constructive changes are those requested changes where the buyer and seller cannot reach an agreement on compensation for the change or cannot agree that a change has occurred. These contested changes are variously called claims, disputes, or appeals. Claims are documented, processed, monitored, and managed throughout the contract life cycle, usually in accordance with the terms of the contract. If the parties themselves do not resolve a claim, it may have to be handled in accordance with alternative dispute resolution (ADR) typically following procedures established in the contract. Settlement of all claims and disputes through negotiation is the preferred method.
The buyer, usually through its authorized procurement administrator, provides the seller with formal written notice that the contract has been completed. Requirements for formal procurement closure are usually defined in the terms and conditions of the contract and are included in the procurement management plan.
Colocation, also referred to as “tight matrix,” involves placing many or all of the most active project team members in the same physical location to enhance their ability to perform as a team. Colocation can be temporary, such as at strategically important times during the project, or for the entire project. Colocation strategies can include a team meeting room (sometimes called “war room”), places to post schedules, and other conveniences that enhance communication and a sense of community. While colocation is considered a good strategy, the use of virtual teams can bring benefits such as the use of more skilled resources, reduced costs, less travel, and relocation expenses and the proximity of team members to suppliers, customers, or other key stakeholders.
Communication competence is a combination of tailored communication skills that considers factors such as clarity of purpose in key messages, effective relationships and information sharing, and leadership behaviors.
There are several communication methods that are used to share information among project stakeholders. The choices of communication methods that are used for a project may need to be discussed and agreed upon by the project stakeholders based on communication requirements; cost and time constraints; and familiarity and availability of the required tools and resources that may be applicable to the communications process.
The communication models used to facilitate communications and the exchange of information may vary from project to project and also within different stages of the same project. A basic communication model consists of two parties, defined as the sender and receiver. Medium is the technology medium and includes the mode of communication while noise includes any interference or barriers that might compromise the delivery of the message.
Communication requirements analysis
The analysis of the communication requirements determines the information needs of the project stakeholders. These requirements are defined by combining the type and format of information needed with an analysis of the value of that information. Project resources should be expended only on communicating information that contributes to the success of the project or where a lack of communication can lead to failure.
Communication skills are used to transfer information between stakeholders. There are two communication skills tools and techniques (feedback and presentations).
Communication styles assessment
Communication styles assessment is a technique used to identify the preferred communication method, format, and content for stakeholders for planned communication activities.
The methods used to transfer information among project stakeholders may vary significantly. For example, a project team may use techniques from brief conversations to extended meetings, or from simple written documents to extensive materials (e.g., schedules, databases, and websites), which are accessible online as methods of communication.
Communications management plan
The communications management plan is a component of the project management plan that describes how project communications will be planned, structured, monitored, and controlled. The communications management plan can include guidelines and templates for project status meetings, project team meetings, e-meetings, and e-mail messages. The use of a project website and project management software can also be included if these are to be used in the project.
Configuration management plan
The configuration management plan is a component of the project management plan that describes how to identify and account for project artifacts under configuration control, and how to record and report changes to them.
Sources of conflict include scarce resources, scheduling priorities, and personal work styles. Team ground rules, group norms, and solid project management practices, like communication planning and role definition, reduce the amount of conflict. Successful conflict management results in greater productivity and positive working relationships. When managed properly, differences of opinion can lead to increased creativity and better decision making. If the differences become a negative factor, project team members are initially responsible for their resolution. If conflict escalates, the project manager should help facilitate a satisfactory resolution. Conflict should be addressed early and usually in private, using a direct, collaborative approach. If disruptive conflict continues, formal procedures may be used, including disciplinary actions.
The context diagram is an example of a scope model. Context diagrams visually depict the product scope by showing a business system (process, equipment, computer system, etc.), and how people and other systems (actors) interact with it. Context diagrams show inputs to the business system, the actor(s) providing the input, the outputs from the business system, and the actor(s) receiving the output.
Contingent response strategies
Some responses are designed for use only if certain events occur. For some risks, it is appropriate for the project team to make a response plan that will only be executed under certain predefined conditions, if it is believed that there will be sufficient warning to implement the plan. Events that trigger the contingency response, such as missing intermediate milestones or gaining higher priority with a supplier, should be defined and tracked. Risk responses identified using this technique are often called contingency plans or fallback plans and include identified triggering events that set the plans in effect.
Contract change control system
A contract change control system defines the process by which the procurement can be modified. It includes the paperwork, tracking systems, dispute resolution procedures, and approval levels necessary for authorizing changes. The contract change control system is integrated with the integrated change control system.
Control charts are used to determine whether or not a process is stable or has predictable performance. Upper and lower specification limits are based on the requirements and reflect the maximum and minimum values allowed. Upper and lower control limits are different from specification limits. The control limits are determined using standard statistical calculations and principles to ultimately establish the natural capability for a stable process. The project manager and appropriate stakeholders may use the statistically calculated control limits to identify the points at which corrective action will be taken to prevent performance that remains outside the control limits. Control charts can be used to measure various types of output variables. Although most frequently used to track repetitive activities required for producing manufactured lots, control charts may also be used to monitor cost and schedule variances, volume, frequency of scope changes, or other management results to help determine if the project management processes are in control.
Cost estimates are aggregated by work packages in accordance with the WBS. The work package cost estimates are then aggregated for the higher component levels of the WBS (such as control accounts) and ultimately for the entire project.
The cost baseline is the approved version of the time-phased project budget, excluding any management reserves, which can only be changed through formal change control procedures and is used as a basis for comparison to actual results. It is developed as a summation of the approved budgets for the different schedule activities.
Cost estimates are quantitative assessments of the likely costs for resources required to complete the activity. They include the identification and consideration of costing alternatives to initiate and complete the project.
Cost forecasts are either a calculated EAC value or a bottom-up EAC value is documented and communicated to stakeholders.
Cost management plan
The cost management plan is a component of the project management plan and describes how the project costs will be planned, structured, and controlled. The cost management processes and their associated tools and techniques are documented in the cost management plan.
Cost of quality
Cost of quality includes all costs incurred over the life of the product by investment in preventing non-conformance to requirements, appraising the product or service for conformance to requirements, and failing to meet requirements (rework). Failure costs are often categorized into internal (found by the project) and external (found by the customer). Failure costs are also called cost of poor quality.
The primary benefits of meeting quality requirements include less rework, higher productivity, lower costs, increased stakeholder satisfaction, and increased profitability. A cost-benefit analysis for each quality activity compares the cost of the quality step to the expected benefit.
Critical chain method
The critical chain method (CCM) is a schedule method that allows the project team to place buffers on any path method approach and considers the effects of resource allocation, resource optimization, resource leveling, and activity duration uncertainty on the critical path determined using the critical path method. To do so, the critical chain method introduces the concept of buffers and buffer management. The critical chain method uses activities with durations that do not include safety margins, logical relationships, and resource availability with statistically determined buffers composed of the aggregated safety margins of activities at specified points on the project schedule path to account for limited resources and project uncertainties. The resource-constrained critical path is known as the critical chain.
Critical path method
The critical path method is a method used to estimate the minimum project duration and determine the amount of scheduling flexibility on the logical network paths within the schedule model. This schedule network analysis technique calculates the early start, early finish, late start, and late finish dates for all activities without regard for any resource limitations by performing a forward and backward pass analysis through the schedule network. The critical path is the sequence of activities that represents the longest path through a project, which determines the shortest possible project duration. The resulting early and late start and finish dates are not necessarily the project schedule, rather they indicate the time periods within which activity could be executed, using parameters entered in the schedule model for activity durations, logical relationships, leads, lags and other known constraints. The critical path method is used to calculate the amount of scheduling flexibility on the logical network paths within the schedule model.
Cultural awareness is an understanding of the differences between individuals, groups, and organizations and adapting the project's communication strategy in the contexts of these differences. This awareness and any consequent actions minimize misunderstandings and miscommunication that may result from cultural differences within the project's stakeholder community. Cultural awareness and cultural sensitivity help the project manager to plan communications based on the cultural differences and requirements of stakeholders and team members.
Data analysis is techniques used to organize, assess, and evaluate data and information.
Data gatheringData gathering is a technique used to collect data and information from various sources for the purposes of later analyzing the data and assessing information.
Data gathering and representation techniques
Data gathering and representation techniques are used to collect, organize, and present data and information.
Data representation is used to show graphic representations or other methods used to convey data and information. There are 15 data representation tools and techniques.
Decision making techniques are used to select a course of action from different alternatives. There are two decision-making tools and techniques.
Decision tree analysis
Decision tree analysis is a diagramming and calculation technique for evaluating the implications of a chain of multiple options in the presence of uncertainty.
Decomposition is a technique used for dividing and subdividing the project scope and project deliverables into smaller, more manageable parts. The work package is the work defined at the lowest level of the WBS for which cost and duration can be estimated and managed. The level of decomposition is often guided by the degree of control needed to effectively manage the project. The level of detail for work packages will vary with the size and complexity of the project.
A deliverable is any unique and verifiable product, result or capability to perform a service that is required to be produced to complete a process, phase, or project. Deliverables are typically tangible components completed to meet the project objectives and can include elements of the project management plan.
Dependency determination and integration
Dependencies may be characterized by the following attributes: mandatory or discretionary, internal or external. Dependency has four attributes, but two can be applicable at the same time in the following ways: mandatory external dependencies, mandatory internal dependencies, discretionary external dependencies, or discretionary internal dependencies.
Design for x
Design for X (DfX) is a set of technical guidelines that may be applied during the design of a product for the optimization of a specific aspect of the design. DfX can control or even improve the product's final characteristics. The X in DfX can be different aspects of product development, such as reliability, deployment, assembly, manufacturing, cost, service, usability, safety, and quality. Using DfX may result in cost reduction, quality improvement, better performance, and customer satisfaction.
Design of experiments
Design of experiments (DOE) is a statistical method for identifying which factors may influence specific variables of a product or process under development or in production. DOE may be used during the Plan Quality Management process to determine the number and type of tests and their impact on cost of quality.DOE also plays a role in optimizing products or processes. DOE is used to reduce the sensitivity of product performance to sources of variations caused by environmental or manufacturing differences. One important aspect of this technique is that it provides a statistical framework for systematically changing all of the important factors, rather than changing the factors one at a time. Analysis of the experimental data should provide the optimal conditions for the product or process, highlight the factors that influence the results, and reveal the presence of interactions and synergy among the factors.
Development approach is the method used to create and evolve the product, service, or result during the project life cycle, such as predictive, iterative, incremental, agile, or a hybrid method.
Document analysis is used to elicit requirements by analyzing existing documentation and identifying relevant requirements. Examples of documents that may be analyzed include, but are not limited to: business plans, marketing literature, agreements, requests for proposal, current process flows, logical data models, business rules repositories, application software documentation, business process or interface documentation, use cases, other requirements documentation, problem/issue logs, policies, procedures, and regulatory documentation such as laws, codes, or ordinances, etc.
A structured review of the project documentation may be performed, including plans, assumptions, previous project files, agreements, and other information. The quality of the plans, as well as consistency between those plans and the project requirements and assumptions, may be indicators of risk in the project.
Duration estimates provide quantitative assessments of project durations, ideally expressed as a range, indicating the degree of risk, where a structured review of the documents may indicate that the current estimate is insufficient and poses a risk to the project. Duration estimates provide the starting point from which schedule variability is evaluated.
Earned value analysis
Earned value analysis provides an integrated perspective on scope, schedule, and cost performance. The performance measurement baseline is compared to actual results to determine if a change, corrective action, or preventive action is necessary. Schedule performance measurements such as schedule variance (SV) and schedule performance index (SPI) are used to assess the magnitude of variation to the original schedule baseline.
Earned value management
Earned value management (EVM) is a methodology that combines scope, schedule, and resource measurements to assess project performance and progress. It is a commonly used method of performance measurement for projects. It integrates the scope baseline with the cost baseline, along with the schedule baseline, to form the performance measurement baseline, which helps the project management team assess and measure project performance and progress. It is a project management technique that requires the formation of an integrated baseline against which performance can be measured for the duration of the project. The principles of EVM can be applied to all projects in any industry.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, assess, and manage the personal emotions of oneself and other people, as well as the collective emotions of groups of people.
Enterprise environmental factors
Enterprise environmental factors refer to conditions, not under the control of the project team, that influence, constrain, or direct the project. Enterprise environmental factors are considered inputs to most planning processes, may enhance or constrain project management options, and may have a positive or negative influence on the outcome.
Enterprise environmental factors updates
The enterprise environmental factors that may be updated as a result of the Develop Team process include, but are not limited to, personnel administration, employee training records, and skill assessments.
Expert judgment is often used to assess the inputs used to develop the project charter. Expert judgment is applied to all technical and management details during this process. Such expertise is provided by any group or individual with specialized knowledge or training and is available from many sources.
Facilitation is the ability to effectively guide a group event to a successful decision, solution or conclusion. A good facilitator ensures effective participation and inclusion.
Facilitated workshops are focused sessions that bring key stakeholders together to define product requirements. Workshops are considered a primary technique for quickly defining cross-functional requirements and reconciling stakeholder differences. Because of their interactive group nature, well-facilitated sessions can build trust, foster relationships, and improve communication among the participants, which can lead to increased stakeholder consensus. In addition, issues can be discovered earlier and resolved more quickly than in individual sessions. For example, facilitated workshops called joint application design/development (JAD) sessions are used in the software development industry. These facilitated sessions focus on bringing business subject matter experts and the development team together to improve the software development process. In the manufacturing industry, quality function deployment (QFD) is another example of a facilitated workshop technique that helps determine critical characteristics for a new product development. QFD starts be collecting customer needs, also known as voice of the customer (VOC). These needs are then objectively sorted and prioritized, and goals are set for achieving them. User stories, which are short, textual descriptions of required functionality, are often developed during a requirements workshop. User stories describe the stakeholder who benefits from the feature (role), what the stakeholder needs to accomplish (goal), and the benefit to the stakeholder (motivation).
Facilitation techniques have broad application within project management processes and guide the development of the project charter. Brainstorming, conflict resolution, problem solving, and meeting management are examples of key techniques used by facilitators to help teams and individuals accomplish project activities.
Feedback is information about reactions to communications, a deliverable, or a situation. Feedback supports interactive communication between the project manager, team and all other project stakeholders. Examples include coaching, mentoring, and negotiating.
The final report provides a summary of the project performance. It can include information such as: summary level description of the project or phase, scope objectives, quality objectives, cost objectives, a summary of the validation information for the final product, service, or result, schedule objectives, a summary of how the final product, service, or result achieved the business needs identified in the business plan, and a summary of any risks or issues encountered on the project and how they were addressed.
Final product, service or result transition
This output refers to the transition of the final product, service, or result that the project was authorized to produce (or in the case of phase closure, the intermediate product, service, or result of that phase).
Financing entails aquiring funding for projects. It is common for long-term infrastructure, industrial, and public services projects to seek external sources of funds. If a project is funded externally, the funding entity may have certain requirements that are required to be met.
Flowcharts are also referred to as process maps because they display the sequence of steps and the branching possibilities that exist for a process that transforms one or more inputs into one or more outputs. Flowcharts show the activities, decision points, branching loops, parallel paths, and the overall order of processing by mapping the operational details of procedures that exist within a horizontal value chain. Flowcharts may prove useful in understanding and estimating the cost of quality for a process. Information is obtained by using the workflow branching logic and associated relative frequencies to estimate the expected monetary value for the conformance and non-conformance work required to deliver the expected conforming output. When flowcharts are used to represent the steps in a process, they are sometimes called process flows or process flow diagrams and they can be used for process improvement as well as identifying where quality defects can occur or where to incorporate quality checks.
Focus groups bring together qualified stakeholders and subject matter experts to learn about their expectations and attitudes about a proposed product, service, or result. A trained moderator guides the group through an interactive discussion, designed to be more conversational than a one-on-one interview.
As the project progresses, the project team may develop a forecast for the estimate at completion (EAC) that may differ from the budget at completion (BAC) based on the project performance. If it becomes obvious that the BAC is no longer viable, the project manager should consider the forecasted EAC. Forecasting the EAC involves making projections of conditions and events in the project’s future based on current performance information and other knowledge available at the time of the forecast. Forecasts are generated, updated, and reissued based on work performance data that is provided as the project is executed. The work performance information covers the project’s past performance and any information that could impact the project in the future.
Funding limit reconciliation
The expenditure of funds should be reconciled with any funding limits on the commitment of funds for the project. A variance between the funding limits and the planned expenditures will sometimes necessitate the rescheduling of work to level out the rate of expenditures. This is accomplished by placing imposed date constraints for work into the project schedule.
Ground rules establish clear expectations regarding acceptable behavior by project team members. Early commitment to clear guidelines decreases misunderstandings and increases productivity. Discussing ground rules in areas such as code of conduct, communication, working together, or meeting etiquette allows team members to discover values that are important to one another. All project team members share responsibility for enforcing the rules once they are established.
Group creativity techniques
Several group activities can be organized to identify project and product requirements.
Group decision making techniques
A group decision-making technique is an assessment process having multiple alternatives with an expected outcome in the form of future actions. These techniques can be used to generate, classify, and prioritize product requirements.
Hierarchical charts are traditional organizational chart structures that can be used to show positions and relationships in a graphical, top-down format.
Histograms show a graphical representation of numerical data. Histograms can show the number of defects per deliverable, a ranking of the cause of defects, the number of times each process is non-compliant, or other representations of project or product defects.
Historical information review
Reviewing historical information can assist in developing parametric estimates or analogous estimates. Historical information may include project characteristics (parameters) to develop mathematical models to predict total project costs.
Any historical relationships that result in parametric estimates or analogous estimates involve the use of project characteristics (parameters) to develop mathematical models to predict total project costs. Such models may be simple (e.g., residential home construction is based on a certain cost per square foot of space) or complex (e.g., one model of software development costing uses multiple separate adjustment factors, each of which has numerous points within it).
Resource management plan
The resource management plan, a part of the project management plan, provides guidance on how project resources should be defined, obtained, assigned, managed, and eventually released. The resource management plan and any subsequent revisions are also inputs into the Develop Project Management Plan process.
Independent cost estimates
For large procurements, the procuring organization may elect to either prepare its own independent estimate or have a cost estimate prepared by an outside professional estimator to serve as a benchmark on proposed responses. Significant differences in cost estimates can be an indication that the procurement SOW was deficient or ambiguous, or that the prospective sellers either misunderstood or failed to respond fully to the procurement SOW.
For many procurement items, the procuring organization may elect to either prepare its own independent estimate, or have an estimate of costs prepared by an outside professional estimator, to serve as a benchmark on proposed responses. Significant differences in cost estimates can be an indication that the procurement statement of work was deficient, ambiguous, and/or that the prospective sellers either misunderstood or failed to respond fully to the procurement statement of work.
Individual and team assessments
Individual and team assessments are tools that give the project manager and the project team insight into areas of strengths and weaknesses. These tools help project managers assess team members' preferences, aspirations, how they process and organize information, how they make decisions, and how they interact with people.
Influence diagrams are graphical aids to decision making under uncertainty. An influence diagram represents a project or situation within the project as a set of entities, outcomes, and influences, together with the relationships and effects between them. Where an element in the influence diagram is uncertain as a result of the existence of individual project risks or other sources of uncertainty, this can be represented in the influence diagram using ranges or probability distributions. The influence diagram is then evaluated using a simulation technique, such as Monte Carlo analysis, to indicate which elements have the greatest influence on key outcomes. Outputs from an influence diagram are similar to other quantitative risk analysis methods, including S-curves and tornado diagrams.
Influencing is a key skill for all project managers due to often having little or no direct authority over team members in a matrixed environment. Influencing skills include the ability to be persuasive and clearly articulate points and positions. Influencing also requires high levels of active and effective listening skills as well as keen awareness and observations of the professional environment within which they operate.
Information gathering techniques
Information gathering techniques are repeatable processes used to assemble and organize data across a spectrum of sources.
Information management are tools and techniques that are used to create and connect people to information. They are effective for sharing simple, unambiguous, codified explicit knowledge. They include but are not limited to: methods for codifying explicit knowledge, lessons learned register, library services, information gathering, and project management information system (PMIS).
Inspection includes activities such as measuring, examining, and validating to determine whether work and deliverables meet requirements and product acceptance criteria. Inspections are sometimes called reviews, product reviews, audits, and walk-throughs. In some application areas, these different terms have unique and specific meanings.
Inspections and audits
Inspections and audits required by the buyer and supported by the seller, as specified in the procurement contract, can be conducted during execution of the project to verify compliance in the seller’s work processes or deliverables. If authorized by contract, some inspection and audit teams can include buyer procurement personnel.
Interpersonal and team skills
Interpersonal and team skills are skills used to effectively lead and interact with team members and other stakeholders.
Interpersonal skills, sometimes known as “soft skills,” are behavioral competencies that include proficiencies such as communication skills, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, negotiation, influence, team building, and group facilitation. These soft skills are valuable assets when developing the project team. For example, the project management team can use emotional intelligence to reduce tension and increase cooperation by identifying, assessing, and controlling the sentiments of project team members, anticipating their actions, acknowledging their concerns, and following up on their issues.
An interview is a formal or informal approach to elicit information from stakeholders by talking to them directly. It is typically performed by asking prepared and spontaneous questions and recording the responses. Interviews are often conducted on an individual basis between an interviewer and an interviewee, but may involve multiple interviewers and/or multiple interviewees. Interviewing experienced project participants, sponsors and other executives, and subject matter experts can aid in identifying and defining the features and functions of the desired product deliverables. Interviews are also useful for obtaining confidential information.
Issues arise in the course of managing the project team. An issue log can be used to document and monitor who is responsible for resolving specific issues by a target date.
Iteration burndown chart
This chart tracks the work that remains to be completed in the iteration backlog. It is used to analyze the variance with respect to an ideal burndown based on the work committed from iteration planning. A forecast trend line can be used to predict the likely variance at iteration completion and take appropriate actions during the course of the iteration. A diagonal line representing the ideal burndown and daily actual remaining work is then plotted. A trend line is then calculated to forecast completion based on remaining work.
The increasingly mobile and transitory work force requires a more rigorous process of identifying knowledge throughout the project life cycle and transferring it to the target audience so that the knowledge is not lost. How will knowledge be managed in the project to foster a collaborative working environment?
Leadership is the knowledge, skills, and behaviors needed to guide, motivate, and direct a team, to help an organization achieve its business goals.
Leads and lags
Leads and lags are refinements applied during network analysis to develop a viable schedule by adjusting the start time of the successor activities. Leads are used in limited circumstances to advance a successor activity with respect to the predecessor activity, and lags are used in limited circumstances where processes require a set period of time to elapse between the predecessors and successors without work or resource impact.
Lessons learned register
The lessons learned register is created as an output of the Manage Project Knowledge process (4.4 Manage Project Knowledge) and is used as an input thereafter while being updated in many processes throughout the project. The lessons learned register can include the category and description of the situation. It may also include the impact, recommendations, and proposed actions associated with the situation. It may also record challenges, problems realized, risks and opportunities, or other content as appropriate.
Logical data model
Logical data models are a visual representation of an organization's data, described in business language and independent of any specific technology. The logical data model can be used to identify where data integrity or other quality issues can arise.
A make-or-buy analysis is a general management technique used to determine whether particular work can best be accomplished by the project team or should be purchased from outside sources. Sometimes a capability may exist within the project organization, but may be committed to working on other projects, in which case, the project may need to source such effort from outside the organization in order to meet its schedule commitments. Budget constraints may influence make-or-buy decisions. If a buy decision is to be made, then a further decision of whether to purchase or lease is also made. A make-or-buy analysis should consider all related costs—both direct costs as well as indirect support costs. For example, the buy-side of the analysis includes both the actual out-of-pocket costs to purchase the product, as well as the indirect costs of supporting the purchasing process and purchased item.
A make-or-buy analysis results in a decision of whether particular work can best be accomplished by the project team or needs to be purchased from outside sources. If the decision is to make the item, then the procurement plan may define processes and agreements internal to the organization. A buy decision drives a similar process of reaching agreement with a supplier for the product or services.
The project manager applies management skills to coordinate and harmonize the group toward accomplishing the project objectives.
Market research includes examination of industry and specific vendor capabilities. Procurement teams may leverage information gained at conferences, online reviews and a variety of sources to identify market capabilities. The team may also refine particular procurement objectives to leverage maturing technologies while balancing risks associated with the breadth of vendors who can provide the materials or services desired.
A quality management and control tool used to perform data analysis within the organizational structure created in the matrix. The matrix diagram seeks to show the strengths of relationships between factors, causes, and objectives that exist between the rows and columns that form the matrix.
Research alone may not provide specific information to formulate a procurement strategy without additional information interchange meetings with potential bidders. By collaborating with potential bidders, the organization purchasing the material or service may benefit while the supplier can influence a mutually beneficial approach or product.
A milestone is a significant point or event in a project. A milestone list is a list identifying all project milestones and indicates whether the milestone is mandatory, such as those required by contract, or optional, such as those based upon historical information. Milestones are similar to regular schedule activities, with the same structure and attributes, but they have zero duration because milestones represent a moment in time.
Mind mapping is a technique used to consolidate ideas created through individual brainstorming sessions into a single map to reflect commonality and differences in understanding and to generate new ideas.
Modeling techniques are used to review various scenarios guided by risk monitoring to bring the schedule model into alignment with the project management plan and approved baseline.
Motivation provides a reason for someone to act. Teams are motivated by empowering them to participate in decision making and encouraging them to work independently.
Multicriteria decision analysis
Selection criteria are often used as a part of acquiring the project team. By use of a multicriteria decision analysis tool, criteria are developed and used to rate or score potential team members. The criteria are weighted according to the relative importance of the needs within the team.
Negotiation is a strategy of conferring with parties of shared or opposed interests with a view toward compromise or reaching an agreement. Negotiation is an integral part of project management and done well, increases the probability of project success.
Networking is the formal and informal interaction with others in an organization, industry, or professional environment. It is a constructive way to understand political and interpersonal factors that will impact the effectiveness of various staffing management options. Human resource management benefits from successful networking by improving knowledge of and access to human resource assets such as strong competencies, specialized experience, and external partnership opportunities. Examples of human resources networking activities include proactive correspondence, luncheon meetings, informal conversations including meetings and events, trade conferences, and symposium. Networking can be a useful technique at the beginning of a project. It can also be an effective way to enhance project management professional development during the project and after the project ends.
Nominal group technique
Nominal group technique enhances brainstorming with a voting process used to rank the most useful ideas for further brainstorming or for prioritization.
Examples of nonverbal communication include appropriate body language to transmit meaning through gestures, tone of voice, and facial expressions. Mirroring and eye contact are also important techniques. The team members should be aware of how they are expressing themselves both through what they say and what they don't say.
Observation and conversation
Observation and conversation are used to stay in touch with the work and attitudes of project team members. The project management team monitors progress toward project deliverables, accomplishments that are a source of pride for team members, and interpersonal issues.
Observations provide a direct way of viewing individuals in their environment and how they perform their jobs or tasks and carry out processes. It is particularly helpful for detailed processes when the people that use the product have difficulty or are reluctant to articulate their requirements. Observation is also know as "job shadowing." It is usually done externally by an observer viewing a business expert performing a job. It can also be done by a "participant observer" who actually performs a process or procedure to experience how it is done to uncover hidden requirements.
Org. Charts and Position Descriptions
Various formats exist to document team member roles and responsibilities. Most of the formats fall into one of three types (Figure 9-4): hierarchical, matrix, and text-oriented. Additionally, some project assignments are listed in subsidiary plans, such as the risk, quality, or communications management plans. Regardless of the method utilized, the objective is to ensure that each work package has an unambiguous owner and that all team members have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
Organizational process assets updates
The organizational process assets that may be updated include, but are not limited to, report formats and lessons learned documentation. This documentation may become part of the historical database for both this project and the performing organization and may include the causes of issues, reasons behind the corrective action chosen, and other types of lessons learned during the project.
Organizational process assets
Organizational process assets are the plans, processes, policies, procedures, and knowledge bases specific to and used by the performing organization. They include any artifact, practice, or knowledge from any or all of the organizations involved in the project that can be used to perform or govern the project. The process assets also include the organization’s knowledge bases such as lessons learned and historical information. Organizational process assets may include completed schedules, risk data, and earned value data. Organizational process assets are inputs to most planning processes. Throughout the project, the project team members may update and add to the organizational assets as necessary. Organizational process assets may be grouped into two categories: (1) processes and procedures, and (2) corporate knowledge base.
Organizational theory provides information regarding the way in which people, teams, and organizational units behave. Effective use of common themes identified in organizational theory can shorten the amount of time, cost, and effort needed to create the Plan Resource Management process outputs and improve planning efficiency. It is important to recognize that different organizational structures have different individual response, individual performance, and personal relationship characteristics. Also, applicable organizational theories may recommend exercising a flexible leadership style that adapts to the changes in a team’s maturity level throughout the project life cycle.
Outputs from other processes
Outputs from other processes are exactly as stated, simply outputs from other processes.
Parametric estimating is an estimating technique in which an algorithm is used to calculate cost or duration based on historical data and project parameters. Parametric estimating uses a statistical relationship between historical data and other variables (e.g., square footage in construction) to calculate an estimate for activity parameters, such as cost, budget, and duration. Activity durations can be quantitatively determined by multiplying the quantity of work to be performed by labor hours per unit of work. This technique can produce higher levels of accuracy depending upon the sophistication and underlying data built into the model. Parametric time estimates can be applied to a total project or to segments of a project, in conjunction with other estimating methods.
Payments to the seller are typically processed by the accounts payable system of the buyer after certification of satisfactory work by an authorized person on the project team. All payments should be made and documented in strict accordance with the terms of the contract.
Performance measurement baseline
The performance measurement baseline (PMB) includes integrated scope, schedule, and cost baselines that are used for comparison to manage, measure, and control project execution.
Work performance data and reports supplied by sellers are evaluated against the agreement requirements. Work performance information from this evaluation is then reported as appropriate. Performance reporting provides management with information about how effectively the seller is achieving the contractual objectives.
Performance reviews measure, compare, and analyze schedule performance such as actual start and finish dates, percent complete, and remaining duration for work in progress. Performance reviews compare cost performance over time, schedule activities or work packages overrunning and under-running the budget, and estimated funds needed to complete work in progress.
Personnel Assessment Tools
Personnel assessment tools give the project manager and the project team insight into areas of strength and weakness. These tools help project managers assess the team preferences, aspirations, how they process and organize information, how they tend to make decisions, and how they prefer to interact with people.
Various tools are available such as attitudinal surveys, specific assessments, structured interviews, ability tests, and focus groups. These tools can provide improved understanding, trust, commitment, and communications among team members and facilitate more productive teams throughout the project.
Physical resource assignments
Physical resource assignments describe the expected resource utilization along with details such as type, amount, location, and whether the resource is internal to the organization or outsourced. They are dynamic and subject to change due to availability, the project, organization, environment, or other factors.
Political awareness helps the project manager to plan communications based on the project environment as well as the organization's political environment. It concerns the recognition of power relationships, both formal and informal, and also the willingness to operate within these structures. Political awareness assists the project manager in engaging stakeholders appropriately to maintain their support throughout the project.
When project team members are selected in advance, they are considered pre-assigned. This situation can occur if the project is the result of specific people being identified as part of a competitive proposal, if the project is dependent upon the expertise of particular persons, or if some staff assignments are defined within the project charter.
Precedence diagramming method (PDM)
The precedence diagramming method (PDM) is a technique used for constructing a schedule model in which activities are represented by nodes and are graphically linked by one or more logical relationships to show the sequence in which the activities are to be performed. Activity-on-node (AON) is one method of representing a precedence diagram. This is the method used by most project management software packages. PDM includes four types of dependencies or logical relationships. A predecessor activity is an activity that logically comes before a dependent activity in a schedule. A successor activity is a dependent activity that logically comes after another activity in a schedule.
A presentation is the formal delivery of information and/or documentation.
Prioritization and ranking
Decision-making techniques that can be used for this process include but are not limited to prioritization/ranking. Stakeholder requirements need to be prioritized and ranked, as do the stakeholders themselves. Stakeholders with the most interest and the highest influence are often prioritized at the top of the list.
Probability and impact matrix
Risks can be prioritized for further quantitative analysis and planning risk responses based on their risk rating. Ratings are assigned to risks based on their assessed probability and impact. Evaluation of each risk’s importance and priority for attention is typically conducted using a look-up table or a probability and impact matrix. Such a matrix specifies combinations of probability and impact that lead to rating the risks as low, moderate, or high priority. Descriptive terms or numeric values can be used depending on organizational preference.
Problem solving is finding solutions for issues or challenges. It can include gathering additional information, critical thinking, creative, quantitative and/or logical approaches.
Process analysis follows the steps outlined in the process improvement plan to identify needed improvements. This analysis also examines problems experienced, constraints experienced, and non-value-added activities identified during process operation. Process analysis includes root cause analysis—a specific technique used to identify a problem, discover the underlying causes that lead to it, and develop preventive actions.
Process improvement plan
The process improvement plan is a subsidiary or component of the project management plan. The process improvement plan details the steps for analyzing project management and product development processes to identify activities that enhance their value.
A procurement audit is a structured review of the procurement process originating from the Plan Procurement Management process through Control Procurements. The objective of a procurement audit is to identify successes and failures that warrant recognition in the preparation or administration of other procurement contracts on the project, or on other projects within the performing organization.
Procurement documents are used to solicit proposals from prospective sellers. Terms such as bid, tender, or quotation are generally used when the seller selection decision will be based on price (as when buying commercial or standard items), while a term such as proposal is generally used when other considerations, such as technical capability or technical approach are paramount. Common terms are in use for different types of procurement documents and may include request for information (RFI), invitation for bid (IFB), request for proposal (RFP), request for quotation (RFQ), tender notice, invitation for negotiation, and invitation for seller’s initial response. Specific procurement terminology used may vary by industry and location of the procurement.
Procurement documentation updates
Procurement documentation that may be updated includes the contract with all supporting schedules, requested unapproved contract changes, and approved change requests. Procurement documentation also includes any seller-developed technical documentation and other work performance information such as deliverables, seller performance reports and warranties, financial documents including invoices and payment records, and the results of contract-related inspections.
Procurement management plan
The procurement management plan is a component of the project management plan that describes how a project team will acquire goods and services from outside the performing organization. It describes how the procurement processes will be managed from developing procurement documents through contract closure.
In all procurement relationships, the final equitable settlement of all outstanding issues, claims, and disputes by negotiation is a primary goal. Whenever settlement cannot be achieved through direct negotiation, some form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) including mediation or arbitration may be explored. When all else fails, litigation in the courts is the least desirable option.
Procurement performance reviews
A procurement performance review is a structured review of the seller’s progress to deliver project scope and quality, within cost and on schedule, as compared to the contract. It can include a review of seller-prepared documentation and buyer inspections, as well as quality audits conducted during seller’s execution of the work. The objective of a performance review is to identify performance successes or failures, progress with respect to the procurement statement of work, and contract noncompliance, which allow the buyer to quantify the seller’s demonstrated ability or inability to perform work. Such reviews may take place as a part of project status reviews, which would include key suppliers.
Procurement statement of work
The statement of work (SOW) for each procurement is developed from the project scope baseline and defines only that portion of the project scope that is to be included within the related contract. The procurement SOW describes the procurement item in sufficient detail to allow prospective sellers to determine if they are capable of providing the products, services, or results. Sufficient detail can vary based on the nature of the item, the needs of the buyer, or the expected contract form. Information included in a SOW can include specifications, quantity desired, quality levels, performance data, period of performance, work location, and other requirements.
Procurement strategy is the approach by the buyer to determine the project delivery method and the type of legally binding agreement(s) that should be used to deliver the desired results.
For projects that have a product as a deliverable, as opposed to a service or result, product analysis can be an effective tool. Each application area has one or more generally accepted methods for translating high-level product descriptions into tangible deliverables. Product analysis includes techniques such as product breakdown, systems analysis, requirements analysis, systems engineering, value engineering, and value analysis.
A project calendar identifies working days and shifts that are available for scheduled activities. It distinguishes time periods in days or parts of days that are available to complete scheduled activities from time periods that are not available. A schedule model may require more than one project calendar to allow for different work periods for some activities to calculate the project schedule. The project calendars may be updated.
The project charter is the document issued by the project initiator or sponsor that formally authorizes the existence of a project and provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities. It documents the business needs, assumptions, constraints, the understanding of the customer’s needs and high-level requirements, and the new product, service, or result that it is intended to satisfy.
The Manage Communications process involves the activities that are required for information to be created, distributed, received, acknowledged, and understood. Project communications may include but are not limited to: performance reports, deliverables status, schedule progress, and cost incurred. Project communications can vary significantly and are influenced by factors such as, but not limited to, the urgency and impact of the message, its method of delivery, and level of confidentiality.
Project documents include, but are not limited to Assumptions log, Work performance reports, Earned value reports, Network diagrams, Baselines, and Other project information proven to be valuable in identifying risks.
Project documents updates
Project documents updates provide greater precision with respect to schedule, costs, and resource requirements to meet the defined project scope.
Project funding requirements
Total funding requirements and periodic funding requirements (e.g., quarterly, annually) are derived from the cost baseline. The cost baseline will include projected expenditures plus anticipated liabilities. Funding often occurs in incremental amounts that are not continuous. The total funds required are those included in the cost baseline, plus management reserves, if any.
Project life cycle description
The project life cycle determines the series of phases that a project passes through from its inception to the end of the project.
Project management information system
Project management information system provides a standard set of tools for the project manager to capture, store, and distribute information to stakeholders about the project cost, schedule progress, and performance. It also allows the project manager to consolidate reports from several systems and facilitate report distribution to the project stakeholders. Examples of distribution formats may include table reporting, spreadsheet analysis, and presentations. Graphical capabilities can be used to create visual representations of project performance information.
Project management plan
The project management plan integrates and consolidates all of the subsidiary management plans and baselines from the planning processes.
Project management plan updates
The project management plan provides information on project baselines, communications management, and stakeholder engagement. Each of these areas may require updates based upon the current performance of the project against the performance measurement baseline (PMB). The performance measurement baseline is an approved plan for the project work to which the project execution is compared, and deviations are measured for management control. The performance measurement baseline typically integrates scope, schedule, and cost parameters of a project, but may also include technical and quality parameters.
Project management software
Project management software, such as a scheduling software tool, has the capability to help plan, organize, and manage resource pools and develop resource estimates. Depending on the sophistication of the software, resource breakdown structures, resource availability, resource rates, and various resource calendars can be defined to assist in optimizing resource utilization.
Project performance appraisals
Objectives for conducting performance appraisals during the course of a project can include clarification of roles and responsibilities, constructive feedback to team members, discovery of unknown or unresolved issues, development of individual training plans, and the establishment of specific goals for future time periods.The need for formal or informal project performance appraisals depends on the length of the project, complexity of the project, organizational policy, labor contract requirements, and the amount and quality of regular communication.
The outputs from a schedule model are schedule presentations. The project schedule is an output of a schedule model that presents linked activities with planned dates, durations, milestones, and resources. At a minimum, the project schedule includes a planned start date and planned finish date for each activity. If resource planning is done at an early stage, then the project schedule remains preliminary until resource assignments have been confirmed and scheduled start and finish dates are established. This process usually occurs no later than the completion of the project management plan. A target project schedule model may also be developed with a defined target start and target finish for each activity. The project schedule presentation may be presented in summary form, sometimes referred to as the master schedule or milestone schedule, or presented in detail.
Project schedule network diagrams
A project schedule network diagram is a graphical representation of the logical relationships, also referred to as dependencies, among the project schedule activities. Figure 6-11 illustrates a project schedule network diagram. A project schedule network diagram is produced manually or by using project management software. It can include full project details, or have one or more summary activities. A summary narrative can accompany the diagram and describe the basic approach used to sequence the activities. Any unusual activity sequences within the network should be fully described within the narrative.
Project reporting is the act of collecting and distributing project information. Project information is distributed to many groups of stakeholders and should be adapted to provide information at an appropriate level, format, and detail for each type of stakeholder. The format may range from a simple communication to more elaborate custom reports and presentations. Information may be prepared regularly or on an exception basis. While work performance reports are the output of the Monitor and Control Project Work process, this process develops ad hoc reports, project presentations, blogs, and other types of communication about the project.
Project scope statement
The project scope statement is the description of the project scope, major deliverables, assumptions, and constraints. The project scope statement documents the entire scope, including project and product scope. It describes, in detail, the project’s deliverables and the work required to create those deliverables. It also provides a common understanding of the project scope among project stakeholders. It may contain explicit scope exclusions that can assist in managing stakeholder expectations. It enables the project team to perform more detailed planning, guides the project team’s work during execution, and provides the baseline for evaluating whether requests for changes or additional work are contained within or outside the project’s boundaries.
Project staff assignments
The project is staffed when appropriate people have been assigned to the team. The documentation of these assignments can include a project team directory, memos to team members, and names inserted into other parts of the project management plan, such as project organization charts and schedules.
Project statement of work
The project statement of work (SOW) is a narrative description of products, services, or results to be delivered by a project. For internal projects, the project initiator or sponsor provides the statement of work based on business needs, product, or service requirements. For external projects, the statement of work can be received from the customer as part of a bid document, (e.g., a request for proposal, request for information, or request for bid) or as part of a contract
Project team assignments
The project is staffed when appropriate people have been assigned to the team. The documentation of these assignments can include a project team directory, memos to team members, and names inserted into other parts of the project management plan, such as project organization charts and schedules.
A prompt list is a predetermined list of risk categories that might give rise to individual project risks and that could also act as sources of overall project risk. The prompt list can be used as a framework to aid the project team in idea generation when using risk identification techniques. The risk categories in the lowest level of the risk breakdown structure can be used as a prompt list individual project risks. Some common strategic frameworks are more suitable for identifying sources of overall project risk, for example PESTLE (political, economic, social, technological, legal, environmental, TECOP (technical, environmental, commercial, operational, political) or VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity).
Proposal evaluation is the process of reviewing proposals provided by suppliers to support contract award decisions.
Proposal evaluation techniques
On complex procurements, where source selection will be made based on seller responses to previously defined weighted criteria, a formal evaluation review process will be defined by the buyer’s procurement policies. The evaluation committee will make their selection for approval by management prior to the award.
Prototyping is a method of obtaining early feedback on requirements by providing a working model of the expected product before actually building it. Since a prototype is tangible, it allows stakeholders to experiment with a model of the final product rather than being limited to discussing abstract representations of their requirements. Prototypes support the concept of progressive elaboration in iterative cycles of mock-up creation, user experimentation, feedback generation, and prototype revision. When enough feedback cycles have been performed, the requirements obtained from the prototype are sufficiently complete to move to a design or build phase. Storyboards are used in a variety of industries, such as film, advertising, instructional design, and on agile and other software development projects. In software development, storyboards use mock-ups to show navigation paths through web pages, screens, or other user interfaces.
Published estimating data
Several organizations routinely publish updated production rates and unit costs of resources for an extensive array of labor trades, material, and equipment for different countries and geographical locations within countries.
A quality audit is a structured, independent process to determine if project activities comply with organizational and project policies, processes, and procedures. Quality audits may be scheduled or random, and may be conducted by internal or external auditors. Quality audits can confirm the implementation of approved change requests including updates, corrective actions, defect repairs, and preventive actions.
A checklist is a structured tool, usually component-specific, used to verify that a set of required steps has been performed. Based on the project's requirements and practices, checklists may be simple or complex. Many organizations have standardized checklists available to ensure consistency in frequently performed tasks. In some application areas, checklists are also available from professional associations or commercial service providers. Quality checklists should incorporate the acceptance criteria included in the scope baseline
Quality control measurements
Quality control measurements are the results of control quality activities. They are used to analyze and evaluate the quality of the processes of the project against the standards of the performing organization or the requirements specified. Quality control measurements can also compare the processes used to create the measurements, and validate actual measurements to determine their level of correctness.
Quality management and control tools
The Perform Quality Assurance process uses the tools and techniques of the Plan Quality Management and Control Quality processes. In addition, other tools are available.
Quality improvement methods
Quality improvements can occur based on findings and recommendations from quality control processes, the findings of the quality audits, or problem solving in the Manage Quality process. Plan-do-check-act and Six Sigma are two of the most common quality improvement tools used to analyze and evaluate opportunities for improvement.
Quality management plan
The quality management plan is a component of the project management plan that describes how the organization’s quality policies will be implemented. It describes how the project management team plans to meet the quality requirements set for the project. The quality management plan may be formal or informal, detailed, or broadly framed. The style and detail of the quality management plan are determined by the requirements of the project. The quality management plan should be reviewed early in the project to ensure that decisions are based on accurate information. The benefits of this review can include a sharper focus on the project’s value proposition and reductions in costs and in the frequency of schedule overruns that were caused by rework.
A quality metric specifically describes a project or product attribute and how the control quality process will measure it. A measurement is an actual value. The tolerance defines the allowable variations to the metric. For example, if the quality objective is to stay within the approved budget by ± 10%, the specific quality metric is used to measure the cost of every deliverable and determine the percent variance from the approved budget for that deliverable. Quality metrics are used in the perform quality assurance and control quality processes. Some examples of quality metrics include on-time performance, cost control, defect frequency, failure rate, availability, reliability, and test coverage.
Quality reports are project documents that include quality management issues, recommendations for corrective actions, and a summary of findings from quality control activities. Quality reports may include recommendations for process, project, and product improvements.
Quantitative risk analysis and modeling techniques
Quantitative risk analysis and modeling techniques use both event-oriented and project-oriented analysis approaches.
Questionnaires and surveys
Questionnaires and surveys are written sets of questions designed to quickly accumulate information from a large number of respondents. Questionnaires and/or surveys are most appropriate with varied audiences, when a quick turnaround is needed, when respondents are geographically dispersed, and where statistical analysis is appropriate.
Recognition and rewards
Part of the team development process involves recognizing and rewarding desirable behavior. The original plans concerning ways in which to reward people are developed during the Plan Resource Management process. It is important to recognize that a particular reward given to any individual will be effective only if it satisfies a need which is valued by that individual. Award decisions are made, formally or informally, during the process of managing the project team through project performance appraisals. Cultural differences should be considered when determining recognition and rewards. A good strategy for project managers is to give the team recognition throughout the life cycle of the project rather than waiting until the project is completed.
Records management system
A records management system is used by the project manager to manage contract and procurement documentation and records. It consists of a specific set of processes, related control functions, and automation tools that are consolidated and combined as part of the project management information system. The system contains a retrievable archive of contract documents and correspondence.
Regression analysis is an analytical technique where a series of input variables are examined in relation to their corresponding output results in order to develop a mathematical or statistical relationship.
Representations of uncertainty
Quantitative risk analysis requires inputs to a quantitative risk analysis model that reflect individual project risks and other sources of uncertainty.
Requirements documentation describes how individual requirements meet the business need for the project. Requirements may start out at a high level and become progressively more detailed as more about the requirements is known. Before being baselined, requirements need to be unambiguous (measurable and testable), traceable, complete, consistent, and acceptable to key stakeholders. The format of a requirements document may range from a simple document listing all the requirements categorized by stakeholder and priority, to more elaborate forms containing an executive summary, detailed descriptions, and attachments.
Requirements management plan
The requirements management plan is a component of the project management plan that describes how requirements will be analyzed, documented, and managed. The project manager chooses the most effective relationship for the project and documents this approach in the requirements management plan. Many of the requirements management plan components are based on that relationship.
Requirements traceability matrix
The requirements traceability matrix is a grid that links product requirements from their origin to the deliverables that satisfy them. The implementation of a requirements traceability matrix helps ensure that each requirement adds business value by linking it to the business and project objectives. It provides a means to track requirements throughout the project life cycle, helping to ensure that requirements approved in the requirements documentation are delivered at the end of the project. Finally, it provides a structure for managing changes to the product scope.
Duration estimates may include contingency reserves, sometimes referred to as time reserves or buffers, into the project schedule to account for schedule uncertainty. Contingency reserves are the estimated duration within the schedule baseline, which is allocated for identified risks that are accepted and for which contingent or mitigation responses are developed. Contingency reserves are associated with the “known-unknowns,” which may be estimated to account for this unknown amount of rework. The contingency reserve may be a percentage of the estimated activity duration, a fixed number of work periods, or may be developed by using quantitative analysis methods such as Monte Carlo simulation. Contingency reserves may be separated from the individual activities and aggregated into buffers. As more precise information about the project becomes available, the contingency reserve may be used, reduced, or eliminated. Contingency should be clearly identified in schedule documentation. Estimates may also be produced for the amount of management reserve of time for the project. Management reserves are a specified amount of the project duration withheld for management control purposes and are reserved for unforeseen work that is within scope of the project. Management reserves are intended to address the “unknown-unknowns” that can affect a project. Management reserve is not included in the schedule baseline, but it is part of the overall project duration requirements. Depending on contract terms, use of management reserves may require a change to the schedule baseline.
Resource breakdown structure
The resource breakdown structure is a hierarchical representation of resources by category and type. Examples of resource categories include labor, material, equipment, and supplies. Resource types may include the skill level, grade level, or other information as appropriate to the project. The resource breakdown structure is useful for organizing and reporting project schedule data with resource utilization information.
A resource calendar is a calendar that identifies the working days and shifts on which each specific resource is available. Information on which resources (such as human resources, equipment, and material) are potentially available during a planned activity period, is used for estimating resource utilization. Resource calendars specify when and how long identified project resources will be available during the project. This information may be at the activity or project level. This knowledge includes consideration of attributes such as resource experience and/or skill level, as well as various geographical locations from which the resources originate and when they may be available.
Resource optimization techniques can be used to adjust the schedule model due to demand and supply of resources.
Resource requirements are the types and quantities of resources required for each activity in a work package.
Responsibility assignment matrix
Responsibility assignment matrix is a grid that shows the project resources assigned to each work package.
Risk audits examine and document the effectiveness of risk responses in dealing with identified risks and their root causes, as well as the effectiveness of the risk management process. The project manager is responsible for ensuring that risk audits are performed at an appropriate frequency, as defined in the project’s risk management plan. Risk audits may be included during routine project review meetings, or the team may choose to hold separate risk audit meetings. The format for the audit and its objectives should be clearly defined before the audit is conducted.
Risks to the project can be categorized by sources of risk (e.g., using the RBS), the area of the project affected (e.g., using the WBS), or other useful categories (e.g., project phase) to determine the areas of the project most exposed to the effects of uncertainty. Risks can also be categorized by common root causes. This technique helps determine work packages, activities, project phases or even roles in the project, which can lead to the development of effective risk responses.
Risk data quality assessment
Risk data quality assessment is a technique used to evaluate the degree to which the data about risks is useful for risk management.
Risk Diagramming Techniques
Risk diagramming techniques may include:
- Cause and effect diagrams: These are also known as Ishikawa or fishbone diagrams and are useful for
identifying causes of risks
- System or process flow charts: These show how various elements of a system interrelate and the mechanism of causation.
- Influence Diagrams: These are graphical representations of situations showing causal influences, time ordering of events, and other relationships among variable and outcomes.
Risk data quality assessment
Risk data quality assessment is a technique to evaluate the degree to which the data about risks is useful for risk management. It involves examining the degree to which the risk is understood and the accuracy, quality, reliability, and integrity of the data about the risk. The use of low-quality risk data may lead to a qualitative risk analysis of little use to the project. If data quality is unacceptable, it may be necessary to gather better data. Often, the collection of information about risks is difficult, and consumes more time and resources than originally planned.
Risk management plan
The risk management plan is a component of the project management plan and describes how risk management activities will be structured and performed. Key elements of the risk management plan that contribute to the Identify Risks process are the assignments of roles and responsibilities, provision for risk management activities in the budget and schedule, and categories of risk, which are sometimes expressed as a risk breakdown structure.
Risk probability and impact assessment
Risk probability assessment investigates the likelihood that each specific risk will occur. Risk impact assessment investigates the potential effect on a project objective such as schedule, cost, quality, or performance, including both negative effects for threats and positive effects for opportunities. Probability and impact are assessed for each identified risk. Risks can be assessed in interviews or meetings with participants selected for their familiarity with the risk categories on the agenda. Project team members and knowledgeable persons external to the project are included. The level of probability for each risk and its impact on each objective is evaluated during the interview or meeting. Explanatory detail, including assumptions justifying the levels assigned, are also recorded. Risk probabilities and impacts are rated according to the definitions given in the risk management plan. Risks with low ratings of probability and impact will be included within the risk register as part of the watch list for future monitoring.
Monitor Risks often results in identification of new risks, reassessment of current risks, and the closing of risks that are outdated. Project risk reassessments should be regularly scheduled. The amount and detail of repetition that are appropriate depends on how the project progresses relative to its objectives.
The risk register is a document in which the results of risk analysis and risk response planning are recorded. It contains the outcomes of the other risk management processes as they are conducted, resulting in an increase in the level and type of information contained in the risk register over time. The preparation of the risk register begins in the Identify Risks process and then becomes available to other project management and risk management processes.
Risk urgency assessment
Risks requiring near-term responses may be considered more urgent to address. Indicators of priority may include probability of detecting the risk, time to affect a risk response, symptoms and warning signs, and the risk rating. In some qualitative analyses, the assessment of risk urgency is combined with the risk ranking that is determined from the probability and impact matrix to give a final risk severity rating.
Rolling wave planning
Rolling wave planning is an iterative planning technique in which the work to be accomplished in the near term is planned in detail, while the work in the future is planned at a higher level. It is a form of progressive elaboration. Therefore, work can exist at various levels of detail depending on where it is in the project life cycle. During early strategic planning, when information is less defined, work packages may be decomposed to the known level of detail. As more is known about the upcoming events in the near term, work packages can be decomposed into activities.
Root cause analysis
Root cause analysis is an analytical technique used to determine the basic underlying reason that causes a variance, defect, or risk. A root cause may underlie more than one variance, defect, or risk.
A scatter diagram is a graph that shows the relationship between two variables. Scatter diagrams can demonstrate a relationship between any element of a process, environment, or activity on one axis and a quality defect on the other axis.
A schedule baseline is the approved version of a schedule model that can be changed only through formal change control procedures and is used as a basis for comparison to actual results. It is accepted and approved by the appropriate stakeholders as the schedule baseline with baseline start dates and baseline finish dates. During monitoring and controlling, the approved baseline dates are compared to the actual start and finish dates to determine whether variances have occurred. The schedule baseline is a component of the project management plan.
Schedule compression techniques are used to shorten the schedule duration without reducing the project scope, in order to meet schedule constraints, imposed dates, or other schedule objectives.
The schedule data for the project schedule model is the collection of information for describing and controlling the schedule. The schedule data includes at least the schedule milestones, schedule activities, activity attributes, and documentation of all identified assumptions and constraints. The amount of additional data varies by application area.
Schedule forecasts are estimates or predictions of conditions and events in the project’s future based on information and knowledge available at the time of the forecast. Forecasts are updated and reissued based on work performance information provided as the project is executed. The information is based on the project’s past performance and expected future performance, and includes earned value performance indicators that could impact the project in the future.
Schedule management plan
The schedule management plan is a component of the project management plan that establishes the criteria and activities for developing, monitoring, and controlling the schedule. The schedule management plan may be formal or informal, highly detailed or broadly framed, based upon the needs of the project, and includes appropriate control thresholds.
Schedule network analysis
Schedule network analysis is a technique that generates the project schedule model. It employs various analytical techniques, such as critical path method, critical chain method, what-if analysis, and resource optimization techniques to calculate the early and late start and finish dates for the uncompleted portions of project activities. Some network paths may have points of path convergence or path divergence that can be identified and used in schedule compression analysis or other analyses.
Automated scheduling tools contain the schedule model and expedite the scheduling process by generating start and finish dates based on the inputs of activities, network diagrams, resources and activity durations using schedule network analysis. A scheduling tool can be used in conjunction with other project management software applications as well as manual methods.
The scope baseline is the approved version of a scope statement, work breakdown structure (WBS), and its associated WBS dictionary, that can be changed only through formal change control procedures and is used as a basis for comparison. It is a component of the project management plan.
Scope management plan
The scope management plan is a component of the project or program management plan that describes how the scope will be defined, developed, monitored, controlled, and verified. The scope management plan is a major input into the Develop Project Management Plan process, and the other scope management processes.
The selected sellers are those who have been judged to be in a competitive range based upon the outcome of the proposal or bid evaluation, and who have negotiated a draft contract that will become the actual contract when an award is made. Final approval of all complex, high-value, high-risk procurements will generally require organizational senior management approval prior to award.
Seller proposals are formal responses from sellers to request a proposal or other procurement document specifying the price, commercial terms of sale, and technical specifications or capabilities the seller will do for the requesting organization. If accepted, it would bind the seller to perform the resulting agreement.
Sensitivity analysis is an analysis technique used to determine which individual project risks or other sources of uncertainty have the most potential impact on project outcomes, by correlating variations in project outcomes with variations in elements of a quantitative risk analysis model.
Seven basic quality tools
The seven basic quality tools, also known in the industry as 7QC Tools, are used within the context of the PDCA Cycle to solve quality-related problems
Simulation is an analytical technique that models the combined effect of uncertainties to evaluate their potential impact on objectives.
Source selection analysis
It is necessary to review the prioritization of the competing demands for the project before deciding on the selection method. Since competitive selection methods may require sellers to invest a large amount of time and resources upfront, it is a good practice to include the evaluation method in the procurement documents so bidders know how they will be evaluated. Commonly used selection methods include the following: least cost, qualifications only, quantity-based/highest technical proposal score, quality and cost-based, sole source, and fixed budget.
Source selection criteria
Source selection criteria are often included as a part of the procurement documents. Such criteria are developed and used to rate or score seller proposals, and can be objective or subjective. Selection criteria may be limited to only the purchase price if the procurement item is readily available from a number of acceptable sellers. Purchase price in this context includes both the cost of the item and all ancillary expenses such as delivery.
Stakeholder analysis is a technique of systematically gathering and analyzing quantitative and qualitative information to determine whose interests should be taken into account throughout the project. It identifies the interests, expectations, and influence of the stakeholders and relates them to the purpose of the project. It also helps to identify stakeholder relationships (with the project and other stakeholders) that can be leveraged to build coalitions and potential partnerships to enhance the project's chance of success, along with stakeholder relationships that need to be influenced differently at different stages of the project or phase.
Stakeholder engagement assessment matrix
The stakeholder engagement assessment matrix is a matrix that compares current and desired stakeholder engagement levels.
Stakeholder engagement plan
The stakeholder engagement plan is a component of the project management plan and identifies the management strategies required to effectively engage stakeholders. The stakeholder engagement plan can be formal or informal, highly detailed or broadly framed, based on the needs of the project. This plan is used to determine the level of interactions of various stakeholders and—together with other documents—helps define a strategy for identifying and managing stakeholders throughout the project life cycle.
Stakeholder mapping and representation
Stakeholder mapping and representation is a method of categorizing stakeholders using various methods. Categorizing stakeholders assists the team in building relationships with the identified project stakeholders.
A stakeholder register contains all details related to the identified stakeholders. The stakeholder register should be consulted and updated on a regular basis, as stakeholders may change—or new ones identified—throughout the life cycle of the project.
Statistical sampling involves choosing part of a population of interest for inspection (for example, selecting ten engineering drawings at random from a list of seventy-five). Sample frequency and sizes should be determined during the Plan Quality Management process so the cost of quality will include the number of tests, expected scrap, etc. There is a substantial body of knowledge on statistical sampling. In some application areas, it may be necessary for the project management team to be familiar with a variety of sampling techniques to assure the sample represents the population of interest.
Strategies for negative risks or threats
Three strategies, which typically deal with threats or risks that may have negative impacts on project objectives if they occur, are: avoid, transfer, and mitigate. The fourth strategy, accept, can be used for negative risks or threats as well as positive risks or opportunities. Each of these risk response strategies have varied and unique influence on the risk condition. These strategies should be chosen to match the risk’s probability and impact on the project’s overall objectives. Avoidance and mitigation strategies are usually good strategies for critical risks with high impact, while transference and acceptance are usually good strategies for threats that are less critical and with low overall impact.
Strategies for opportunities
Five alternative strategies may be considered for dealing with opportunities (Escalate, Exploit, Share, Enhance, and Accept).
Strategies for overall project risk
Risk responses should be planned and implemented not only for individual project risks but also to address overall project risk. The same risk response strategies that are used to deal with individual project risks can also be applied to overall project risk (Avoid, Exploit, Transfer/Share, Mitigate/Enhance, and Accept).
Strategies for positive risks or threats
Three of the four responses are suggested to deal with risks with potentially positive impacts on project objectives. The fourth strategy, accept, can be used for negative risks or threats as well as positive risks or opportunities. These strategies are to exploit, share, enhance, and accept.
Strategies for threats
Five alternative strategies may be considered for dealing with threats (Escalate, Avoid, Transfer, Mitigate, and Accept).
SWOT Analysis examines the project from each of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) perspectives to increase the breadth of identified risks by including internally generated risks. The technique starts with identification of strengths and weaknesses of the organization, focusing on either the project, organization, or the business area in general. SWOT analysis then identifies any opportunities for the project that arise from organizational strengths, and any threats arising from organizational weaknesses. The analysis also examines the degree to which organizational strengths offset threats, as well as identifying opportunities that may serve to overcome weaknesses.
Team building is conducting activities that enhance the team's social relations and build a collaborative and cooperative working environment. Activities can vary from a 5-minute agenda item in a status to review meeting to an offsite, professionally facilitated event designed to improve interpersonal relationships. The objective is to help individual team members work together effectively.
Team-building activities can vary from a 5-minute agenda item in a status review meeting to an off-site, professionally facilitated experience designed to improve interpersonal relationships. The objective of team-building activities is to help individual team members work together effectively. Team-building strategies are particularly valuable when team members operate from remote locations without the benefit of face-to-face contact. Informal communication and activities can help in building trust and establishing good working relationships. As an ongoing process, team building is crucial to project success. While team building is essential during the initial stages of a project, it is a never-ending process. Changes in a project environment are inevitable, and to manage them effectively, a continued or a renewed team-building effort should be applied. The project manager should continually monitor team functionality and performance to determine if any actions are needed to prevent or correct various team problems.
Team charter is a document that records the team values, agreements, and operating guidelines, as well as establishing clear expectations regarding acceptable behavior by project team members.
Technical performance analysis
Technical performance analysis compares technical accomplishments during project execution to the schedule of technical achievement. It requires the definition of objective, quantifiable measures of technical performance, which can be used to compare actual results against targets. Such technical performance measures may include weight, transaction times, number of delivered defects, storage capacity, etc. Deviation can indicate the potential impact of threats or opportunities.
Team performance assessments
As project team development efforts such as training, team building, and collocation are implemented, the project management team makes formal or informal assessments of the project team’s effectiveness. Effective team development strategies and activities are expected to increase the team’s performance, which increases the likelihood of meeting project objectives. Team performance assessment criteria should be determined by all appropriate parties and incorporated in the Develop Team inputs. The performance of a successful team is measured in terms of technical success according to agreed-upon project objectives (including quality levels), performance on project schedule (finished on time), and performance on budget (finished within financial constraints). High-performance teams are characterized by these task-oriented and results-oriented outcomes.
Technical performance measurement
Technical performance measurement compares technical accomplishments during project execution to the schedule of technical achievement. It requires the definition of objective, quantifiable measures of technical performance, which can be used to compare actual results against targets. Such technical performance measures may include weight, transaction times, number of delivered defects, storage capacity, etc. Deviation, such as demonstrating more or less functionality than planned at a milestone, can help to forecast the degree of success in achieving the project’s scope.
Test and evaluation documents
Test and evaluation documents are project documents that describe the activities used to determine if the product meets the quality objectives stated in the quality management plan.
Test and inspection planning
During the planning phase, the project manager and the project team determine how to test or inspect the product, deliverable or service to meet the stakeholders' needs and expectations, as well as how to meet the goal for the product's performance and reliability. The tests and inspections are industry dependent and can include, for example, alpha and beta tests in software projects, strength tests in construction projects, inspection in manufacturing, and field tests and nondestructive tests in engineering.
Testing and product evaluations
Testing is an organized and constructed investigation conducted to provide objective information about the quality of the product or service under test in accordance with the project requirements. The intent of testing is to find errors, defects, bugs, or other nonconformance problems in the product or service. The type, amount, and extent of tests needed to evaluate each requirement are part of the project quality plan and depend on the nature of the project, time, budget, and other constraints. Tests can be performed throughout the project, as different components of the project become available, and at the end of the project on the final deliverables. Early testing helps identify nonconformance problems and helps reduce the cost of fixing the nonconforming components.
Text oriented formats
Text oriented formats are documents that provide information such as responsibilities, authority, competencies, and qualifications. The documents are known by various names including position descriptions and role-responsibility-authority forms. These documents can be used as templates for future projects, especially when the information is updated throughout the current project by applying lessons learned.
The accuracy of single-point activity duration estimates may be improved by considering estimation uncertainty and risk. This concept originated with the program evaluation and review technique (PERT). PERT uses three estimates to define an approximate range for an activity’s duration. Duration estimates based on three points with an assumed distribution provide an expected duration and clarify the range of uncertainty around the expected duration.
To-complete performance index
The to-complete performance index (TCPI) is a measure of the cost performance that is required to be achieved with the remaining resources in order to meet a specified management goal, expressed as the ratio of the cost to finish the outstanding work to the remaining budget. TCPI is the calculated cost performance index that is achieved on the remaining work to meet a specified management goal, such as the BAC or the EAC. If it becomes obvious that the BAC is no longer viable, the project manager should consider the forecasted EAC. Once approved, the EAC may replace the BAC in the TCPI calculation. The equation for the TCPI based on the BAC: (BAC – EV) / (BAC – AC).
Training includes all activities designed to enhance the competencies of the project team members. Training can be formal or informal. Examples of training methods include classroom, online, computer-based, on-the-job training from another project team member, mentoring, and coaching. If project team members lack the necessary management or technical skills, such skills can be developed as part of the project work. Scheduled training takes place as stated in the resource management plan. Unplanned training takes place as a result of observation, conversation, and project performance appraisals conducted during the controlling process of managing the project team. Training costs could be included in the project budget, or supported by the performing organization if the added skills may be useful for future projects. It could be performed by in-house or external trainers.
Trend analysis is an analytical technique that uses mathematical models to forecast future outcomes based on historical results.
Any changed or repaired items are inspected and will be either accepted or rejected before notification of the decision is provided. Rejected items may require rework. A validated change provides the necessary data to confirm that the change was appropriately executed.
Variance analysis is a technique for determining the cause and degree of difference between the baseline and actual performance. Project performance measurements are used to assess the magnitude of variation from the original scope baseline. Important aspects of project scope control include determining the cause and degree of variance relative to the scope baseline and deciding whether corrective or preventive action is required.
Variance and trend analysis
Many control processes employ variance analysis to compare the planned results to the actual results. For the purposes of controlling risks, trends in the project’s execution should be reviewed using performance information. Earned value analysis and other methods of project variance and trend analysis may be used for monitoring overall project performance. Outcomes from these analyses may forecast potential deviation of the project at completion from cost and schedule targets. Deviation from the baseline plan may indicate the potential impact of threats or opportunities.
Vendor bid analysis
Cost estimating methods may include analysis of what the project should cost, based on the responsive bids from qualified vendors. When projects are awarded to a vendor under competitive processes, additional cost estimating work may be required of the project team to examine the price of individual deliverables and to derive a cost that supports the final total project cost.
A goal of the Control Quality process is to determine the correctness of deliverables. The results of performing the Control Quality process are verified deliverables. Verified deliverables are an input to Validate Scope for formalized acceptance.
The use of virtual teams creates new possibilities when acquiring project team members. Virtual teams can be defined as groups of people with a shared goal who fulfill their roles with little or no time spent meeting face to face. The availability of communication technology such as e-mail, audio conferencing, social media, web-based meetings and video conferencing has made virtual teams feasible.
Voting is a collective decision-making technique and an assessment process having multiple alternatives with an expected outcome in the form of future actions. These techniques can be used to generate, classify, and prioritize product requirements. Can include making decisions based on unanimity, majority, or plurality.
What-if scenario analysis
What-if scenario analysis is the process of evaluating scenarios in order to predict their effect on project objectives.
Work performance data
Work performance data are the raw observations and measurements identified during activities being performed to carry out the project work. Data are often viewed as the lowest level of detail from which information is derived by other processes. Data are gathered through work execution and passed to the controlling processes for further analysis.
Work performance information
Work performance information is the performance data collected from various controlling processes, analyzed in context, and integrated based on relationships across areas. Thus work performance data has been transformed into work performance information. Data in itself cannot be used in the decision-making process as it has only out-of-context meaning. Work performance information, however, is correlated and contextualized, and provides a sound foundation for project decisions.
Work performance reports
Work performance reports are the physical or electronic representation of work performance information compiled in project documents, intended to generate decisions, actions, or awareness. Project information may be communicated verbally from person to person. However, in order to record, store, and sometimes distribute work performance information, a physical or electronic representation in the form of project documents is required. Work performance reports are a subset of project documents, which are intended to create awareness and generate decisions or actions. Specific work performance metrics may be defined at the start of the project and included in the normal work performance reports provided to key stakeholders.
9.1 Plan Resource Management
Plan Resource Management is the process of how to estimate, acquire, manage and use team and physical resources. The key benefit of this process is that it establishes the approach and level of management effort needed for managing project resources based on the type and complexity of the project.
9.2 Estimate Activity Resources
Estimate Activity Resources is the process of estimating the type and quantities of material, human resources, equipment, or supplies required to perform each activity. The key benefit of this process is that it identifies the type, quantity, and characteristics of resources required to complete the activity which allows more accurate cost and duration estimates.
9.3 Acquire Resources
Acquire Resources is the process of confirming human resource availability and obtaining the team necessary to complete project activities. It's also the process of obtaining other necessary resources such as facilities, equipment, materials and supplies. The key benefit of this process consists of outlining and guiding resource selection.
9.4 Develop Team
Develop Team is the process of improving competencies, team member interaction, and overall team environment to enhance project performance. The key benefit of this process is that it results in improved teamwork, enhanced people skills and competencies, motivated employees, reduced staff turnover rates, and improved overall project performance.
9.5 Manage Team
Manage Team is the process of tracking team member performance, providing feedback, resolving issues, and managing team changes to optimize project performance. The key benefit of this process is that it influences team behavior, manages conflict, resolves issues, and appraises team member performance.
9.6 Control Resources
Control Resources is the process of ensuring that the physical resources assigned and allocated to the project are available as planned. This includes monitoring the planned vs. actual utilization of resources and taking corrective action as needed. The key benefit of this process is ensuring that the assigned resources are available to the project at the right time and place and are released when no longer required.
10 Project Communications Management
Project Communications Management includes the processes that are required to ensure timely and appropriate planning, collection, creation, distribution, storage, retrieval, management, control, monitoring, and the ultimate disposition of project information. Project managers spend most of their time communicating with team members and other project stakeholders, whether they are internal (at all organizational levels) or external to the organization. Effective communication creates a bridge between diverse stakeholders who may have different cultural and organizational backgrounds, different levels of expertise, and different perspectives and interests, which impact or have an influence upon the project execution or outcome.
Processes of Project Communications Management