The ultimate Guide to a 100% PMBoK Guide aligned Project Management Plan
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When creating a management plan, ask yourself always this question:
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.
"How will we ensure that all costs are identified and estimated?"
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.
"Which cost data is needed?"
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:
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Mind Mapping for Project Management – an overview (updated!)
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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:
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
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
Most 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!
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