Project Management

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​The ultimate Guide to a 100% PMBoK Guide aligned Project ​Management Plan

Mind Mapping for Project Management – an overview (updated!)

Situational Project Management

Introducing "MP4PM-MindmaPping for ProjectManagement" - Part III

Introducing "MP4PM-MindmaPping for ProjectManagement" - Part II

​The ultimate Guide to a 100% PMBoK Guide aligned Project ​Management Plan

developing PMP teaser

Intro


​​Can I ask you a question?

In your opinion, what would you get from your project management colleagues if you asked them for a sample of the project management plan?

Well, I bet most of them would send you a schedule created with MS Project or (even worse) MS Excel. Some will send you a sample project charter, and others will even send you a project status report based on MS Powerpoint or something similar ...

Try it out! Am I right? I guess, yes...

Few may know that a well developed and created project management plan is much more than the examples above. And even fewer could send you a sample since they have already created a project management plan for their projects!

After studying this guide, you will be asked for this support in the future as you will be an expert in creating a relevant project management plan and have the appropriate tools and techniques.

Here we go:


The Concept of the Management Plans


Management plans document the strategy and approach for managing the project and project processes in terms of scope, timing, cost, quality, resources, communication, and risk, as well as Procurement and stakeholder management.
This means that each knowledge area has its own management plan that documents the strategy and approach for project management in that specific project. These plans are essentially a set of documents with processes, procedures, practices, and standards that the project team will follow to ensure consistent results.

When creating a management plan, ask yourself always this question: 


"How do I define, plan, manage and control the scope (or schedule, costs, quality, etc.) of my project?"

You think ahead and document how you will manage each knowledge area (and ultimately the project) based on its specific needs, How you will manage each knowledge area during execution, and how you will monitor and control each knowledge area. These efforts should cover all aspects of the project.
You also need to think about who is involved in the project and how you will behave. Managing these people, evaluating their work, and motivating them. Management plans are necessary and unique to each project, The format, and level of detail of management plans should be adapted to the needs of the project and the style of the project leader, and the organizational influences.
If you have not yet created management plans for your projects in practice, this concept can be difficult to implement in the beginning. However, you will quickly realize the benefits of creating management plans. Therefore we want to illustrate the concept with an example:

With regard to the cost management plan we would ask ourselves the following questions (and answer them in the cost management plan!):

"How will we ensure that all costs are identified and estimated?"

"Who will be involved in the cost estimation?"
 
"What methods for estimating the costs that we will use? "

"What historical records, processes and organizational requirements must be used or met? "

"Which estimation tools and techniques will we use? "

"What is the appropriate level of accuracy?"
"How will financing and cost constraints be constrained in determining the budget?"
 
"Which data, metrics and measurements do we need for cost planning?"

So far to the planning part.

The executive part of a management plan focuses on the processes and procedures involved in carrying out the work.

The executive component of a cost management plan answers questions such as (but not limited to):

"Which cost data is needed?"
"Who is responsible for the collectionof the cost data?"
"Where will we collect the raw data that will later be used for monitoring and control?" 

The monitoring and control component of a management plan defines the processes and procedures to measure project progress, compare actual project results with the plan, and determine how to deal with deviations that require change.
 


The Project Management Plan - understanding its Purpose

What we have discussed in the previous section applies to all the specific management plans (Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, Communication, etc.) you will develop for your project throughout the planning phase and iterations. And all those single management plans (plus some additional components we will discuss in a second) combine to the so-called Project Management Plan.  

The Project Management Plan is more than just a workbook to determine what work needs to be done. The Project Management Plan is a continuous document that controls the following elements: 

■ Provide Structuring 

The Project Management Plan is developed to create a structure within which the project can develop until successful completion. It is a careful but accurate collection of documents that serve as a reference point for all project execution, monitoring and control, and project or phase completion.

■ Provide documentation

A truly successful project requires a documented Project Management Plan. Documents provide a historical overview and the reasons why decisions were made the way they were made. A Project Management Plan must include documentation of the assumptions and constraints that influence the development of the project management plan. Both the size of the project, the application environment within which the project operates, and the business environment factors can all influence the level of detail provided by the project management plan.

■ Enable communication 

Project Management Plans are documents that provide information and explanations as to why project decisions have been made, as documented. The Project Management Plan serves as a source of communication between stakeholders, the project team, and management to communicate how the project is managed.

■ Provision of baselines

A Project Management Plan contains several baselines. As the project progresses towards completion, management, stakeholders, and the project manager can use the Project Management Plan to see what has been predicted in terms of cost, scheduling, quality, and scope, and then compare how these predictions will compare with actual project progress.

The Complete Guide for developing a Project Management Plan contains the following sections: 

  • Intro
  • ​The Concept of the Management Plans​
  • The Project Management Plan - understanding its Purpose
  • Preparing for the Project Management Plan development
  • Application of tools and techniques
  • Use of a project management information system
  • Components of the Project Management Plan
  • Putting it all together
  • Exercise: "What are the specific actions required to create a project management plan that is bought into, approved, realistic, and formal?"
  • Baselining the Project Management Plan
  • Benefits of a Project Management Plan
  • Project ​Management Plan Example and Template
  • Tailoring Tips for your Project Management Plan
  • How to create a customized Project Management Plan - Step-by-Step

 

For further information please refer to my profile here at pm.com. 

Thanks and kind regards,

Markus

Posted on: December 13, 2019 10:58 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)

Mind Mapping for Project Management – an overview (updated!)

Mind Mapping® is a great tool to manage information! Let us have a look at how it could be a help with project management efforts by utilizing Mind Mapping® methods and software in specific.

Mind Mapping® is a way of visually representing ideas and information. Just as geographical maps help people see where they’re going and help them anticipate and avoid obstacles, Mind Maps® lets people layout ideas connect, and manage information in a way that helps identify dependencies, connections, risks, and much more.


The advantages and benefits of Mind Mapping

Mind Mapping® is a powerful technique and the advantages of Mind Maps® are many:

  • The relative importance of each idea is clearly indicated by how near it is to the center, which clearly features the main idea.
  • The links between key concepts will be immediately obvious from their proximity and connection to one another. The brain works primarily with key concepts that it links and integrates. Mind Maps® work in the same way, meaning that recall and review will be faster and more effective.
  • The nature of the Mind Map® structure allows for the easy addition of new information.
  • Each Mind Map® has its own unique pattern, which further aids recall.
  • The open-ended nature of the Mind Map® is an excellent aid to creativity, allowing the brain to make new and exciting connections with ease.
  • With practice, you'll find Mind Maps® help you to be your best in every thinking situation:

​Uses​

​Benefits

​Learning

  • Reduce those 'tons of work'.
  • Feel good about study, revision and exams.
  • Have confidence in your learning abilities

​Overviewing

  • See the whole picture, the global view, at once.
  • Understand the links and connections 

​Concentrating

  • Focus on the task for better results
  • Using all your cortical skills attracts your attention

​Memorizing

  • Easy recall
  • 'See' the information in your mind's eye

​Organizing

  • Easy recall
  • Be on top of all the details for parties, holidays, projects or any other subject 

​Presenting

  • ​Speeches are clear, relaxed and alive. You can be at your best

​Communicating

  • ​In all forms with clarity and conciseness 

​Meetings

  • ​From planning to agenda, to chairing, to taking the minutes...the jobs are completed with speed and efficiency 

​Training

  • ​From preparation to presentation, they make the job easier and much faster 

​Thinking

  • ​Having a method to analyze thoughts - almost a 'way station' for them 

​Negotiating

  • ​All issues, your position and maneuverability on one sheet 

​Brain Blooming

  • ​The new brain-storming in which more thoughts are generated and appropriately assessed. 

mind-map-tool

By looking at those use cases and benefits you might think “well, there are a lot of them appearing in project management also, right?” and the answer is: YES! Since project management is all about gathering, managing and communicating information Mind Mapping® can be utilized for these tasks in a great way. But then you may think “well, but all this paperwork … and if it is written down, how to reorganize the information if necessary?" (and it will be, right?).

So this is when Mind Mapping software tools come in place; software tools that are basing on the Mind Mapping® principles. Using such Mind Mapping® tools has the following six key benefits:

​Why you should use a professional Mind Mapping Software:

PROFESSIONAL MIND MAPPING SOFTWARE ...

LET PEOPLE WORK THE WAY THEY THINK

With professional Mind Mapping® software, you can brainstorm and capture ideas in freeform, and then add structure and depth. Drag-and-drop editing and markers let you apply for an order, connect ideas, and group concepts into themes. Built-in templates often make it easy to bring clarity to important projects, and completed maps give you a more effective way to communicate.

REDUCES INFORMATION OVERLOAD

Professional Mind Mapping® software lets you organize ideas and information in a single view so you can see connections and draw conclusions quickly. It’s easy to assemble content-rich information maps with attachments and links that let you process information without having to jump between different apps and browsers. You maybe even can even import tasks, email, and contacts from Microsoft Outlook to Mind Maps® to organize your work life better.

HELPS STRUCTURE BUSINESS, STRATEGIC & PROJECT PLANS

Professional Mind Mapping® software provides deep capabilities for organizing information to drive critical business processes and decision-making. More advanced features can include Guided Brainstorming tools, 2x2 analysis views, budgeting and forecasting tools, and numerous project management features where we look into in detail later on.

IMPROVES COMMUNICATION

Professional Mind Mapping® software visual format lets you show the big picture and then drill down to display details as needed, all in a single view. Improve meetings by quickly capturing discussion notes and follow-up action items in context. Use priority markers, symbols, and embedded images to highlight the most essential points.

WORKS WITH YOUR EXISTING TOOLS

Professional Mind Mapping® software is integrated with Microsoft and Apple productivity apps, including MS Word, MS PowerPoint, MS Excel, MS Outlook, MS Project, and Apple Keynote and Pages. Individuals can map out their work in the professional Mind Mapping® software, and then publish final reports and proposals in the most appropriate format.

CAN BE USED ACROSS THE ORGANIZATION

Professional Mind Mapping® software may have an enterprise version that extends the value offering integration with Microsoft SharePoint to enable collective information management and collaboration. With the Enterprise Version, people across the organization can use professional Mind Mapping® software intuitive visual framework to capture and organize information, then share editable maps so teams can solve problems, prioritize strategies, plan projects, and process information together.

After looking at the Mind Mapping® benefits in general and the advantages of using Mind Mapping® software, we will know focus on the specific benefits of using the combination of them applied to project management:

Successful project management depends on the effective management of expectations and commitments. Mind Mapping® software helps you keep teams in alignment with the decisions and tradeoffs that determine if a project will meet goals and deadlines. Create a blueprint for your project by defining goals, prioritizing issues, capturing stakeholder input, and validating requirements—all in one application.

 

​Mind Mapping for Projectmanagement

Visualize Goals

Clearly defining goals and prioritizing issues means getting input—and, more importantly, buy-in—from the entire team. Mind Maps® give project teams a virtual whiteboard for brainstorming where every idea and concern can be surfaced and cataloged. Mind Maps® help teams think visually so they can quickly layout deliverables and identify any gaps in the plan.

 

validate-requirementsValidate Requirements

Adequately validating requirements is one of the first steps to ensuring project success. Quickly capture stakeholder input in a format that encourages participation. Verify decisions by visually ordering and reordering topics, drilling down to review details, and using priority markers to provoke essential trade-off discussions.

 

manage-resourcesManage Resources

Use Mind Maps® to create detailed process maps to allocate resources and identify dependencies intelligently. Mind Maps® helps everyone involved see the big picture and all the details in context. And if needed, you can export straight to Microsoft Project and other MS Office products and also the independent and high flexible HTML5 format (can be opened by any web browser!)

 

adjust-and-optimizeAdjust and Optimize

Quickly make adjustments when schedules and resources change. The task roll-up feature shows the overall impact of changes to assignments and dependencies so that everyone can understand (and respond to) the implications of schedules and budgets. Integrated Gantt charts provide a timeline view of your schedule.

 

agreeonbudgetsAgree on Budgets

 

Create and manage project budgets in the project Mind Map® alongside priorities and schedules—all in one place. Most professional tools have a feature to quickly set up formulas throughout your map and use the formula editor to add more sophisticated calculations. Conduct “what if” analyses by dragging topics into or out of the formula’s range to immediately adjust the calculations.

 

Be Prepared

bepreparedMost of the professional Mind Mapping® tools (like MindManager or XMind, for instance) help you often get started faster with project map templates and pre-built map topics for creating project charters, plans, status, and timelines. Once you create a project, you can save your working Mind Map® as a custom template to guide future work, reducing the time needed to start your next project.

Consequently, this is exactly what we want to provide with our  MP4PM -MindmaPping for project management” initiative. A 100% aligned to the PMBoK® Guide and covering all of the project management processes and all their related ITTOs!

This will mean that you do not need to build up this project templates on your own; you can use them out of the box or doing some customization related to your own project management processes used in your organization. Tailoring the PMBoK® Guide processes for specific project needs becomes very easy this way, and even if your company does not rely on PMI’s methodology it still will be beneficial.

Thank you for taking the time reading this article! 

Any feedback in the comments down below is highly appreciated.

=======================================

References:

Posted on: December 13, 2019 10:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (7)

Introducing "MP4PM-MindmaPping for ProjectManagement" - Part III

In Part III of the Introduction of our “MP4PM – Mind mapping for Project Management”we will not only provide you the next general “MP4PM” features; we will also introduce you the next deliverable/result of “MP4PM” so you can already see how “MP4PM” will work and look like.

If you have missed the first two Parts of our Introduction you should first have a look here:

Introducing "MP4PM-MindmaPping for ProjectManagement" - Part I

Introducing "MP4PM-MindmaPping for ProjectManagement" - Part II

 

Now let’s have a look on the next general features “MP4PM” will provide you:

MP4PM Intro part three

Not bad, right? Well, there is still a lot to come ... 1.1.2 MP4PM review Business Case

 

OK, let’s come back to the next installment of “MP4PM”. Again we had great support of the projectmanagement.com community and so we had just released the Version 1.0 of the second deliverable (to use project management wording). This time it is a map/template what should support you as a project manager in reviewing the business case/documents which are often the basis for a project initiation, right?

And so the map/template is called “review business case”.

We have promised, that “MP4PM” will be closely aligned tot the PMBoK Guide and the business case or equivalent documents are known as PMBoK Guide develop charter flow chartan input to the “develop project charter” process in the PMBoK Guide fifth edition, right?

We have done a version 1.0 already, but of course - like the complete “MP4PM” framework - this deliverable will be continuously improved and developed further. If you want to participate in this development, please feel free to add your valuable inputs in the corresponding discussion threads at the end of this posting. Any feedback is highly appreciated!

You can access an interactive online version of the “review business case” map here (or just by clicking on the picture above):

http://www.projectmanagement.plus/mp4pmmaps/1.1.2%20MP4PM%20review%20Business%20Case.html

Please use this version for review only.

If you want to use the map and/or work with it, then please download it from here:

http://projectmanagement.plus/en/mp4pm/mp4pm-downloads

For downloading the map/files you need to be logged in on projectmanagement.plus.

“review business case” is not only available as .mmap (what is the MindManager file format, but could also be opened with Xmind for instance), it is also provided in several other formats like the usual MS Office formats for instance.

Please try out and let us know your feedback/critic and/or additions; highly appreciated!

In our next blog we will introduce you the next “MP4PM” features and may be we will talking already about the next deliverable what is actually work in progress.

Until next time ... ;)

 

===========================================

If you want to contribute to the map please refer to the following discussion threads; we have created one discussion thread for each branch in the map for a better overview:

Posted on: December 21, 2016 10:09 AM | Permalink | Comments (8)

Introducing "MP4PM-MindmaPping for ProjectManagement" - Part II

In our last blog we had started with the Introduction of our “MP4PM – Mind mapping for Project Management”. In this blog entry we will not only provide you the next two “MP4PM” features; we will also introduce you the very first deliverable/result of “MP4PM” as a preview, so you can already see how “MP4PM” will look like and how it works basically. This way you can see what to expect in near future. And the best is: it is ready to use out of the box for anybody who wants to try out or just having a look. 

But first let’s have a look on the next two features we will provide you within “MP4PM”:

Sounds interesting for you?

OK, let’s come back to our first result out of “MP4PM”. With the great support of the community at projectmanagement.com we have just released the Version 1.0 of our first deliverable (to use project management wording); it is a questionnaire (as mind map of course) for the very first initiation meeting with your project sponsor in the project initiation phase (if you are in the role of the project manager) and it is called “Knowing the Sponsor”.

Since we have said, that “MP4PM” will be closely aligned tot the PMBoK Guide you may wonder now cause “Knowing the Sponsor” is not a PMBoK Guide Process and also not an ITTO, right?! Furthermore the very first process as by the PMBoK Guide is “Develop Project Charter”, correct? … of course …

Yes, but as you also may know there are mostly some additional Steps before you can start creating the Project Charter. Therefore we will have some additional artefacts that we do support with MP4PM and “Knowing the Sponsor” is the very first of them.

We have done a version 1.0 already, but of course like the complete “MP4PM” framework this deliverable will be continuously improved and developed further.

If you want to participate in this development, please feel free to add your valuable inputs in the corresponding discussion thread at the end of this posting. Any feedback is highly appreciated.

You can access an interactive online version of the “Knowing your Sponsor” map here (or just by clicking on the picture above):

http://www.projectmanagement.plus/mp4pmmaps/1.1.1%20MP4PM%20Knowing%20Your%20Project%20Sponsor

Please use this version for review only.


If you want to use the map and/or work with it, then please download it from here:

http://projectmanagement.plus/en/mp4pm/mp4pm-downloads

For downloading the map/files you need to be logged in at www.projectmanagement.plus . If you do not want to create a user account there, then just write me a private message here and I will provide you the files.

“Knowing your Sponsor” is not only available as .mmap (what is the MindManager file format, but could also be opened with Xmind for instance), it is also provided in several other formats like the usual MS Office formats for instance (all included in the download package!).

Please try out and let us know what you thinking of it.

In our next blog we will introduce you the next “MP4PM” features and may be we will talking already about the next deliverable what is actually work in progress.

Until next time ... ;)

=====================================================

If you want to contribute to the map please refer to the following discussion threads; we have created one discussion thread for each branch in the map for a better overview:

"Knowing your Sponsor" - Questions about "Setting Expectations"


"Knowing your Sponsor" - Questions for "Understanding your working relationship"


"Knowing your Sponsor" - Questions about "Tradeoffs"


"Knowing your Sponsor" - Questions about "Schedule and Budget Expectations"


"Knowing your Sponsor" - Questions about "Business Outcome"


"Knowing your Sponsor" - Questions about "Stakeholders"


"Knowing your SpPonsor" - Questions about "Project Context"


"Knowing your SpPonsor" - Questions about "Quality and Scope"

Posted on: December 06, 2016 10:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (20)
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