Sunday, April 14, 2013

How to get started with project & Project management

                   At the start of any project, there will be a variety of ideas and opinions about the purpose and scope of the project, what the final product of the project will be, and how the project will be carried out.  The Project Initiation Stage is concerned with taking these ideas and intentions and developing them into a formal, planned, resourced and funded project.
                  It is also necessary to develop a process by which the project objectives can be achieved. This process will typically involve carrying out a number of tasks and producing a number of products during the course of the project. The tasks produce the products. For clarity of purpose and for control reasons it is useful to arrange these tasks in a top down structure, which progressively specify the required work in more detail.
As a first step, it is important to identify the stakeholders in your project. It is not always easy to identify the stakeholders of a project, particularly those impacted indirectly. Examples of stakeholders are:
  • The project sponsor.
  • The customer who receives the deliverables.
  • The users of the project outputs.
  • The project manager and project team.
Once you understand who the stakeholders are, the next step is to find out their needs. The best way to do this is by conducting stakeholder interviews. Take time during the interviews to draw out the true needs that create real benefits. Often stakeholders will talk about needs that aren't relevant and don't deliver benefits. These can be recorded and set as a low priority.
The Project management will run as per following diag-

             The main aim of project kick off is to produce a plan which defines how to perform the Project Initiation Stage itself. Project Kick Off is therefore concerned with producing a plan of the work required to produce a plan for the whole project.
               So, after finishing Project Kick off meetings, we should have Project Initiation Kick Off Plan listing deliverables, techniques, committed resources and timescales for the Project Initiation Stage.
So simply Project Kick off is nothing but the successful discussion with BA (Business Analyst) who representing the client.
You should be more flexible here, because as you know, lot many compotators are there, offering the same service. So this is your main exam, where you have to stand.

Step 2: Project Goals

After getting deal from client, you should have to be very happy, but also have to work lot. Now your project kickoff meetings will start in order to discuss on following tasks-
ü      Business Requirement
ü      Timeline
ü      Cost
ü      Buffer management & few more
       Once this discussion gone over, Project manager & BA (Who is representing the client here) will seat together & they will work on Business requirement Document (BRD).
Then This BRD will get finalized once got final approval from client, normally lot many changes will be their in the drafted version. Make sure that all this changes should be tracked by using word tracker & should be saved with different version names so that in feature we may use those if any requirement got cancel.
       A project is successful when the needs of the stakeholders have been met. A stakeholder is anybody directly or indirectly impacted by the project.
This is the most difficult part of the planning process completed. It's time to move on and look at the project deliverables.

Step 3: Project Deliverables

Now the hectic work for project manger will start, that is to design SRS along with BA.
Usually BRD is the reference for SRS (System Requirements Specification).  Again same as BRD, project manager & BA have to work together for getting done with requirements. Once all requirements are documented, it should be first got signed off by BA, then few managers from client side. After getting final approval on SRS, have to start this step No: 2 that is WHAT WOULD BE OUR PROJECT DELIEVERABLES?
        Using the goals you have defined in step 2, create a list of things the project needs to deliver in order to meet those goals. Specify when and how each item must be delivered.       Add the deliverables to the project plan with an estimated delivery date. More accurate delivery dates will be established during the scheduling phase, which is next.

Step 4: Project Schedule

Create a list of tasks that need to be carried out for each deliverable identified in step 2. For each task identify the following:
  • The amount of effort (hours or days) required to complete the task.
  • The resource who will carryout the task.
Once you have established the amount of effort for each task, you can workout the effort required for each deliverable, and an accurate delivery date. Update your deliverables section with the more accurate delivery dates.
      At this point in the planning, you could choose to use a software package such as Microsoft Project to create your project schedule. Alternatively, use one of the many free templates available. Input all of the deliverables, tasks, durations and the resources who will complete each task.
        A common problem discovered at this point, is when a project has an imposed delivery deadline from the sponsor that is not realistic based on your estimates. If you discover this is the case, you must contact the sponsor immediately. The options you have in this situation are:
  • Renegotiate the deadline (project delay).
  • Employ additional resources (increased cost).
  • Reduce the scope of the project (less delivered).
Use the project schedule to justify pursuing one of these options.

Step 5: Supporting Plans

This section deals with plans you should create as part of the planning process. These can be included directly in the plan.

Human Resource Plan

Identify by name, the individuals and organizations with a leading role in the project. For each, describe their roles and responsibilities on the project.
Next, describe the number and type of people needed to carryout the project. For each resource detail start dates, estimated duration and the method you will use for obtaining them.
Create a single sheet containing this information.

Communications Plan

Create a document showing who needs to be kept informed about the project and how they will receive the information. The most common mechanism is a weekly or monthly progress report, describing how the project is performing, milestones achieved and work planned for the next period.

Risk Management Plan

Risk management is an important part of project management. Although often overlooked, it is important to identify as many risks to your project as possible, and be prepared if something bad happens.
Here are some examples of common project risks:
  • Time and cost estimates too optimistic.
  • Customer review and feedback cycle too slow.
  • Unexpected budget cuts.
  • Unclear roles and responsibilities.
  • Stakeholder input is not sought, or their needs are not properly understood.
  • Stakeholders changing requirements after the project has started.
  • Stakeholders adding new requirements after the project has started.
  • Poor communication resulting in misunderstandings, quality problems and rework.
  • Lack of resource commitment.
Risks can be tracked using a simple risk log. Add each risk you have identified to your risk log; write down what you will do in the event it occurs, and what you will do to prevent it from occurring. Review your risk log on a regular basis, adding new risks as they occur during the life of the project. Remember, when risks are ignored they don't go away.
All above discussion, can be simply summarized by using following process –

Please Share your views about project management with us via comments below.


Anonymous said...

great work dude, what is the information source for you?

akhil kanaskar said...

Great work Prakash :)