Projects are defined by a set of objectives, tasks, and activities that have a beginning point and a closure point. Successful projects need both a Plan and a Schedule. The Plan tells you the objectives of the project, the scope of the project, the approach to be used; what deliverables are needed, who will work the project, and how much the project will cost. The schedule defines the tasks and activities for the project; the order, duration, start date, and completion date for each task; and who will work each task. If you are running your own projects, please don’t skim on the planning — generate both documents.
“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” (Sun Tzu).
DCLC has ample experience with the development of project plans (scope, objectives, staffing, costing, milestones, schedule, etc), coordinating the plan with stakeholders, obtaining access to the resources and funding, conducting a kickoff event to start the project; monitoring and controlling the project; accomplishing course correction as needed to get the job done; and then bringing the work to closure. Our approach includes best practices from the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) and the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI).
Typical Project Management Services
- Accomplish strategic analysis; identify the critical path in your contract execution life cycle or your system development life cycle
- Strengthen your portfolio management and the oversight of your project managers though careful attention to scope, cost, resource utilization, quality, and schedule attributes of each project
- Deliver comprehensive training to empower your project managers, proposal managers, or IV&V leadership
- Organize, plan, mobilize, and accomplish projects for your organization with your personnel
Project Management Best Practices
DCLC uses the proven methods and processes to implement our project management methodology. Careful blending of resources, tools, and processes set a solid framework to execute and manage successful projects. I know through experience that poor project management can easily destroy even the strongest plan leading to budget overruns, schedule slippage, and user dissatisfaction. I have learned to avoid the common mistakes made when a project is managed using reactive decision making rather than proactive decisions. By aggressive control over team activities, are able to ‘see’ the next step, and make sure ‘course corrections’ occur before problems occur, rather than after the problems have arrived.
Furthermore, I understand that how the aggressive use of process provides stability in an environment of constantly changing priorities. The processes I use promote a smooth transition when priorities suddenly change. Our processes have built-in flexibility.
Project Management Methodology
I will direct the organization and progress of projects, and monitor the status of development until a product is delivered and installed. The principal responsibilities are:
Initiate the project
- Coordinate the plan with sponsor, secure permission to proceed with project plan and schedule, secure resources for project, secure funding, generate and coordinate the Communication Plan
Plan the project
- Accomplish requirements assessment, scope definition, life cycle model selection, activity definition, activity sequencing, time estimating, work plan development, schedule development, then assess project risk and mitigation
- Accomplish resource planning, cost estimating, cost budgeting, quality and communications planning, and project change control procedures
- Develop and coordinate the project plan / schedule with the sponsor, project board and appropriate resources and host kickoff meeting to initiate the project
Execute, monitor, and control the project
- Monitor resource activities in accordance with schedule, monitor cost consumption, quality of work, performance, risk, monitor scope of project, coordinate project changes, enforce life cycle for deliverables and product
Close the project
- Deliver product, document lessons learned, Host closure meeting, and archive all project documents
This very high level discussion on Project Management Methodology. It does not present every task accomplished but it does provide a framework for the tasks accomplished during the course of a project. Studies prove that most projects, especially large ones, do not end successfully. Given the odds, you might think that companies would be happy to just have their project finish with some degree of success. However, in spite of the odds, organizations also expect projects to be completed faster, cheaper, and with higher quality. The only way to meet these objectives is through effective project management processes. I consider the size, complexity, and other characteristics of your project, and ‘right size’ our project management processes to effectively manage and control your project.
There’s a common saying among project managers: plan the work and work the plan. This is a keynote expression of DCLC project management. When the work is completed, I close out the project releasing the resources and archiving the project artifacts.
The table below provides a summary of the project controls typically implemented for a project.
Project Management Controls
Project Management Controls Initiate Plan Execute Control, Measure, & Improve Closure
Project Plan Develop draft objectives, Scope, and select Life Cycle approach Develop Project Plan and Schedule Direct Project Execution Collect metrics, Accomplish Course Correction Close project, develop lessons learned
Scope Management Develop draft WBS Refine scope,create WBS
Manage scope &WBS Manage scope & WBS Archive project history
Schedule management Develop draft milestones and Schedule Refine the milestones and schedule Maintain schedule compliance Oversee cost, quality, and resource access Archive schedule
Cost Management Identify pricing strategy Estimate cost
Control Cost Cost variance oversight and adjustments Archive costing Documents
Quality Management Discuss quality goals with team and stakeholders Quality Planning Quality reviews and improvements Quality reports, process improvement, rework, and training requirements as needed Archive quality management documentation
Human Resource Management Accomplish resource Planning Acquire resources Manage team resources Generate Status reports, replace or train staff as needed Archive staffing histories
Communication Management Develop Communications Plan Distribute information Performance reporting and stakeholder integration Generate Status reports, adapt communications as needed Archive communications documentation
Risk / Issue Management Risk planning, risk identification and analysis Implement risk controls, mitigation, and contingencies Control risk with mitigation and contingencies Control risk with mitigation and contingencies Archive risk documentation
Subcontractor Management Team member selection and approval Plan purchases and subcontracts Oversee subcontracts Manage, collect metrics and adjust subcontracts as needed Archive subcontract documents &end the contract