Project Management

Practical Project Insights

Practical Project Insights comes from a vital corner of my mind where information stored in the course of numerous project experiences churned out to become a topic of my Blog. I wish the fraternity feel a connect and enjoy reading........

About this Blog


Recent Posts

Project Integration Management

Nice to Have requirements

Practical aspects of a project closure

'Activate'‚Äč is new SAP Implementation methodology

Demystifying Return On Investment (the ROI)


Activate, Closure, Investment, Methodology, Project, Return, ROI, SAP


Project Integration Management

Categories: Project

Project Integration Management:

End goal of the project is to implement the business requirements, and effectively create the product or service, with best of the quality, minimum possible cost and time(although quality, cost and time are organically related and dependent on each other, yet they are separate). 

Project Integration Management includes the processes and activities to identify, define, combine unify and co-ordinate various processes and activities in processes and project management activities within the project management process group.

As per PMBOK, Project Integration Management is significant function, as it is required to perform through all of  the process groups, Initiating, through Closing.

In context of Project Management, Project Integration Management includes making choices as to - 

1. Resource Allocation

2. Balancing competing demands

3. Examining alternative approaches and find best course

4. Customize the processes in order to meet project objectives

5. Managing interdependence among project management knowledge areas

As we know the Project Integration Management is one of the core responsibilities of Project Manager, and this responsibility can not be abdicated or parted with, and project success is directly impacted due to any lapses in carrying out this duty. Timely and well thought out decisions in this knowledge area helps minimize unpleasant outcomes. 

Lets understand in detail, each of the above listed components- 

1. Resource Allocation- Project resources are needed to perform project activities and scheduled tasks. As resources are limited in terms of Material/Human Resources/Skills and Techniques, it is one of the utmost duties of the project manager to Estimate/Plan the project resource acquisition, translate the same into procurement plan and execute the procurement efficiently, this includes ensuring quality and appropriate quantity/numbers. What goes in as an input in this knowledge area are: Project Plan, WBS and Work Schedule, Budget., which leads to  Recruiting manpower, issuing work/purchase orders for materials and contract manpower such technical installation or training and finally Goods receipt and Execution of services of third party. 

2. Balancing competing demands- during project execution there is a very strong desire among project teams to finish their work on time with quality for meeting this objective leads to arise of competition to get more and more resources. The task of project manager is the duly analyse each such demand of resources allocation  and align it with the project requirements, project plan, budget and quality management plan and see project objectives are achieved.

3.   Examining alternative approaches and find best course- In course of execution of the project, project manager come across many situation where best decisions are expected. To achieve this purpose, project manager has to analyse available alternatives as to - 

Analyse the situation- Identify the root cause of the problem, analyse the gaps, identify the known risks. 

Devise alternative actions as to various combination of solutions to achieve the best outcome. 

4. Customize the processes in order to meet project objectives - This is known as tailoring the processes as per the nature and characteristics of the project,  this is important because all projects have different requirements, for example Software Development project has different requirements as compared with a Construction or Defense Research project etc. So, what is applicable in a given project scenario has to be the first and foremost thing to assimilate and estimate, and decided upon as to - what project methodology will be used, which process groups and knowledge areas are to involved in managing the project. The approach to project management such as Agile or waterfall. All these customization takes place to settle or address the competing constraints such as, Scope, Schedule, Cost, Resources Quality and Risk. 

5. Managing interdependence among project management knowledge areas- Interdependence among below mentioned 10 knowledge areas, must be identified, analysed and managed throughout the project life cycle. Managing Interdependence is very important because without a proper understanding of cross knowledge area boundaries may cause may lead into wastage resources and can impact project timelines - 

  1.  Project Integration Management
  2. Project Scope Management
  3. Project Schedule Management
  4. Project Cost Management
  5. Project Quality Management
  6. Project Resource Management
  7. Project Communications Management
  8. Project Risk Management
  9. Project Procurement Management
  10. Project Stakeholders Management


Posted on: December 12, 2020 08:26 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

Nice to Have requirements

Categories: Project

I have something about this 'Nice to Have' requirements, certainly. NtH requirements are unavoidable and creepy, but the project manager has to be careful in handling the NtH requirements, as they have the capacity to disturb the project schedule.

There are few characteristics of NtH-

  • They are not part of the original requirements, yet they are related with the original requirements
  • Always remember there will be effort needed for sure to handle those NtH
  • They occupy a personal bias of business user
  • At times, its slightly difficult to identify and ascertain the NtH


How to handle NtH-

  1. In review of the project requirement at all levels, NtH must be identified and segregated from the original business requirements
  2. In the first place, NtH should be avoided as much as possible
  3. Only those NtH requirements, which will enhance overall Value -Add to the final outcome of the project, and that too which can be managed within project schedule and budget can be afforded to implement, yet the overall decision must be carefully adopted.
  4. Where NtH needs a sizable effort, and budget they must be considered as a Change Requested.
  5. Project managers, ought to have all the NtH requirements collected and documented for being considered as phased implementation post Go-Live.
Posted on: December 10, 2020 05:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (9)

Practical aspects of a project closure

Categories: Project, Closure

Its the last labor of your love to close a project!

A seemingly end of a cycle has a potential of a new beginning, this is important for the organizations rendering professional services for clients as well as internal project organizations from the stand point of enablement of the teams who are going to take care of the product of the project during its operational lifecycle, so its all important to close a project formally. As projects by their very nature are temporary endeavors, so when all the deliverables having delivered, the product of the project has been put into operations, the project is technically complete. But there are several practical tasks which are formally needed to be carried out in order to close a project.This post aims at sharing knowledge about the tasks involved.

As PMBOK® lays out, a project needs to be closed, if:

A. Project has come to close after completing its normal cycle. Or there are circumstances that;
B. A projects is short closed

whatever may be the case, the Project Manager needs to accomplish this task diligently so that-

1. Value can be demonstrated through accomplishments of the project

2. All legal contracts could be wound up

3. Setting up procedure for warranties and AMC

4. If it is a phase closure then, preparation for next phase can be started

5. Knowledge in the form of Organizational Process Assets can be preserved through archival of project documents, which can be retrieved for reuse in the future

6. Lessons learnt can be recorded and preserved for future reference

A project closure goes through an essential Handover/ Takeover process, where requisite knowledge is passed on to the client IT or Centre of Competence for carrying out the support during the operational cycle. 

Following is the closure process:

1. Handover Project Documentation: On a typical IT/ Software Implementation project, the project manager is required to pass on the technical/functional documentation to the client, before the client signs off the formal closure document of the project, signing of this document is important to get the acknowledgement from the client and it can help the implementer establish their claim to any money pending to be paid for such milestone.

These technical documents are:
1. Authenticated copies of business blue print documents

2. Program specifications for custom developments/ code enhancements etc.: both functional as well as technical documentation ( this may be subject to any specific agreement between the parties or may be subject to any intellectual property rights stipulations)

3. If the agreement provides so, instruction manuals or business process documentations

4. Standard Operating Procedure documents for handling special business requirements

5. Configuration documentation for technical systems set up, as applicable

6. Handing over the issue log, issue resolution information to the CoC team of the client

Above documentation is a part of hand over process, and constitutes a value delivery to the implemented processes, product or service so that operation is carried out smoothly and scalable solutions are incorporate in future. 

2. Release the project team: Project closure entails the project team members are released of their project responsibilities and are appraised of their performance by recording the same in the appraisal system. For the outsourced employees, their staffers must be communicated their last working day in advance so that their agreement can be appropriately closed.

3. Closure of Contracts: Entered into with various parties for renting of equipment, facilities and time and material contracts for contract workmanship, needs to closed and warranty/AMC information needed for supporting any equipment/servicing must be passed on to the incumbent teams for better managing the operational life cycle.

4. Compiling lessons learnt documentation and providing it to respective PMO for record keeping. A project manager must avoid cluttering and unnecessary information pile-up and guide the team to keep crisp and objective statement of lessons learnt in an easily phrase able language.

5. Archive Project documents:  Project documents include, technical and functional documentation, program codes, configuration information, cost estimates, assumptions and project budget, Risk documentation, etc. Easy retrieval of these reference documentation is the key to their archival, its always good to maintain a directory of the project documents.

6. Sign off of project closure, by securing approvals from the steering committee/sponsor of the project, on a duly compiled formal Project Closure document. 

7. Finally sending out the project closure communication to all the relevant stakeholders, so that the fact of project closure is formally disseminated to all relevant parties. 

A formal project closure sees many practical actions where the project manager has to  carry out a balance in securing all the relevant documentation and  know how, rightly passing it on to the incumbent support teams and has to secure the management's go ahead in formally completing the project in the form of Project Closure document, and communicating it to the relevant stakeholder group. This process ensures full life cycle completion of a project legally, technically and factually. 

A well closed project ensures a repeat business for the professional services rendering organizations, and a ensures effectiveness of the internal organization as the case may be, so it must carried out with rigor and professional diligence.

Posted on: February 08, 2017 02:52 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

"Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun. Orbiting this at a distance of roughly 98 million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea..."

- Douglas Adams