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MPMM™ describes the Project Management Life Cycle in depth, helping you finish every phase, activity and task quickly and efficiently. Initiation involves starting up the project, by documenting a business case, feasibility study, terms of reference, appointing the team and setting up a Project Office. Planning involves setting out the roadmap for the project by creating the following plans: project plan, resource plan, financial plan, quality plan, acceptance plan and communications plan.
Execution involves building the deliverables and controlling the project delivery, scope, costs, quality, risks and issues.
Closure involves winding-down the project by releasing staff, handing over deliverables to the customer and completing a post implementation review.
Project Initiation is the first phase in the Project Life Cycle and essentially involves starting up the project. After defining the project and appointing the project team, you're ready to enter the detailed Project Planning phase. With a clear definition of the project and a suite of detailed project plans, you are now ready to enter the Execution phase of the project. This is the phase in which the deliverables are physically built and presented to the customer for acceptance. While each deliverable is being constructed, a suite of management processes are undertaken to monitor and control the deliverables being output by the project. These processes include managing time, cost, quality, change, risks, issues, suppliers, customers and communication. Once all the deliverables have been produced and the customer has accepted the final solution, the project is ready for closure. Project Closure involves releasing the final deliverables to the customer, handing over project documentation to the business, terminating supplier contracts, releasing project resources and communicating project closure to all stakeholders. More than 45,000 people in 50 different countries currently use the MPMM Project Life Cycle to deliver projects. So if you want to download a complete Project Management Life Cycle for your project, then click the "Free Trial" button below. Considering the immense importance of project planning in Project management, it is very important that it should be done right and in the optimal manner. Before beginning with the planning of the project, the first and foremost of the steps is to see what is the problem that the project is going to solve.
After defining the problem, the next common step in planning a project is the determination of a mission statement. Once all the objectives have been identified for the project, the next step in project planning is to devise a strategy that will help in the achievement of all the project objectives. After the scope, the next and one of the most important steps in project planning is the creation of a Work Breakdown Structure. Next, review the detailed tasks and ensure that they are in the proper sequence to successful complete the work required for the high level deliverable or task that they are a part of.  Identify task relationships and interdependencies so everyone agrees and understands the order of the work that needs to be accomplished. The work or effort that will be required to complete each task must be estimated and built into the task information.  For some tasks this may just be a ‘best guess’ and will need to be revised as more information becomes available.
After estimating the duration of each work task and figuring in the sequence of tasks, the project manager and team calculates the total duration of the project. A common misconception is that the plan equates to the project timeline, which is only one of the many components of the plan. Typically many of the project's key stakeholders, that is those affected by both the project and the project's end result, do not fully understand the nature of the project plan.
Others, such as auditors, quality and risk analysts, procurement specialists, and so on may also participate on the project. Project scope, stated as which deliverables will be included and excluded from the project.
Key milestones, the approach, and other components as dictated by the size and nature of the project. It can be treated like a contract between the project manager and sponsor, one that can only be changed with sponsor approval. Identifies all the deliverables produced on the project, and therefore, identifies all the work to be done. The lowest level is called a "work package" and can be numbered to correspond to activities and tasks. The WBS is often thought of as a task breakdown, but activities and tasks are a separate breakdown, identified in the next step.
Identify activities and tasks needed to produce each of the work packages, creating a WBS of tasks.
Consider resource constraints, or how much time each resource can realistically devoted to this project. Creating the Quality Plan involves setting the standards, acceptance criteria, and metrics that will be used throughout the project. Project Risks: A risk is an event that may or may not happen, but could have a significant effect on the outcome of a project, if it were to occur. For complex projects, a formal communications matrix is a tool that can help determine some of the above criteria. I like the structural approach but didn't find a step for development and approvement of scenarios for different mix of ressources, finish-date and economy. I liked a lot of what the article had to offer, but I think it missed one critical ingredient.
I n my project environment we plan our projects through team and stakeholder workshops to develop as fully as possible the 'shape' of the project, identify the value it will need to produce and the constraints, dependencies and risks it will be circumscribed by, from as many informed perspectives as possible. If a PM wants to plan a project in isolation, they'd better be able to run it in isolation as well. In my project environment we plan our projects through team and stakeholder workshops to develop as fully as possible the 'shape' of the project, identify the value it will need to produce and the constraints, dependencies and risks it will be circumscribed by, from as many informed perspectives as possible.
Ba sed on the above thread of postings, few people knows that the trend now, specially in large and complex, multidisciplne projects, is the approach and the use of total project management software.
By using this type of software, the planning engineer don't need a step by step procedure, because while developing the project master plan, the planning engineer is doing as well, in simultaneous, scope of work with it's work breakdown structure, organizational breakdown structure which defines key personnel and stakeholders, detailed task with corresponding logic which defines sequencing, resource and cost integration that will show budget and manpower needs, develop reports that will track and monitor the project progress.
I am an engineer who wants to apply for job as project manager but no idea or little knowledge on project management and planning.
I have searched the entire text of both Elizabeth's article and all of the comments to date and there is not one single mention of (developing) the project's Business Case – not by anyone.Does no one do any serious project management any more? My favorite reference is the book the Software Project Manager's Bridge to Agility by Michele Sliger and Stacia Broderick.
Elizabeth and Richard I thank you for taking time to decode for the many practitioners the theories of management planning by creating the 10 steps. TweetIt’s admirable how this illustration of the average web design project plan condenses the essentials. I find planning for iterations quite important so when constraints allow it, I make room for iterations at least inside the content, design and development phases respectively.
Also interesting to notice in the illustration is that they put the content phase before the design and development phase. As an avid fan of visual communication I tip my hat to the fine people at Simple Square who made this, they specialize in portfolio website design. GrowthStories helps businesses to design and optimise their services for a social and networked world. I'm a firm believer of continuous improvement and sharing lessons learned is a major part of that. Much of our Navision implementations are focused on helping our customers run their businesses better through better accurate information leading to better informed decisions. Williams Commerce are a straightforward experienced Microsoft Dynamics Partner providing a range of Dynamics NAV services. In our view after much market research we firmly believe Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 is the best in breed ERP system for small and medium size companies. Rather than reinvent the wheel when it comes to the best way to deliver your Microsoft Dynamics NAV project, we’re a strong advocate of the Microsoft SureStep project methodology. About UsWilliams Commerce is a Certified Magento Partner and a Microsoft Dynamics NAV Enterprise Resource Planning partner delivering solutions to retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers across the UK, US, Australia and internationally. The Williams Commerce team consists of over 55 qualified Magento developers, Dynamics NAV specialists, creative graphic designers and project managers who can deliver new ecommerce sites, changes, fixes and upgrades to existing websites and business software solutions on any technology, language or platform. Complete the project management life cycle by using this project management methodology for managing projects. You initiate a project by defining its purpose and scope, the justification for initiating it and the solution to be implemented.


This involves creating a suite of planning documents to help guide the team throughout the project delivery. The last remaining step is to undertake a Post Implementation Review to identify the level of project success and note any lessons learned for future projects. MPMM project management methodologies are based on the best practice industry standards for project managemen, including the PMBOK® Guide. You will immediately be able to navigate the MPMM project life cycle and use it to help you manage projects. This is because the implementation of the project is completely dependent on the planning phase and the degree of accuracy and success of the project plan will determine whether or not the project is going to be successful. Defining the problem and how the project is the solution is important so as to know the problem or part of it, for which the project is being started. This is really important because in this step, the project manager comes up with the major objectives that the project is going to fulfill.
Considering that the goal of the project is to fulfill the objectives and deliver the best project to the client, this means that the strategy should be such that it helps in achieving both of these goals.
In this, all the tasks and activities in the project are identified as well as their subtasks. No matter how large or small the project is, the key is to use a systematic approach for breaking the work of the project down – with the help of the project team – into interrelated tasks and creating the proper detail that gives the project manager a schedule to manage the project from on a daily basis. This is just an initial schedule at this point – it will be the basis for managing the remainder of the project and will need to be revised throughout the engagement.  I usually revise the schedule at least weekly after reviewing task progress and status updates with my project team prior to a weekly project status call with the customer.
This article provides a 10-step approach to creating the project plan, not only showing how it provides a roadmap for project managers to follow, but also exploring why it is the project manager's premier communications and control tool throughout the project. One of the most misunderstood terms in project management, the project plan is a set of living documents that can be expected to change over the life of the project. The project plan is the major work product from the entire planning process, so it contains all the planning documents for the project.
Since one of the most important and difficult aspects of project management is getting commitment and buying, the first step is to explain the planning process and the project plan to all key stakeholders.
Baselines are sometimes called performance measures, because the performance of the entire project is measured against them. These plans include documentation on how variances to the baselines will be handled throughout the project.
These include a risk management plan, a quality plan, a procurement plan, a staffing plan, and a communications plan. Not all key stakeholders will review all documents, so it is necessary to determine who on the project needs to approve which parts of the plan. The team needs to participate in the development of many aspects of the plan, such as identifying risks, quality, and design issues, but the team does not usually approve it.
They too, need to participate in the development of the plan, and review the plan, but rarely do they actually need to sign off.
They may need to approve the parts that pertain to them, such as the Quality or Procurement plan. The kickoff meeting is an effective way to bring stakeholders together to discuss the project. Once the deliverables are confirmed in the Scope Statement, they need to be developed into a work breakdown structure (WBS), which is a decomposition of all the deliverables in the project. That is, each deliverable starts at a high level and is broken into subsequently lower and lower levels of detail. It shows by chosen time period (week, month, quarter, or year) which resource is doing which tasks, how much time they are expected to spend on each task, and when each task is scheduled to begin and end.
Throughout the project you will most likely be adding to repeating some or all of these steps. Once the scope, schedule, and cost baselines have been established, you can create the steps the team will take to manage variances to these plans. The staffing plan is a chart that shows the time periods, usually month, quarter, year, that each resource will come onto and leave the project. The emphasis on project quality is on preventing errors, rather than inspecting the product at the end of the project and then eliminating errors.
The plan, then, becomes the foundation for all the quality reviews and inspections performed during the project and is used throughout project execution. For example, there may be a 50% chance of a significant change in sponsorship in the next few months.
It helps document the project team's agreed-on method for communicating various aspects of the project, such as routine status, problem resolution, decisions, etc.
They have over 30 years of industry experience each, and have helped thousands of PM and BA practitioners develop new skills.They have published numerous articles and papers and have co-written two books together on Requirements Management and CBAP Preparation.
This informs the project, gets the whole project community contributing, 'owning' and supporting the project, and takes advantage of a wide spread of experience, interest and capability. The software provides a very liberal procedure and functionalities for the engineer to do it his "way", risk analysis may be part of it.
Our philosophy is and has always been that tools support processes, in this case the project planning process.
I think the nature of these methods, like the Scrum framework, inherently lessens the planning complexity and the use for complex, cumbersome automated tools.
When reading articles such as yours I always look at it as refresher and confirm what I know.
Yes, I know what the PMBoK says, but just because it says such and such does not mean that it is right.
Let us consider that a new Step #1 has now been added.And now that I have your attention, I can also reveal my "hidden agenda". Success of the Project depends upon the Technical Expertise of the team members and how well they apply it. One way I've learned to increase the chances of successful project planning is to start with a decent project plan template. Like binoculors, these on;y help us to see deeper, forward and backwards so that we get to grasp the bits of information to help us come up with a good plan that anyone can use to navigate their way in our absence. It shows the common sequence, level of involvement, milestones, priorities and phases of all in one infographic.
Putting content first is not only smart, it’s the only way to do this kind of project properly. Clients would love this brief overview showing project steps, milestones, and their own involvement.
You'll find plenty of advice here together with the checklists, mindmaps and templates that I use in my day-to-day work. In it’s simplest form Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013 is easy to setup and deploy, we can have you up and running in a matter of days. Widely implemented worldwide it offers a natural progression from smaller accounting systems such as Sage 50 and Pegasus at the lower end whilst easily able to cope with hundreds of users and multi million sales for larger organisations. Project discovery and understanding from the outset is key and a great deal of our time is focused on the specification and user training.
Within the development stage of the project we can take an agile approach to the system delivery showing you and key users early versions of the system and key changes as they are implemented. The complete suite of templates and practical examples are included, to save you time on projects. You will also need to recruit a suitably skilled project team, set up a Project Office and perform an end of Phase Review. So, ultimately the success of the project depends on the planning phase and hence, it is important to carry out this phase following the best practice and fulfilling all the steps that are essential to this stage. In this manner, by the end of the planning and during the implementation, the project manager can see the extent to which the inherent problem is being solved through the implementation of the project.
When all the team members are aware of the objectives in clear terms, they have the purpose of the project clear in their mind and the CPM Scheduling and the planning of all the project stages is easier with better team cohesion. This comes before the usage of Critical Path Method for determining the criticality of each task and hence, the Work Breakdown Structure is extremely important for the scheduling phase. It is essential for them to understand the importance of this set of documents and to be familiar with its content, since they will be asked to review and approve the documents that pertain to them. They are the project's three approved starting points and include the scope, schedule, and cost baselines. All these management plans usually include a review and approval process for modifying the baselines.
It is similar to other project management charts, like a Gantt chart, but does not show tasks, estimates, begin and end dates, or the critical path.


Project quality also recognizes that quality is a management responsibility and needs to be performed throughout the project.
Analyzing risks includes making a determination of both the probability that a specific event may occur and if it does, assessing its impact. Once the project plan is complete, it is important not just to communicate the importance of the project plan to the sponsor, but also to communicate its contents once it's created. Not because of the steps themselves, but because the idea of the project plan seems to be conceived as a 'top down' bit of authoritarianis m imposed on the sponsor, the team and the stakeholders.
It also embeds project commitments into a productive community that gives it firm ground in the corporation's life. Our long-standing philosophy on planning is to involve all relevant stakeholders, and what you describe fits into the theme of the article just fine.
But, you can certainly explain the planning process and components of a plan to stakeholders up front. The engineer, as mentioned, may do all the project plan components at the same time or he may do it in an overlapping start to start lag. I have never found any tool that has eliminated the hardest parts of planning: getting sponsor ownership, agreement on the scope, enough resources, a handle on dependencies, communications and buy-in on the plan, a way to easily change dependencies…I could go on and on.
I work in an IT domain where PM methodology although accepted is mostly followed because it is mandated rather than believed in getting stakeholders involved early and educating them is an important step.
I understand that you are currently being instrumental in developing the next PMBOK update?
Are you allowed to tell me the "lots of things we wanted to change--even fought for tooth & nail"? It also helps to prepare someone with limited experience how to prepare an initial document. As I read, I easily visualize my project taking a structured way of taking off and becoming reality. Not many of us would look at a project plan as being a tool made for someone else and I think, funny as this may sound, the effectiveness of any plan is its ability to make other staff to visualize things just as they are in our minds. My guess is that they probably left the iteration part out of the illustration to keep it more coherent. For larger business Microsoft Dynamics NAV has the flexibility to fit your business processes and add value where it matters.
When the goals are clearly defined, it also becomes easier for the team members to better identify with the project tasks and to plan and perform them in a more effective and hands-on manner.
This is one of the most important factors in a project and determines the time and resources that are allocated to a project.
And like the traveler, the project manager needs to set the course for the project, which in project management terms means creating the project plan.
These provide the 'stakes in the ground.' That is, they are used to determine whether or not the project is on track, during the execution of the project. A result of this process may include the need to do additional planning, with the possibility that the baseline(s) will change.
It can be used to start building trust among the team members and ensure that everyone's idea are taken into account.
It describes the project and is used to get common agreement among the stakeholders about the scope. It shows only the time period and resource and the length of time that resource is expected to remain on the project. The quantification of both the probability and impact will lead to determining which are the highest risks that need attention.
The result is one functional "Baseline Master Plan" that defines all project plan components needed to commence a project.
The intent of the article is to provide guidance and focus on the project management plan, not the project charter. The draft has been through public comment and adjudication and I have no idea which comments were accepted. I agree with many representatives here that this document is not followed sequentially, which is true, but it provides many of the basic needs to write a plan. With over 94,000 businesses now running Dynamics NAV and a strong network of partners you are in good company. We focus on utilising as much of the out of the box NAV functionality as is possible hence reducing the initial outlay and ensuring future NAV upgradeability is straightforward. In the scope for the project, it is clearly defined what would and would not be done in the project. Just as a driver may encounter road construction or new routes to the final destination, the project manager may need to correct the project course as well.
Project management plans document what the project team will do when variances to the baselines occur, including what process will be followed, who will be notified, how the changes will be funded, etc. In addition, not all new requests will result in changes to the scope, schedule, or budget, but a process is needed to study all new requests to determine their impact to the project. Risk management includes not just assessing the risk, but developing risk management plans to understand and communicate how the team will respond to the high-risk events.
A PM is the custodian of the project plan, but that doesn't mean a plan is developed in isolation as you mention.
Those requesting the project need to define the business need and benefit and take ownership of them. The issue is that if the project does not have a clear Business Case that justifies its existence, then you don't know whether it is worth doing in the first place.
Having said that, feel free to add another step, #1: Review project charter to ensure business case and business need have been defined. Even if I don't agree with everything that's in the BOK (and I don't) it does seem to me a very excellent, even exceptional framework that works really well. Posted in Project Management Articles A project Management Framework consists of three parts a project lifecycle, a project control cycle and tool and templates to facilitate the execution of the projectProject LifecycleThe project lifecycle, as shown below, provides guidance on the common stages and steps which apply to all projects. In addition, there are also more specialized tools like the CPM Scheduling Software and CPM Software that aim at helping managers create the schedules for their projects.
It is the basis for getting the buy-in and agreement from the sponsor and other stakeholders and decreases the chances of miscommunication.
The business analyst (BA) plays a significant role in advising the requesting organization.
As someone who spent over 20 years in IT, and as BA and PM having had too many systems called “Elizabeth’s system,” I learned that they who define project benefits end up owning the end product.
I wouldn't mind so much if it was not claimed to be "The Standard for Management of a Project" (My emphasis) One day, some lawyer will sue an unsuspecting project manager on a failed project for failing to follow Chapter 3 to the letter!If you happen to attend the PMI Congress in Vancouver this year then, yes, we might just meet. After this, the project organization structure is defined, aimed at identifying the reporting pattern for the project progress and status. Although we have initial discussions with our sponsors and other key stakeholders to understand the business need and benefits, we certainly have many discussions with many stakeholders throughout the project. Although the BABOK suggests that BAs develop the business case (BABOK section 5.5), the ownership is always (and needs to be) with the business. And if you don't know the measures of success then I can guarantee that it will not be.Therefore, it is incumbent on the project manager as the first order of business, to ensure that there is a viable Business Case and that he or she knows what is in it. I have too many battle scars to advise others that developing the business case is a PM function. They vary in detail from organisation to organisations but critical to the success is the freedom given to those projects managers and senior managers to adapt the stages to suit the size and complexity of the project they are managing.
It takes more courage, I would say, to ensure that the business has developed a strong business case, than to do that work ourselves. Making these relevant to the size, risk and scope of the project is essential to ensure they are effective in supporting the project managers. This links the overall strategic objective to the project purpose, results and activities, using a clear decision process and assumptions.
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