We are not just teaching Project Management, we are implementing it, in all aspects of our work.
As Henry Ford once said, “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”
…that is why we, in Human Asset, are already doing it!!
Established 15 years ago, Human Asset provides innovative services and products in Training, HR Consulting and Technology Solutions in HR and Training, internationally. The Project Management approach enables as to deliver high-end, products & services, while meeting or even exceeding our customer’s expectations.
Our vast experience, after having undertaken hundreds of projects, led as in choosing PMI’s “Best Practice”, as the most appropriate approach, in terms of Project Management. Its versatility, adaptability and completeness, makes it an ideal tool for our Project Managers, enabling them to deliver their projects on scope, on time & on budget, while maintaining unmatchable levels of quality.
Project Management in action
In order to give you an overview of…
“How we do business”,
here, in Human Asset, let as try to present you a relatively detailed outline of our approach.
Whether we are dealing with training, consulting or technology implementation, the foundational approach rests the same. The success of a project relies primarily on the processes that are being implemented to describe the way to produce the final product, or service, rather than those that are being implemented in order to produce it. Even Benjamin Franklin, although he wasn’t a Project Manager, “he managed” to grasp the importance of proper preparation and planning:
“By failing to prepare,
you are preparing to fail.”
The five critical steps to success:
1. Initiation of the project.
The Procurement SOW, or the contract, will serve for as, as the “kick of document”, that will allow as to Initiate the new project. Our first step contains the identification of the basic stakeholders and a thorough analysis of the procurement documents, in order to develop the Project Charter. In further detail, the steps being followed at this point contain:
a. The definition of the high level scope of the project based on the organization need to meet the customer project expectations.
b. The identification of key stakeholders and the performance of a meticulous analysis, to gain buy-in and requirements for the success of the project.
c. The identification and documentation of high level risks, assumptions and constraints using historical data, current environment and expert judgment.
d. The development of the project charter by gathering and analyzing stakeholder requirements which can help in documenting scope, milestones, deliverables, budget, etc.
2. Development of the Project Management Plan (PMP).
The Project Charter will vest our delegated Project Manager with the appropriate levels of authority in order to be able to proceed to the planning processes. As per the PMBOK®, the development of the Project Management Plan, “is the process of defining, preparing, and coordinating all subsidiary plans and integrating them into a comprehensive plan.”
The steps being followed at this point, in order to achieve the aforementioned, contain:
a. Collecting and assessing detailed project requirements, constraints and assumptions by using a multitude of methods like:
- Focus groups & Facilitated workshops
- Group creativity & decision- making techniques
- Questionnaires and surveys
- Benchmarking & Document analysis
b. The creation of a solid scope statement and a work breakdown structure (WBS), detailed enough, to allow for workable task allocation and cost tracking.
c. The development of the project schedule based on scope, available resources and other contributing factors in order to manage the timely completion of the project.
d. The development of an achievable Project Budget, by using various techniques (analogous, parametric, bottom-up, 3-point etc) and by incorporating all other possible contributing costs, like the Cost of Quality, Risk Costs (reserve analysis), Procurement Costs, etc.
e. The development of a Quality management plan based on scope, in order to prevent defects and reduce cost of quality.
f. The development of the HR plan defining structures, roles, responsibilities and policies.
g. The development of a communication and a stakeholder management plan to facilitate a proper flow of project information to the appropriate stakeholders, plus a “discreet manipulation” of key stakeholders in order to assure their positive contribution to the project.
h. The implementation of qualitative and/or quantitative risk analysis techniques, in order to assess risk levels in the project and thus, be able to form the corresponding risk response strategies.
i. The development of a procurement plan based on scope, schedule and budget, to ensure the timely and cost effective availability of the necessary resources.
All that wouldn’t be but a bunch of paperwork if they weren’t integrated into a solid project management plan, which would serve as the project’s baseline (BL). It is that specific BL, against which we will measure the performance of the project up to its closing point.
3. Execution of the project according to plan.
It is here where we lead and perform the work defined in the project management plan and implement all approved changes to achieve the project’s objectives.
The key elements of project execution is the ability of working effectively in the team and the ability of remaining faithful to project scope while facing unpredicted events and difficulties.
4. Monitoring & controlling the project work.
Now the Project Management Plan (or PMP), is not “a one-time shot”. It is something we build on, sometimes even throughout a major part of the projects life span. The M&C processes will give as the appropriate feedback necessary to bring the PMP closer to its final form. The vaguer the initial scope statement (that actually depends on the customer), the more iterative the PMP completion becomes.
Tradeoffs are sometimes inevitable. Unanticipated events will force the project managers to balance the basic project constraints (scope, time, cost & quality) in order to derive to suitable solution (mutually agreed upon change).
The steps being followed at this point are:
a. Measuring the project performance using appropriate tools and techniques.
b. Change management.
c. Ensuring that the project deliverables conform to quality standards established in the quality management plan.
d. Monitoring the status of all identified risks and being alert in order to identify any new ones.
e. Communicating project status to stakeholders for their feedback so as to align the project as per the business needs.
5. Closing the project or phase
All good things eventually come to an end (hopefully the right way). Project Closure is more than a milestone… it is a process, with deliverables, to successfully conclude our project.
During this process, we will formalize and obtain final acceptance for the project by the customer, and therefor transfer the deliverables.
The next logical step will be to obtain financial, legal and administrative project closure (e.g., final payments, warranties, contract signoff), but even that does not sign the end of the project. Customer satisfaction is of outmost importance for our company and thus, needs to be measured. Any discrepancies or unconformities (if any) are further investigated and most of the times are settled in favor of the customer.
At this point we distribute the final project report, including project closure info, variances and issues to provide final project status to all stakeholders.
Lastly, we collect the lessons learned, archive and retain project records, historical information and documents in order to retain organizational knowledge, comply with statutory requirements, and ensure availability of data for potential use in future projects and internal/external audits.