We started our Project Management life cycle with Phase One – Concept and Feasibility where we did our homework and we secured agreement with our Project Customer.
Next came Phase Two – Organization/Schedule where we created our Work Breakdown Structure and Critical Path Analysis to get all of our stakeholders to buy-in to the upcoming executable tasks.
Finally we did the actual project work in Phase Three – Execution/Implementation and controlled the project’s time, cost and objectives, while also managing stakeholder and management expectations (which was a LOT easier after doing the first two phases!).
Now it is time to review how we did with our project mgt. process with a Phase Four – Review and Audit.
Every business life cycle has a spot (let’s call it a stage or stage gate) where the business needs to know that the project met the expectations of the business. Sometimes that will take years for the data to become available and/or for the project to prove its worth.
Our Project Management life cycle has a placeholder for the business evaluation to happen, but it is after the Project Manager has moved on to new and exciting other projects.
So, now is the time to do a Review/Audit on our project to close down our PM life cycle.
Here are the outstanding tasks:
– Project Mgt Plan Review
– Lessons Learned
– Financial Close-out
– Project History
Project Management Plan Review
Now is the time to update and review all of the planning, scheduling and tasking from Phase Three – Execution to detail what actually happened during Execution Phase. This will be advantageous when questions arise later after the project closes. This will also give you the chance to double check that all of the tasks were completed.
This is a Lessons Learned regarding the project mgt. process. Get the team together and ask the questions: 1) “What did we do well as a team?”, and 2) “What could we have done better as a team?”
The final question we ask ourselves, “What lessons have I learned by managing this project?”
A report to management of the team and personal Lessons Learned will bring to light the cultural problems that are inherit in any organization, and in a politically correct way.
You have spent money and an audit of the spend can be attached to the completed PMP.
The PMP is now a comprehensive history of the project. This can and will be a great tool in the future for you and other Project Managers. It can even be used as a template for a similar projects.
A copy to your Project Customer, Boss and yourself will close your involvement with the project.
You have earned it and so has your team. It’s time to celebrate!
Get all of your team (Project Customer and Boss included) together for one last time and take the time to thank them for their commitment and hard work.
You know you worked hard in training your team how you view and manage a project, so remember that the people on this team might be on your next team, and the real authority you developed with these people, can and will carry forward to the next project.
Congratulations successful Project Manager. You have done what very few can. By sticking to your guns, your project has been managed through a Project Management life cycle that has meshed with the Organizational Business life cycle, and it all started with the simple question, “Who is my Project Customer?”
Next month: We start exploring the Three Tools (Planning, Scheduling and Controlling), in detail. Beginning with Planning and how the PMP fits in.