Elements of the Project Management Plan

Project Management Plan

The Project Management Plan is, without a doubt, the core of Integration Management. It is the main tool that the Project Manager uses for running a project.

We have already covered an overview of the Project Management Plan as well as the top 5 basics that you must know about it. Do go over both the articles as they will aid in a better understanding for this article.

In a nutshell, Project Management Plan is not a single document, rather it is a bunch of other documents. We are referring to these documents as the elements of the Project Management Plan and there are 19 of them in total,

1. Scope Management Plan

Describes how the project scope will be defined, how it will be developed i.e. what all activities would be needed, how scope changes will be handled like the process of adding or removing a feature, how scope will be controlled and validated.

2. Requirements Management Plan

Describes how the requirements of the stakeholders will be gathered, analyzed, documented and managed. It also describes how those requirements will be met as part of the deliverable(s) of the project.

3. Schedule Management Plan

Describes how schedule will be developed and how changes to the schedule will be handled like updated deadlines or milestones.

4. Cost Management Plan

Describes how the budget for the project will be created. It also has plans on how to control budget related issues that may come up throughout the course of project.

5. Quality Management Plan

Describes how the organization’s policies, methodologies and standards will be implemented in the project. It also includes how to deal with the problems that may arise if the product doesn’t live up to the expectations of the customer.

6. Resource Management Plan

Describes how project resources, both team resources and physical resources, should be allocated to the project. It also includes how to categorize the project resources, how to manage any changes in project team like identifying and handling any additional staffing needs as well as how to release the resources.

7. Communications Management Plan

Describes all the ways that the communication will be taking place with the project team, sponsors and other stakeholders of the project. It also includes how, when and by whom the project communication will take place.

8. Risk Management Plan

Describes how to deal with anything that can go wrong (or right) on the project. It also includes all the risks that may materialize during the course of the project (this is part of the Risk Register).

9. Procurement Management Plan

Describes how to deal with external vendors like acquiring goods and services externally.

10. Stakeholder Management Plan

Basically describes how to manage the expectations of all the project stakeholders, how to include them in project related decisions as well as keeping them engaged based on their needs, interests and impact.

The three baselines below are used to measure the actual progress of the project against what was planned,

11. Scope Baseline

This is basically a snapshot of the project scope that includes approved documents like the scope statement, the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and the WBS dictionary.

12. Cost Baseline

Similar to the scope baseline, cost baseline is the approved version of the project budget.

13. Schedule Baseline

Similar to other two baselines, schedule baseline is the approved version of the project schedule.

Similarly, the other elements of the Project Management Plan are also outputs from different processes. These include but are not limited to,

14. Change Management Plan

Describes how changes will be handled i.e. how they will be formally authorized and incorporated. It basically contains the process for managing changes on the project.

15. Configuration Management Plan

Describes the process for addressing changes to the configurable items (like WBS Dictionary, Scope Statement and others that require formal change control) ensuring consistency.

16. Performance Measurement Baseline

This is an integrated scope, schedule and cost plan for the project work. During execution, the project’s progress is measured against these baselines to manage performance. More about Performance Measurement Baseline

17. Project Life Cycle

Describes the series of phases that a project passes through from its initiation to closure.

18. Development Approach

Describes the development approach, like predictive, iterative, agile or a hybrid model that will be used to obtain the product, service or result of the project.

19. Management Reviews

These are predetermined points during the course of the project where the project manager and relevant stakeholders review the progress of the project. This helps in determining if the performance is as expected, or if any preventive or corrective actions are required.

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