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How to demonstrate project plans or reconcile high level plans with detail
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I am hoping to improve the way I manage projects using a project tool (e.g. MS project) and balancing reality with senior management demands. Situation is I am often asked at start of project to provide a high level plan as to what will happen. Typically I will give a timelines for requirements gathering, Design, Build , Test, Deploy and Handover and put a slug of time (duration) against each phase with potential estimate of % effort of generic resources. In reality other than requirements gathering I have no idea of the actual tasks for subsequent phases. Also I have no idea of which person might be allocated (from a pool). To date I provide this in Senior management view in a ppt formatand then at a detail level I maintain my project plan for the relevant phase and at end of each phase I check my assumptions for next phase including who will be the actual resource . ANY OTHER IDEAS?
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Rather than have to maintain similar info in two tools, why not just use a filter in MS Project to show senior leaders the high-level info? For example, filter on milestones only...

Kiron
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1 reply by Andrew Addison
May 22, 2019 6:27 PM
Andrew Addison
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Hi Kiron, again thanks for your thoughts. I could do this although I would struggle with future phases being less defined (which I can work around) and more challengingly I would need to be get a solution on resource pool. On this front I obviously know the resources allocated in this current phase . However I will not know the names of the resource for the next phase. If you have any thoughts on this conundrum I will be glad to hear them
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May 22, 2019 3:25 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
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Rather than have to maintain similar info in two tools, why not just use a filter in MS Project to show senior leaders the high-level info? For example, filter on milestones only...

Kiron
Hi Kiron, again thanks for your thoughts. I could do this although I would struggle with future phases being less defined (which I can work around) and more challengingly I would need to be get a solution on resource pool. On this front I obviously know the resources allocated in this current phase . However I will not know the names of the resource for the next phase. If you have any thoughts on this conundrum I will be glad to hear them
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Why do you need to put a lot of detail into future phases if you don't have a conceptual solution? It's kind of pointless to add a lot of detail to a plan, when most of it is wrong. That just wastes time and money. If you can say design, build, test, and deploy, that indicates to me that you have some idea of the future tasks, just not the specifics.

Rolling wave is one way to address this. We can plan the near term activities in detail, but sort of rough out the later portions where the solution is still ambiguous. As more detail is known about what the solution will look like, more detail can be added to the plan.

As for staffing, I never put names to tasks unless some person is absolutely crucial to the project success. Rather than names, I will specify what job roles or technical functions are required.
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Scrum boards and Agile visual management tools . Burn charts. Always current and transparent. Adequate for management reporting and true representation of the environment. With high uncertainty I advise Agile . with low uncertainty and high ambigiousity you an use phased approach and plan. Your situation is high uncertainty and low ambiguity , ergo Agile tools do be used in delivery and build phases.

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