The PM Octagon

PMI New York City Chapter +1

Uchenna is a project manager in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

The PM octagon is an illustration of the convergence of key project management knowledge, processes and practices to guarantee project success from a practical perspective regardless of the project's scope or size, or the organization or industry. This articles discusses the octagon, along with more concepts essential to understanding it.

Let’s start with baselines: scope baseline, schedule baseline, cost baseline and baseline quality. Baseline quality refers to:

  • Attaining customer/consumer needs and satisfaction
  • Meeting requirements
  • Meeting specifications
  • Attaining project goals and objectives

In other words, baseline quality is delivering the scope requirements while completing the project on time and on budget.

Subsequently; developing a plan or set of plans with focus on attaining baseline quality and, consequently, the scope, schedule and cost baselines (i.e., project management plan) is imperative to a project’s success. 

Now let’s look at the contents of a project management plan:

  • Framework for style and system of management (managerial process for the project); e.g., methodology of planning and execution (waterfall or agile); system of oversight and motivation; system of implementing procurement (inventory or just-in-time); system of interfacing with departments affecting the project (accounting, payroll, HR…

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