Project Management: The Planning Phase
Project Management Courses: Planning Phase is designed for aspiring project managers and project team members wanting to get more involved in project management.
This project management course is structured around the premise that all projects have a beginning, a middle and an end and that all successful projects follow a standardised project management methodology.
Learn how to plan your projects using simple, repeatable processes guided by an easy to implement project management methodology.
Project Management as a Career
Enhance your career prospects, supercharge your project management skills and bring all your projects to successful conclusions – in time, under budget and to the delight of your key stakeholders.
- Learn all the project management processes needed to complete the planning phase of your projects making sure all aspects of project execution and closing are included
- Discover a project management methodology that is easy to implement, manage and control
- Download a complete set of the only project management document templates you will ever need to manage your projects successfully
Project Management Methodology
Become a successful and practical project manager by introducing My Practical Project Management Methodology into your projects today so that you can plan, implement and bring all your projects to a successful conclusion.
Project Management Training
In this project management course you will learn:
- What project management is all about
- The characteristics of a successful project manager
- How projects fit into organisations
- What is and what is not a project life cycle
- Why some organisations do not want and do not need a project management office
- What is and what is not a project management methodology – The attributes of a practical and useful project management methodology
- The five critical project management documents every successful project manager needs
You will learn the project management processes and techniques used during the planning phase of every successful project
This project management course will teach you:
- How to initiate a project correctly with a sponsor and an approved project assignment
- How to identify the key stakeholders and engage with them to make sure they are on your side
- How to identify your key project team members
- How to make sure all the project scope is included in the scope of work
- How to define your project organisation
- How to develop your project schedule through activity sequencing and duration estimating
- How to identify the critical path through a project network diagram
- How to estimate project costs and convert the costs into a time phased cost baseline, a budget
- How to manage a risk identification workshop and identify the risks involved in the project
- How to “plan-in” quality into your project
- How to develop your procurement strategy for all the goods and services you will need to buy
- How to decide what information is to be distributed to what stakeholder at what times
The project management course consists of:
- Video presentations
- Easy to do quizzes to keep your attention alive
- Complete set of downloadable project management document templates
Students can ask and comment on questions in the discussion area and I will also be available to advise on any aspects of the planning phase of a project.
See you on the inside…
Jeb Riordan, PMP
Welcome to the Course
My mission is to 'Simplify the Complexity of Modern Project Management'.
This training program will provide you with all the skill, knowledge and tools to enable you to complete any size project on time, in budget and to the delight of your customer without the noise and complexity of modern project management
By the end of this lecture you will appreciate the ethical standards that all professional project managers live by. Enabling them to complete their projects successfully not only in terms of meeting the project objectives but also by satisfying stakeholders needs and expectations without compromising the project manager's own professional integrity.
What Exactly is Project Management?
By the end of this section you will know what project management is all about, and the environment project managers work in.
You will be able to identify your key stakeholders and know whether you have what it takes…
By the end of this lecture you will have a solid definition of a project, know the difference between a project, a program and a portfolio and why all projects carry an element of risk
By the end of this lecture you will have an appreciation of the skills, tools, techniques, processes and knowledge needed to manage a project. As well as an understanding that practical project management is all about satisfying stakeholders needs and expectations
By the end of this lecture you will know who are the three most important stakeholders, how to identify them and how to satisfy their needs and expectations
By the end of this lecture you will appreciate the different and diverse skill sets you will need to master to become a successful practical project manager - driving results, being always competitive and staying motivated
Modern companies and organisations have to be very flexible in the way they tackle their projects if they want to win in today's very competitive environment.
However you still need to have an understanding of the past in order to appreciate the present and maybe influence the future
By the end of this lecture you will appreciate the differences between functional and projected organisations and how the organisational structure dictates the way projects are worked
The PMO comes in many shapes and sizes depending on the importance given to them by the management. In a matrix organisation they are probably a resource for project managers. In a functional organisation they are maybe thought of more as an un-necessary overhead. We discuss the pros and cons of having a Project Management Office
Setting up your PIMS is one of the first tasks to be done for your project.
If it is set up correctly on day one and everybody follows the rules, then project information management is one severe headache out of the way
All projects have a beginning, a middle and an end. All projects also have project phases and a project life cycle. Which is what and when? In this lecture all will be revealed
By the end of this lecture you will have a real understanding of project phases and more importantly what is not a project phase
In this lecture we discuss why we need practical, standardised and repeatable processes when managing projects. Making project success less dependent on the project manager and more dependent upon the whole team using the same language, the same framework, the same processes and tools
This International Standard provides guidance on concepts and processes of project management that are important for project performance and project success.
The target readership is senior managers and sponsors, project managers and project team members so that they all have a common basis from which to work.
However, ISO 21500 is NOT a project management methodology!
A project management methodology needs to include three layers of management and control:
- The Governance layer, This is the steering team headed by the sponsor
- The Project Management layer, headed by the project manager
- The Production layer, the technical working teams that actually create the deliverables
In this lecture we walk through a very practical project management methodology.
Using well established project management processes, including:
- Management by exception: set tolerances and monitor them to support management decisions
- Flexibility: Lessons learned, adapting processes and fine-tuning the method to fit the project environment
- With a focus on Deliverables, Stakeholders needs and expectations
- And the over all concept of keeping it as simple as possible (KISS) super simple
In this lecture we discuss the three layers of our project management methodology, Governance, Project and Production.
We then determine the points in the project life cycle when mandatory milestone reviews and decision gate meetings are held
In this lecture I introduce the five critical documents that every successful practical project manager needs to create and keep updated as the project progresses
Three KISS questions to make sure you're paying attention
I summarise the preceding lectures: What is a project, a project manager, a stakeholder. Projects in organisations, PMOs and PIMs. Project phases and project life cycles. The section ended with discussions on what is a project management methodology and the methodology on which we will base the remainder of this training program.
Included in the resource area are downloadable templates of the documents discussed in the lectures.
Project Initiation and First Things First
By the end of this section you will understand why some projects are left on the back burner. You will be able to maintain a list of your stakeholders, recruit your key project team members and create the first key document - the Project Assignment
A project in a portfolio is given the green light to start when it fits into the strategic plan of the organisation. In this lecture we also discuss the factors that affect project selection
In this lecture we discuss the process that initiates a new project. An approved Assignment Document issued to the nominated by Project Manager by his Sponsor
By the end of this lecture you will have a solid understanding of the need to manage your stakeholders and maybe satisfy their wants as well as their needs
Establishing your whole project team needs to be on your 'To-do' list but at this stage you need only recruit your key players and put in place the processes needed to manage your resources when the time comes
We review the key points in section 3: Project Initiation
By the end of this section you will have a solid understanding of the need for comprehensive and collaborative project planning. You will be able to develop a project plan and create the plans in a downloadable project plan template
The Project Plan defines how the project will be monitored, controlled and closed. In this lecture we discuss the key elements to be included and we remind ourselves to keep it brief and to the point
By the end of this lecture you will be familiar with the project plan template that is included in the resources area for you to download and use in your projects
We review the key points in section 4: Project Planning and focus on preparing the Project Plan
By the end of this section you will be able to complete the processes needed for defining the project scope, creating the ever important Work Breakdown Structure and Activity List
By the end of this lecture you will understand what “requirements” are, how to define them, how to collect them and more importantly how to record and trace their origins
The Project Scope Statement describes in detail the project deliverables and the work required to create the deliverables. In this lecture we discuss why defining the scope is so important and the methods we use to do so
We create a Work Breakdown Structure to provide a framework for presenting the work that needs to be completed in order to achieve the project objectives in a clear and unambiguous way
In this lecture we discuss the final task in defining the project scope: Identifying all the activities that need to be carried out to complete the works packages
We review the key points in section 5: Planning Scope
By the end of this section you will understand that 'resources' are not only human but also materials, tools and equipment. And that you need to appreciate the skill sets required to complete the project deliverables You will also know how to develop your project organization along with the individual's roles and responsibilities
Resource Planning is all about figuring out what people, materials and everything else that will be needed to complete the product of the project in the contracted timeframe. In this lecture we identify the input information needed to do just that
We follow on from the previous lecture and focus on developing an estimate of the resource requirement and we'll rely on the Production Teams, the Subject Matter Experts to provide information on the type of resource and how many of each is required to complete the activities in the activity list
In this lecture we discuss the need for a complete and updated organisation chart along with clear roles and responsibilities for each of the project team members and project team groups
We review the key points in section 6: Planning Resources
Time (Schedule) Planning
By the end of this section you will know how to figure out the most efficient order in which the project activities needed to be done. You will also know how to estimate the duration of the project activities and develop the baseline schedule. As an added bonus we also work our way through a project network diagram to find the critical path through the network
By the end of this lecture you will be able to plan the order in which activities and works packages will be scheduled including developing a project network diagram
By the end of this lecture you will have an understanding of the different processes needed to define the time and work effort needed to to complete activities and works packages
By the end of this lecture you will be able to combine the outputs from activity definition, activity sequencing and activity duration estimating and produce the most efficient and effective project schedule
In this lecture we work our way through a simple project network diagram and define the critical path and floats
We review the key points in Section 7: Planning the project schedule
In this section we focus on the process of estimating the costs of completing the project deliverables. We consider all the input information needed, the different costs categories and the various estimating methods
In this lecture we cross over to MS Excel and work our way through a simple project cost estimate, produce a time-phased budget and end by generating graphs for the key performance metrics
Identifying events or conditions that could impact the project somehow if the event or the condition actually happened. And then making plans to eliminate the potential events that could cause damage to the project
After competing this lecture you will know what risk is all about, be able to plan for and hold a risk identification workshop and create your project's risk list
By the end of this lecture you will be able to complete your initial risk planning with a complete list of identified risks along with a consensus of opinion on the threat of the risk event actually happening
We review section 9 the planning aspects of project risk management
Quality. Grade. Grade. Quality. Planned in. Inspected in. Inspected in. Planned in. What's the difference?
In this lecture we discussed the meaning of 'Quality' in our projects and in our project deliverables. And considered the similarities between the characteristics of managing projects and managing quality. Also we emphasised that quality needs to be planned in to our projects and not inspected in.
We also identified that management defines the organisation's quality policy and it's this policy that needs to be adapted to the needs of the project and the customer.
We review section 10 and note that quality is planned in not inspected in
By the end of this section you will be able to develop a procurement strategy for your project, answer the four questions: 'Make or buy'? What? When? And How many? You will also know the difference between the various contract types and appreciate the risks inherent in each
The key take away from this lecture is to leave it to the professionals so that you get the best buy from the right supplier under the most favourable terms and conditions. And that procurement planning centres around the four questions: Make or buy? What? How much? When?
And the key take away from this lecture is to get all contracts and agreements in writing and they're checked by the legal team and the purchasing team and signed by someone who has the authority to sign contracts on behalf of the organisation.
In this section we decide what, how and when we need to purchase materials and resources for our project. And we remember delegate and to leave it to the experts.
The different forms of contract was also discussed and we reminded ourselves never, ever start work without a signed agreement
Follow the KISS principle and select the the most effective, most efficient means of communicating the right information to the right stakeholders
By the end of this lecture you will be able to define the communication requirements of your project stakeholders, understand the need for confidentiality of information and for sure refer to the customer contract to make sure you comply with all the contractual reporting requirements
Section 12 review: And we plan for the communication needs of the project
What Happens Now?
The 3-part Training Program covers the beginning the middle and the end Phases of a project.
This course covers the beginning, where most of the planning takes place.
Follow-on courses cover the middle, execution phase and the end, closing phase.
And watch out for the special discount coupon codes for super significant savings...
With the premise that all projects have a beginning, a middle and an end and following the KISS principle I present My Practical Project Management Methodology. (I really need to find a better name for it. Maybe 'P Squared M Squared', or 'P2M2'}. Later...
The PMBoK Guide describe recommended processes to be applied when managing a project. That's it. The Guide does not dictate when and how the processes need to be implemented. A methodology does.