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The bulk of all project management planning takes place during this phase along with the documentation of detailed requirements, the procurement of the solution, and the project Kick-off meeting. Project Managers should ensure their planning includes a means for managing and/or tracking scope, schedule, budget, risks, issues, quality, resources, organizational change, and project documentation. Additional project management planning activities (including updating and enhancing existing project management plans) will occur throughout the project.

Planning To-Do List:

1. Plan Communications

Being a good communicator is one of the most important skills/functions of the Project Manager. The Project Manager determines the communication methods and frequency to best meet the needs of all those involved in the project. Communication effectiveness should be reassessed by the Project Manager throughout the project. See the Communications Matrix and Communications Management Plan templates. 

2. Further Define Requirements

High level requirements were defined in the Exploration Phase, now it’s time to further define solution requirements in preparation for procuring a solution to meet your needs. Examples of what to define:

  • Type of solution you are seeking (e.g., hosted Commercial-Off-The-Shelf [COTS] solution);
  • Functions the solution must perform;
  • Functions you'd like the solution to perform;
  • Technical and/or architectual requirements and standards that must be met;
  • Security requirements and standards that must be met to protect State data;
  • Number of users the solution will need to accomodate;
  • Any solution performance requirements/expectations; and
  • Post installation support services you will need.  

See also  Requirements Gathering.

3. Perform Procurement

Follow the steps outlined on our Procurement page:

See also Procurement Templates.

4. Oversight Project Manager (OPM) Determines Level of Project Oversight

Oversight is required by Vermont statute. In conjunction with the Project Manager and Business Lead, the OPM (assigned during the Exploration Phase) performs an evaluation to determine the appropriate level of oversight based on project risk. See the Risk Evaluation form. The three levels of oversight are Light, Classic, and Robust. The level of oversight determines the specific oversight activities, as well as the minimum project management deliverables the OPM will require for the project. See Project Oversight and Minimum Project Management Deliverables by Oversight Model for more information.

5. Identify all Project Team Members and Roles

The Project Manager, with help from the Project Sponsor and key Stakeholders, identifies all project team members and their roles. See Project Roles.

6. Create a Project Schedule/Task List (e.g. Microsoft  Project Plan)

The Project Manager works with the project team to create a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). During this exercise, the sequence of activities, estimated task durations, and resources for each task are identified. The Project Manager uses this information to create the Project Schedule, which will be updated by the Project Manager throughout the duration of the project.

See Microsoft Project tips for tips on using the MSProject version of our Project Schedule template.

7. Plan Risk Management

The Project Manager determines a plan to identify, track, and address project risks on-going. See Risk Management.

8. Plan Organization Change Management (OCM)

Attention to organizational impact of a project on culture, policies and procedures, roles and responsibilities, etc. is an important aspect to the success of a project. The Project Manager needs to ensure that an organizational assessment is performed and a strategy is defined and implemented to deal with the identified impacts.  Refer to the Organizational Change Management page for the process steps, tools and templates to guide you. 

9. Create all other Project Management Planning and Tracking Documents

Refer to your Minimum Project Management Deliverables list for EPMO’s required project planning and tracking documents. In addition to these, the Project Manager should create any additional planning and tracking documents he/she deems necessary to effectively manage the project. 

10. Hold a  Kick-off Meeting

The Project Manager schedules, prepares for, and facilitates a formal project Kick-off meeting. Recommended agenda topics:

  • Team introductions
  •  Brief project overview by the Project Sponsor to convey the importance of the project and to elicit buy-in.
  •  A walk through of the topics covered in the Project Charter (e.g. Scope, Deliverables, Risks, Assumptions & Constraints, Timeline, etc.). 
  •  Discussion of the overall project approach (including how issues and changes will be managed).
  •  Overview of the types and method of communication.  This is also a good time to let the team know about the project’s document repository (i.e., SharePoint project site or other agreed upon system.)
  •  Next Steps