Project Management Proverb Cartoon Manual - Define Process

Here are the Proverb Cartoons broadly related to the DEFINE Process broken down by topic:

Find your Project Owner?

Find your Project Owner

You need to find your Project Owner (i.e. Sponsor) to help define the Project. Sometimes this is isn't as easy as you might expect and you need to use the famous (sic) Shakespeare quote!

Business Case

Preparing Project Business Case

 "Do the Right Project" BEFORE "Do the Project Right"

The Business Case is all about working out whether the benefits to be derived from the Project warrant the costs especially when there may be competing demands for the money. The Business Case is owned by the Sponsor but the PM may need to help in its preparation.

Project Benefit Realisation Planning

The Business Case is used to obtain agreement and funding to commence the Project and the danger is that all focus is on the Project Planning and Execution

My best advice is to plan to produce a Benefits Realisation Plan during the Project execution

Project Definition

Project Definition Kipling Way

You need to define your Project and Kipling's poem is the best place to start. "Why" should be answered by the Business Case. Make sure that you have a clear agreement of "What" before moving onto your Planning.

Planning and Estimating

Planning and Estimating are two skills which go hand in hand, there are a few Proverbs you need to remember
Are you a Lucky Project Manager?

Planning is very important for the success of your Project - or you can trust to luck!

Start your Project Plan early

You should to plan early activities and start monitoring 

At a minimum you should "plan the plan" (identify the plan to deliver a decent plan)
The 6 "P"s of Project Planning

There are 6 P Words in this Proverb to remember about the benefit of Planning

You can read more on the key skill of Planning here

Product Based Planning

Looking at the "Products" (Deliverables) you need to produce is a great way to start your planning

Project Estimators aren't modest

Estimating goes hand in hand with Planning. Don't be modest as an Estimator!

Project Estimation Top Down Bottom Up

Also try and Estimate using different approaches such as top down and bottom up. Read more on Estimating here

Project Schedule with a cup of tea

Eventually you need to represent your plan in a schedule of tasks. If you want to practice, where better to start but with a schedule to make a cup of tea?

Project Work Package

The concept of Work Packages can be useful to build into your plans

Project Entry Gate Meetings

The use of formal Entry Gates is one I recommend building into your Plans at key phase boundaries

Project Go No-Go Meeting

And don't forget the key Entry Gate, the Go or No-Go Meeting..... or maybe Go with Caveats?

Project Planner's Droop

Your Plans could well suffer from "Planner's Droop", a condition where accuracy decreases in the future. The use of Stages is one possible cure!

Project Planning Adding Too Many Resources

Beware of the temptation to add too many resources to shorten a critical path task duration. Examine each situation carefully on a case by case basis.

When planning, remember the past lessons whether your personal experiences or those provided by the organisation

Establishing your Project Team

You need to establish your Project Team or Resource Plan in planning terms

Project Planning Balance Action

There is a balance to be struck between action without plans and no action because you are planning. Plan near term activities and get going while you complete the rest!

Dependency Management

Project Dependency Management

If your plan relies on External Dependencies (i.e. things outside your control being provided to you), these require special management

Risk Management

Risk Management is an important skill. A few Proverbs for you to remember are:
Identify your Project Risks

Make sure you identify your Risks!

Project Risks Parkinson and Murphy

Two example risks - Parkinson and Murphy

IT Project Risk Bent Spoon

An IT example risk when changed systems go live called bent spoons!

Project Risk Fall under a Bus

Another piece of Risk analysis to perform is to consider each member of your team in turn especially when they are working on critical tasks and answer the question "what would happen if they fell under a bus"?

Attack the Project Risks

Once identified, attack your risks especially those with high probability and high impact

Every Project Assumption is a Risk

Project Financial Budgeting

Quality Management

You should never forget that one point of the classic TCQ triangle is Quality:
Build Time in Project Plan for Quality

Build time into your plan for "fit for purpose" Quality

Quality Assured Project Documents

Quality Assured Documents are an important foundation for all Project activities 

Walk through best Project Quality Process

Plan Walk-throughs to achieve the finest Quality on key products

Stakeholder Management

Project Stakeholder Management

Project Stakeholder Map

Categorise your stakeholders and then work out your management strategy.

Configuration Management

Project Configuration Management

Configuration Management is important for proper management of the Project Products and provides the basis for Change Management

Structure your Project File

One thing to get right is a well structured Project File

So what does Success look like?

You have prepared a good Project Definition. So what does Success in your Project look like?
Two dimensions of Project Success

Other aspects of the Proverb Cartoon Project Management Manual


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