Project Management

Detailing the Plan

Jim Harris

Topics: Integration Management, Work Breakdown Structures (WBS)

The approved project charter has been signed, sealed and delivered to the designated project manager—you! However, you are not surprised. As is customary in your organization, the strategic planning and project management office facilitated the development of the project charter in coordination with the senior management team, project sponsors and stakeholders. You were a participant in that process. It is now your task to take the charter, develop a project plan and manage the effort to a successful conclusion. Since you participated in the development of the charter, you have already begun the thought process of what needs to be done. Piece of cake! Nothing to worry about, right? What? You were NOT included in the development of the charter, and this is the first time you have seen it? Welcome to PM Reality 101!

Now, don’t take me too seriously on this. There are organizations that have some very mature project management processes and do involve the project manager in the development of the project charter. But many more do not have mature PM processes, and the charter is developed without the knowledge of the designated project manager, or the charter is developed by the project manager with general guidance from the senior management. In either situation, your actions, as the project manager, must follow a prescribed course in the development of a detailed project plan.

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