Develop Project management Plan Tools & Techniques

July 10, 2010

The tool to be used in developing the project plan is essentially just one. It
is the expert judgment. The kind of experts to bring in to the development task
and their expertise levels will depend on the type of project and availability
of these experts of course. The availability of experts who can effectively
contribute to the plan development will also determine if outside help should
be sought. The in-house pool of experts grows in numbers as well as their
expertise levels as the organization works with projects of similar nature and
in similar technological areas. Difficulties may arise when enough resources
are not available and the external experts cannot be accessed for competitive
Areas where Judgment is needed
The project management plan must include sufficient technical and management detailsfor the executors to take effective decisions during the execution of the
project. They would also need sufficient clarity in these details so that the
completeness of the outcome, variance and such other aspects are clear to them.
It is the precision of the relatedprocessesthat determine these aspects of the deliverables/outcomes. If the processes are
accurate enough, the quality of the outcomes/deliverables will also be ensured.
What is precise, accurate and above all effective are most often judgment calls
and takes the experts to define the details and even decide what s relevant. While standard and industry accepted practices may be available,
each project can do with some tweaking of these processes based on the type of
the project, its complexity, specific technology area and so on. The tinkering
necessary due to these actors can only be handled by subject natter experts.
That will contain any risks involved with making these changes. Without
effective modifications by experts who know the inside out of such processes
you may endanger the project outcome.
Configuration management determines many a issues related to carrying out a project. One of the
important aspects of configuration management is due to technological changes.
Typical decision issue in such situations are to decide how many generations of
technological changes to you keep a backward compatibility. Why this is
important is that depending on the nature of the technology, customers/users
may have products incorporating multiple such generations with them. It is also
possible that sub-systems used in making system may change. So an expert
assessment is certainly required to determine what configurations are to be
managed. Decision issues may need to take into account not only development
aspects but even after sales services, warranty maintenance, etc. So the levels
of CM to be done in the project will need to be specified clearly.
One of the very important issues that need expert judgment is the need for
human resources. Not only the need for actual resources but also their exact
skills required should be determined. This is a crucial requirement in most
projects but more so in forward boundaries of technology. There the decisions
regarding the personnel requirement can actually make or break a project. The
HR management plans take guidance from the details in his master plan and
develop it further to actually mobilize these resources and get them into the
project team.
Like any quality processes after the main process is designed you need to
design a feedback and change process so the process outputs are as designed.
The feedback and the correction loop determine the corrections needed on the
output and the drifts seen in them. This whole mechanism works well if proper
feedback in the right manner is done. In this planning and documentation
processes one need to determinewhat documents should trigger the changes. The changes will need to be through the change control process to ensure there are no superfluous changes that affect the master plan.

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