This is an illustrative set of project management Rules.
Clearly, Rules must be tailored to conform to whatever is deemed appropriate and sensible for your organisation.
This will vary greatly. A single set of standards can never be appropriate for every organisation
The purpose of these Rules is to remind project managers what they must do when running a project. The PM Guidelines provide guidance on how to do things.
These Rules complement relevant project management training and are not a substitute for that training. The Rules do not describe everything that will need to be done to manage a project, they do describe what is mandatory, what must at least be done.
These Rules are not intended as a bureaucratic imposition, more a highway code for project managers.
These Rules are maintained by Project Support - please contact Project Support to suggest alterations
that would improve them.
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Purpose: To ensure project expenditure is properly authorised.
Any project costing more than £10K must be authorised in writing by the project sponsor.
Purpose: To ensure all team members have defined and agreed roles.
Each stage of project work, including Project Definition, must have roles defined and agreed before the start. As a minimum the following roles must be in place and the role players must at least take on the responsibilities shown:
Several other roles may also be required depending upon the project. The PM Guidelines describe other roles and expand upon the role descriptions above.
Purpose: To ensure the project is defined, definition is agreed, and an informed go/no go decision is possible.
A Project Definition stage costing over £10K must be authorised and managed as a project.
For each project there must be a Project Definition Document which must at least document the following:
The PM Guidelines give a full description of recommended PDD contents.
The PDD should be written after its contents have been agreed by interested parties. Large projects should hold a Project Definitions Workshop before the PDD is finalised.
For single stage projects produce a combined PDD/Stage Agreement, not two separate documents.
Purpose: To ensure all project records are readily accessible.
The Project Control Book must contain all project records (PDD, Risk Register, etc). The PM Guidelines list recommended contents.
If records are held online clear access instructions must be readily available in hardcopy.
Purpose: To show when each project task should be performed, and who will perform it.
Before a stage starts, there must be a task by task plan that is agreed by the people to whom tasks are assigned.
Time (hours) for Quality Assurance, Rework, Change and Contingency must be included in the plan.
The plan must be updated regularly in the light of actual project status.
Purpose: To ensure the stage cost is known before the stage is authorised.
The total cost (£s) of a stage must be estimated before the stage is authorised. The estimate must therefore at least include:
The PM Guidelines contain checklists that will help identify potential cost items.
Purpose: To ensure threats to project success are managed.
Risks and actions to remedy them must be documented before each stage begins.
The project sponsor must be made aware of major risks before authorising each project stage.
Risks must be managed and risk status reviewed regularly by the project manager.
The status of major risks must be reported to the project sponsor monthly.
Purpose: To get resource commitments before the stage begins.
Each project stage must have a Stage Agreement signed by resource supplying line managers before the stage begins.
The stage agreement must at least document:
No stage should exceed 5 months duration.
Purpose: To ensure issues are documented and managed.
An issue is something that potentially jeopardises project success.
Issues and their resolution must be documented.
Each issue must be assigned to a named individual for resolution.
Open issues must be reviewed weekly by the project manager.
Purpose: To control the impact of change on project costs and schedules.
A Project Change Request (PCR) is a request during the life of a project to change a completed project deliverable.
PCRs must be documented.
Before a PCR is investigated, the investigation cost must be approved by the project manager.
Before a PCR is accepted, the cost, schedule implications and other impacts of the PCR must be approved by the project manager.
Purpose: To ensure project products are fit for purpose.
There must be a Quality Plan that describes how the project team will assure the quality of the project's products.
The project manager must ensure that quality assurance tasks are properly executed.
The project manager is accountable for the quality of all project products.
Purpose: To ensure project commitments are met.
Tasks started and tasks completed and hours worked on each task must be captured weekly from every team member.
The project manager must be informed weekly of progress vs plan.
The project manager must report status and outlook-to-completion to the project sponsor monthly.
Purpose: To ensure formal completion and to learn from experience.
The project manager must ensure that the completion criteria specified in the Stage Agreement have been achieved before declaring the stage completed.
A team Lessons Learned meeting must be held at the end of each stage.
Lessons learned must be documented and copied to Project Support.
Purpose: To help project managers.
Before each project stage begins, the project manager must have plans, estimates and the Stage Agreement reviewed and approved by Project Support.
In addition, projects designated as 'key' by the Board must include at least one Project "Health Check" Review in the project plan.
The findings and recommendations of a Project "Health Check" Review must be communicated to the project sponsor.
Purpose: To allow deviation from these Rules.
Projects costing under £10K will not be audited against these Rules. However, compliance with the spirit is highly recommended.
For projects costing over £10K deviation from these Rules must be authorised by Project Support. Deviation will be authorised simply and quickly where compliance with a Rule would clearly not add value in a specific project situation.
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