Project Implementation - Explained
What is Project Implementation?
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Table of ContentsWhat is the Project Implementation Phase?What are the Characteristics of the Implementation Stage?What is Change Management? What is the Change Control Process?What is Controlling the Project Schedule? What is Compressing the Schedule? What is Crash Duration?What is Expansion?What is the Critical Chain? What is the As-Built Critical Path? What is a Baseline Project Plan
What is the Project Implementation Phase?
The first step of implementation is beginning to undertake the various things that went into planning.
The exact steps involved in the implementation stage are particular to the specific project. In summary, the project manager will begin directing work and resources toward the completion of work, execution of processes, and creation of deliverables.
The project manager will also work to track how well the team performs. This requires continuous monitoring and control processes to ensure the final deliverable meets the acceptance criteria set by the stakeholders.
This entails the review of routine performance and quality control data and comparing them against quality control standards.
This phase is typically where approved changes are implemented.
What are the Characteristics of the Implementation Stage?
The implementation stage is generally characterized by:
- Longer duration,
- Higher use of resources,
- Higher costs,
- Schedule pressure and conflicts,
- Increased likelihood of stakeholder conflict, and
- Extensive changes.
What is Change Management?
Projects will constantly require change throughout implementation. All changes must be handled with the context of the constraints that exist.
Change Control is a set of procedures that lets you make changes in an organized way.
Change in a project generally begins with a Change Request document from a stakeholder or team member.
In a large project, the change request may be submitted to a control board charged with considering changes for approval. In a small project, the change request may simply be determined by the project manager.
The project manager looks at how the necessary change affects the triple constraint (time, cost, scope) and how it impacts project quality.
This information will allow the project manager to determine whether or not to undertake the change.
What is the Change Control Process?
The process must allow all stakeholders to submit their suggestions for changes to scope and typically comprises five steps:
Request: The stakeholder who requests a change must provide relevant information on the nature of the change. The request is entered into a change register which records all requests and their status (e.g. pending, approved, rejected or deferred).
Review: The change request is reviewed to determine its high-level impact on outputs and benefits. If necessary, further clarification may be sought before deciding if it is worthwhile performing a detailed assessment. The proposed change may be rejected without further evaluation, in which case the reasons for rejection will be recorded and the stakeholder informed.
Assessment: All options relating to the change are captured and evaluated. The detailed impact on plans and schedules is estimated and a recommendation to approve, reject, defer, or request more information is made. Thresholds are set to determine whether the decision can be made by the P3 manager, sponsor or other members of the management team.
Decision: The decision is communicated to the team and stakeholders as outlined in the communication management plan and the configuration management plan.
Implementation: Relevant plans and schedules are updated if a change is approved and before the changes are made to existing products, or specifications for future products.
If an unauthorized or emergency change is identified, it should be retrospectively put through the change control process.
What is Controlling the Project Schedule?
Controlling the Project schedule means comparing the progress of the project to the estimations in the project schedule. The estimations serve as a baseline, and the action performance is used to identify deviations.
Nothing is changed for positive deviations. For negative deviations, the project manager may have to take steps to compress the actual schedule.
What is Compressing the Schedule?
Compressing the schedule means using a variety of techniques to shorten the project schedule. This generally means identifying and eliminating obstacles to task completion. There are several common approaches to compressing the schedule.
- Fast-Tracking - Managers are able to "fast track" a project by performing more activities in parallel)
- Crashing the Schedule - They are able to “crash the critical path" by adding resources and thus shortening the durations of critical path activities.
- Adding Additional Resources - When resource constraints add to the duration, adding additional resources may speed up the project.
- Changing Quality - When meeting quality standards require a greater time period, but lesser standards will work, the project can be compressed by lowering those standards.
What is Crash Duration?
Crash duration is the shortest possible time for which an activity can be scheduled.
It generally means the shortest time made possible by shifting more resources towards the completion of that activity.. Crash duration is typically modeled as a linear relationship between cost and activity duration.
What is Expansion?
In practice, the critical path method considered has been expanded to allow for the inclusion of resources related to each activity. This is done through processes called activity-based resource assignments and resource leveling.
What is the Critical Chain?
The “critical chain” is the longest path toward completion of the project. Basically, it assumes all tasks are completed sequentially before the next necessary task begins. It attempts to protect activity and project durations from unforeseen delays due to resource constraints.
The structure of critical path analysis is such that the variance from the original schedule caused by any change can be measured - allowing for adaptation.
What is the As-Built Critical Path?
An important element of project postmortem analysis is the as built critical path (ABCP), which analyzes the specific causes and impacts of changes between the planned schedule and eventual schedule as actually implemented.
What is a Baseline Project Plan
A project manager creates a detailed project plan containing estimates of tasks, costs, resources and schedules. This serves as the baseline project plan.
After the project begins, she compares baseline estimates to current performance to calculate variances, which are deviations from expectations.