In this article we have summarized the our experience in the process of creating robust, stable and executable project plans, and through applying the knowledge and literature available regarding this topic.
Building an executable project plan - a repeatable process
The following 10 steps process has proven to be effective in determining a good project network:
- Define the project’s measurable goals, tangible scope, and sponsor criteria
- Define the tasks required for the backbone of the project network (one main path), starting at the end of the project and working towards the beginning.
- Add the tasks required to build the skeleton (other paths), working backwards from the end, completing all other paths.
- Read the network forward, from the beginning, rigorously looking for additional dependencies
- Check every task against project goals, scope, and sponsor criteria
- Determine resources (skill level and maximum number) that could be assigned to perform the task
- Scrutinize the network logic using subject matter and/or skill set experts
- Define time estimates, with range of variability
- Seek ways to reduce overall project duration without compromise
- Complete a final, overall project assessment
See the attachment to this article containing the presentation "Creating robust project networks".
Literature: Advanced Multi-Project Management, by Gerald Kendall and Kathleen Austin.