Project Plan Analysis

Kenneth has 14 years of healthcare experience in government and private industry. Over eight years of experience managing healthcare IT projects, operations, contracts, and personnel. His work experience includes project management, contracts and procurements, data analysis, claims adjudication, business writing, and business process modeling. Kenneth was certified in 2006 as a Project Management Professional.

Once the project moves into the execution phase, there is nothing more important to the project management team than the project plan and the regular plan updates tracking the work being done. There are many applications that can be used to track the project plan updates. While Microsoft Project is the standard used by most companies and project managers, there are others that can be found--each with their own strengths and weaknesses (and sometimes very steep learning curves).

The greatest, most detailed project plan will not help anybody if the project management team does not do the work behind the scenes to make it useful. The project plan’s usefulness to the project team and the stakeholders depends on two things: data collection and data analysis. Both of these activities must happen correctly and timely during project execution to make the project plan something more than just a pretty Gantt graph.

Data Collection
One of the key principles to performing data analysis is to ensure that the data does not suffer from the “garbage in/garbage out” weakness. When it comes to the project plan, there may be one person or several dozen people providing regular updates to the project plan. The project manager or PMO should define at the beginning of the project how the project plan will be updated, whether actual hours and effort are captured by …

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